Kansas Teachers of the Year Discuss Educating Military Children

Some of the state’s top teachers made their way to Junction City and Fort Riley last week as part of a year-long tour of Kansas education. On April 7, 2017, Geary County Schools USD 475 hosted the Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) Team as they continue their tour across Kansas learning best practices from peers. The one-day tour in Gear County included a look at Lincoln Elementary which included a breakfast reception and welcome from Superintendant of School Dr. Corbin Witt.

The KTOY team heard from district administration and several students from the school who walked them throughout the building showing off classrooms and building specific programs like the “Kindness Tree” which highlights kindness in the building throughout the year.

Lincoln is home to one member of the KTOY Team and it was obvious that she was proud to show her school to others. Jennifer Farr, a 5th grade teacher, was the USD 475 nominee and finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year (2017).

KTOY Team at Lincoln Elementary
KTOY Team at Lincoln Elementary
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Farr and the rest of the KTOY Team which included the Kansas Teacher of the Year winner and other finalists from across the State of Kansas next took the opportunity to tour the Fort Riley Military Installation. Fort Riley remains a vital part of the area economy and its families make up a large portion of USD 475. Education for the military child dominated the conversations throughout the day as the team saw first-hand how some of our nation’s soldiers are trained. Thanks to the Training Simulation Center the KTOY Team was offered the opportunity to handle training versions of weapons systems that our nation’s soldiers use in combat.

Next, the team had lunch and conversation with a group of soldiers and then toured the Irwin Army Community Hospital. This facility sees approximately 1,440 clinic visits, 3 births, and 250 radiology procedures a day which solidifies its place as a major piece of the Fort Riley community.

The day was ended with a short tour of the Grey Eagle System at the Fort Riley Airfield and then a tour of Fort Riley Middle School which was led by a student and included a stop in the AVID classroom to discuss with students how the program was helping them develop time-management skills.

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