USM Education Students Named Kansas ‘Teachers of Promise’

2/28/2013 12:00:00 AM

USM ‘Teachers of Promise’ (from left): Starian Porchia, Nicole Gurwell, Laura Peacock-Whiteside, and Amy Otto

(Leavenworth, Kan.)—The Teacher Education Committee at the University of Saint Mary has selected four of the school’s best and brightest for Kansas “Teacher of Promise” designation.

The four selected students are elementary education majors Nichole Gurwell, of Shawnee, Kan., Amy Otto, of Roeland Park, Kan., and Laura Peacock-Whiteside, of Overland Park, Kan., andStarian Porchia, of Bonner Springs, Kan., an English major in the USM secondary education program.

The yearly Teacher of Promise recognition is part of the state’s Teacher of the Year program. Award recipients are nominated by their respective Kansas college or university. The Teachers of Promise then get to attend a special recognition ceremony sponsored by the Kansas State Department Education.

“It’s always a difficult decision selecting our Teachers of Promise because so many of our students are worthy of recognition,” said Dr. Gwen Landever, chair of USM’s education program. “These four honorees will make excellent teachers, and their future students will certainly benefit from their skills and positive, engaging teaching styles.”

The Saint Mary award winners will also be recognized at a special pinning ceremony for students completing a Saint Mary education program on May 8 in USM’s Mead Hall Walnut Room.

The University of Saint Mary offers multiple education programs, including traditional undergraduate degrees in elementary education, child development education, and secondary education certification, and master’s programs in education, teaching, and special education.