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School of Education Hall of Fame Archive


Cerner STEM Internship Program
Becky Brents was selected to participate in the Cerner STEM Internship Program for math and science pre-service teacher candidates this summer.  She received a scholarship and completed a paid summer internship at Cerner.  Avila University’s School of Education is excited to be part of this initiative intended to help future teachers move into the classroom well prepared in the areas of science, technology and math. 

MACTE Outstanding Beginning Teacher Awards
Michael Allen was honored as one of Missouri's Outstanding Beginning Teachers by the Missouri Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE). Michael is currently teaching 7th Grade Science at Moreland Ridge Middle School in the Blue Springs School District.

Sara Boen was also honored as one of Missouri’s Outstanding Beginning Teachers by the Missouri Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE). Sara is currently teaching first grade at Chinn Elementary in the Park Hill School District.

School of Teaching ESL Silver Anniversary Award
Diane Mora received the School of Teaching English as a Second Language Silver Anniversary Award. Diane was honored for using technology (Google Voice and Educreations) to enhance language development in the classroom.

Teacher of the Year – East Lynne Elementary (East Lynne School District)
Melessia Brauer, 4th grade teacher at East Lynne Elementary, was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year for her building.

Alumni Published
Chris Frye, an Avila School of Education alum who earned his teacher certification in the field of art education, created the illustrations for the children’s book “Janko and the Darkness.” The book is for sale through Amazon.



Horizon Award
Jessica Edwards, an Avila School of Education alum who earned her teacher certification in English education, won the Horizon Award in Kansas. The award is to honor outstanding first year teachers. Jessica teaches English at Blue Valley High School.

Teacher of the Year-Eastwood Hills Elementary (Raytown School District)
Courtney Reynolds Stratton was named Eastwood Hills Elementary teacher of the year. Courtney commented, “Considering this is only my second year teaching I owe everyone at Avila a huge THANK YOU!!!! I have kept all of my materials and have returned to them often!!”

Teacher of the Year-Turner High School (Turner School District)
Chaur Jacobson, English teacher at Turner High School, was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year and was also named the district’s secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year representative.

Teacher of the Year-Van Horn High School (Independence School District)
Wendy Kline, Van Horn Social Studies teacher, was named Van Horn’s Teacher of the Year for 2011-2012.



Kansas Teacher of the Year
Linda Irvin Wiersma was named Kansas Teacher of the Year for the Kansas Congressional District 2. Linda stated about receiving the honor, “Once again I must express my gratitude to Avila for the outstanding education and instructional ideas I received while receiving my undergrad and post graduate degrees. I am overwhelmed and excited about this opportunity. Thanks to all of you, at Avila, I know where my passion started.” (Linda is also a TEXT Mentor and serves on the Avila Board of Counselors)


Excellence in Teaching Award (Lee’s Summit R-7 School District)
Angela Fisher received the Excellence in Teaching Award in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District. Angela commented “I feel so blessed to be given this award. It is because of the great foundation that Avila provided me to be a teacher in the classroom and the rigorous curriculum that has made me the teacher I am today!”



Missouri Teacher of the Year
Suzanne Mitko was named the 2009-2010 Missouri Teacher of the Year. Suzanne is a graduate of Avila, serves as an adjunct for Avila’s School of Education and is also a valued member of the TEXT Team.  Suzanne was featured on the cover of HER LIFE magazine.  There was a 2 page article covering an interview with Suzanne and discussing her educational philosophy.

Our Lady of the Presentation Sisters of Charity Award
Carmen Bisacca, alumni of Avila University’s Graduate Teacher Certification Program, received the Our Lady of the Presentation Sisters of Charity Award Honoring Excellence in Catholic Education. Carmen stated thanked the Avila Faculty for a wonderful education. She said, “It is because of all of you that I strive to do my best each day.”

Teacher of the Year-Little Blue Elementary (Raytown School District)
Dianne Saltzman was named Teacher of the Year at Little Blue Elementary in the Raytown School District. Mrs. Saltzman received this honor in just her third year of teaching. Dianne stated, “I am ever mindful of those who helped me get here!”