Geary County USD 475 knows that teachers are instrumental to the success of its students. Each year, the district ensures that their efforts and hard work are rewarded by granting awards to those teachers that go above and beyond the call of duty for their students.
The Horizon Award is for a teacher that is new to teaching. It is awarded to a teacher that has completed his or her first year of teaching and has shown outstanding dedication to the students. This year’s Horizon Award was awarded to Lacie Goodson, a 7th grade Science teacher at Fort Riley Middle School.
Lacie credits her mother, a teacher for over 20 years, as her inspiration for becoming a teacher. Lacie spent 2 years as a paraeducator, then decided to acquire her teaching license and become a full-time teacher. Mrs. Goodson has a Master’s degree in Science but plans to earn another Master’s degree in Teaching. “I want to keep growing as a teacher,” she says.
Mrs. Goodson’s favorite thing about teaching is seeing the reactions on her students’ faces when they finally understand a concept. She also enjoys all the unique personalities and perspectives her students bring to the table. When asked what the most surprising thing about being a teacher was, she replied, “I am always thinking about my students. I go home and find myself thinking about ways to help those students that are falling behind or having a hard time understanding the concepts. How can I teach this differently so that they can understand?”
Master Teacher Award
The Master Teacher Award is awarded each year to a teacher that shows outstanding dedication to the students and the district and has been a teacher for at least 5 years. This year, the district selected Catherine Coughlin, the art teacher at Fort Riley Middle School.
Catherine is always looking for ways to inspire creativity in her students, and for ways to make a positive impact on her fellow teachers. She has been a teacher for 7 years, and this is her 4th year as a teacher with Geary County USD 475. Catherine is also the chair for the Junction City Education Association (JCEA).
Catherine says her favorite part of being a teacher is seeing her students’ passion come alive. “I love helping them achieve beyond their own expectations.”
Both award recipients will now move forward to be considered for the statewide awards in both categories. They will submit applications to be considered for the Kansas Horizon Award and Kansas Master Teacher Award.
Awards for both teachers will be presented at the State of Education Meeting, taking place at Junction City Middle School on the evening of January 28th.