USD 475 Selects 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominees

Photos of Michael Brown & Brittany Scott, USD 475 Nominees for Kansas Teacher of the Year

Geary County Schools USD 475 has nominated Michael Brown and Brittany Scott for 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year Awards. Michael Brown is a vocal music teacher at Junction City High School and Brittany Scott is a first-grade teacher at Ware Elementary. They were recognized at the district’s Board of Education meeting Nov. 7.

The Kansas State Department of Education’s Kansas Teacher of the Year Award recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Each school district may nominate one elementary and one secondary classroom teacher per year.

“We are honored to nominate Mr. Brown and Ms. Scott for the 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award. Both work hard to ensure a high-quality education for all their students, and very much deserve this recognition,” said Geary County Schools Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston.

Brown has been a music educator for eleven years, all at Junction City High School. He oversees four vocal music ensembles, teaches piano and music theory, co-directs and accompanies the annual school musical, and serves as the performing arts department leader. He often takes students to state and national choir events, and many of his ensembles have received outstanding ratings at festivals.

Regarding teaching, Brown believes that building good rapport with students is crucial for successfully engaging them in the content, and that their personal development is as important as what they learn in class.

“My goal as a teacher is to inspire students to find value in themselves by tapping into their strengths as musicians and as people,” said Brown. “Not every student will leave my classroom a soloist, but […] I hope the values and methods employed in my classroom encourage them to be healthy, kind and compassionate people.”

Scott has been teaching first grade at Ware Elementary for ten of her 11 years as a teacher. She serves on many committees and is Ware’s first-grade team leader and a district mentor for first- and second-year teachers. She has been named KJCK’s Teacher of the Month and invited to serve as a Big Red One Year of Honor Panelist for Virtue.

For Scott, teaching is not simply an occupation, but rather a passion to share with others and an opportunity to make a difference in students’, families’ and colleagues’ lives.

“This passion can be felt when your energy lights up the room, seen in the positive relationships between staff members and students, and heard in the collaborative conversations where encouragement and problem-solving are the focus,” said Scott.

Brown and Scott advance to the regional competition, from which eight finalists will be chosen. The 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year will be announced at a banquet next fall.