Fort Riley Middle School teacher nominated for Kansas Master Teacher Award

Geary County Unified School District 475, in collaboration with the Junction City Education Association, has nominated Melissa Hall for the 2023 Kansas Master Teacher Award. Hall teaches a variety of STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—classes at Fort Riley Middle School. She will be recognized at the district’s Board of Education meeting Dec. 8.

The Kansas Master Teacher Award program, presented annually by Emporia State University, recognizes exemplary professional educators in Kansas. Nominations are provided by district teacher associations and faculties, and winners are selected by a committee representing educational organizations across the state.

Hall has been at Fort Riley Middle School since 1998, most of her career. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State University and a master’s degree in special education from Kansas State University. She is also working toward certification in English as a Second Language.

According to her nominators, Hall has strong personal relationships with students and collaborates with them to personalize their learning opportunities. She has structured the school’s STEM elective classes so that students can explore a variety of STEM fields. Additionally, she sponsors multiple clubs based on student interest, coordinates the Food4Kids program, and is a leader among her colleagues.

“Mrs. Hall intentionally plans her classes so that students have opportunities that are based in real-life, authentic experiences,” said Kathleen Brennan, Principal at Fort Riley Middle School. “Students select personalized pathways, set goals, and use hands-on and collaborative learning to meet these goals.”

“My goal is to develop students who have a desire to be lifelong learners,” said Hall. “I love teaching because I continually get to guide students who are willing to try new things, without fear of failure, and I continue to learn right alongside them.”

“Mrs. Hall’s creative and sincere approach to teaching makes her classroom a safe and inviting place for students to be themselves and continue to grow as students and people,” said Brennan. “She ensures that every student in her classroom and our school makes a connection and has a reason for being there every day.”

“To be nominated by your peers for a prestigious, statewide award is a great honor, and Mrs. Hall most definitely deserves it,” said Superintendent Reginald Eggleston. “She puts a lot of effort into making sure every child receives an excellent education that impacts them now and far into the future, and we are lucky to have her.”

Hall and other Kansas Master Teacher nominees must submit lengthy portfolios to be considered for the state award. Seven winners will be selected early next year.

For inquiries, please contact Marcia Locke, Communications Coordinator, USD 475, marcialocke@usd475.org