District Achievements

Shining Star

The USD 475 Board of Education presents the Shining Star Award to selected USD 475 staff members who provide exceptional service to or credit upon the school district. Staff members who were nominated were judged by a panel on their service to the school district, contribution to the betterment of their profession, community service, and how their actions impacted the overall perception of Geary County Schools.

Paula Scripter, Devin Center
Robert Swarts, Larry Dixon Center
Patricia Mills, Milford Elementary
Natasha Goodman, Morris Hill
Luz Deike, Sheridan Elementary
Susan Schlagel, Sheridan Elementary

Tech Innovator

The USD 475 Board of Education presents the Tech Innovator Award to selected USD 475 staff members who show technology innovation in the classroom.  Staff members who were nominated were judged by a panel on their ability to integrate technology in the classroom, how they show to be a cutting-edge trendsetter and innovator, how they use technology to regularly enhance teaching and learning, and how they share their technology use with their colleagues.

Ashley Elmir, Junction City High School
Jamie Francis, Morris Hill Elementary
Amanda Frost, Freshman Success Academy
Kady Kilongkilong, Washington Elementary
Joseph Rix, Junction City High School

Superintendent 3 R Award

The Superintendent’s Three R Award represents respect, responsibility, and positive relationships. Students who demonstrate these qualities are nominated by their building principal for the award.

Estrellita Sanchez, Eisenhower, Fifth Grade
Kemuel ‘Troy’ Griffin, Fort Riley, Fifth Grade
Brandon Logan, Franklin, Fifth Grade
Avery Delatore, Grandview, Fourth Grade
Dominic Pena, Jefferson, Fifth Grade
Zoey Peterson, Lincoln, Fifth Grade
Leilani Hunter, Milford, Fifth Grade
Rebeckah Sidley, Morris Hill, Fifth Grade
Sydney Esquivel, Seitz, Third Grade
Mya Champ-Rodriguez, Sheridan, Second Grade
Aniela Adjei, Spring Valley, Fifth Grade
Emma Torres, Ware, Fifth Grade
Tristan Harris, Washington, Fifth Grade
Ellison Silva, Westwood, Fifth Grade
Schyler Clark, JCMS, Eighth Grade
Connor Schueler, FRMS, Eighth Grade

Kansas Teacher of the Year

The Kansas Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education, identifies, recognizes, and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. Jackie Bender, first-grade teacher at Sheridan Elementary, and Jennifer Brown, teacher at Junction City Middle School, were the elementary and secondary nominees for the 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award Program.

Master Teacher

Emporia State University established the Kansas Master Teacher awards in 1954. The awards are presented annually to teachers who have served the profession long and well and who also typify the good qualities of earnest and conscientious teachers. Natasha Goodman, Second Grade Teacher at Morris Hill Elementary, was named the 2019 Emporia State University Master Teacher nominee.

Horizon Award

The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. 

USD 475 has received 5 Horizon Awards since 2010 (as well as an additional 7 nominees).

Abigail Buser, Westwood Elementary School, was a 2019 winner of the Horizon Award for distinguished educators who have completed their first year of teaching.

Allie Ronnebaum, 6th grade Social Studies teacher at Fort Riley Middle School, and Chelsea Willems, kindergarten teacher at Ware Elementary, were winners of the 2016 Horizon Award for distinguished educators who have completed their first year of teaching.

National Board Certification

Clifford French, JCHS
Jean Johnson, FRMS
Anneliece Kowalik, JCMS
Michelle McDaniel, JCMS
Mary Jane Witt, Lincoln Elementary
Dorothy Colemen, Sheridan Elementary
Crystal Rankin, Sheridan Elementary
Linda Bongers, Devin Center

Other Awards

The JCHS Blue Jay Bowlers qualified for state in 2019.

The JCHS Scholars Bowl Participants placed 5th at State in 2019.

Reina Cruz, Junction City High School, received the Sanford Teacher Award along with $10,000 from the National University System.

Geary County Schools received the Pacesetter Award in 2018.

Fort Riley Middle School, Milford Elementary, and Ware Elementary received the Energy Conservation Leader Award in 2018.

USD 475 received the ALICE Organizational Certification and is the only school to achieve this three years in a row.

Heather Oentrich, Junction City Middle School, received the Principal Advocate Award at the Kansas Counseling Conference.

USD 475 currently has six schools who were designated National Blue Ribbon Schools (two of these schools have won this award twice).

Junction City High School Girls Track was named the Girls 6A State Track Champions.

Doug Sallee, Junction City High School, was named KS Scholastic Press Association’s Administrator of the Year in 2017.

Montika Allen-Atkinson, Westwood Elementary, was named the 2015-2016 VFW Teacher of the Year.

District publications have won 4 certificates of merit from the Kansas Association of School Boards in 2015.

Randall Zimmerman, Junction City High School Football Coach and Strength & Conditioning teacher, was named the 2015 Centennial League Coach of the Year and was also named as a head coach for the 2016 Shrine Bowl All-Star game.

Brandi Lundren, Junction City Middle School, was named the KASSP Assistant Principal of the Year in 2015.

In 2013, the Fort Riley Middle School was named the NAMSP School of the Year.

Since 2006, Geary County Schools has received 27 Governor’s Awards.

Geary County Schools has received 61 Challenge Awards from 2002 to present.