Shannon will be taking to the road over the coming year as the Kansas Teacher of the Year. This is the first of many letters from her adventures as a KTOY.
My year as Kansas Teacher of the Year has officially begun! Earlier this month I returned from throwing out the First Pass at the Kansas City Chiefs game. The Missouri Teacher of the Year and I were honored at mid-field prior to throwing a pass back and forth to each other (perfect spiral I might add – I practiced.)
While on the sidelines we spent time with former Chiefs player David Lindstrom, who is an ambassador for the Chiefs and a strong supporter of education. We also had a few minutes to visit with KC Chiefs owners Clark Hunt and Tavia Shackles. The Chiefs provided a suite from which to watch the game on what turned out to be a beautiful winter day. It was an extraordinary day, and I felt honored to represent exceptional Kansas teachers.
I should mention, that was not my first KTOY gig. My Dodge City High School family honored me at our first basketball pep assembly. It was fun to be able to address the entire student body (all 1800 of them!) and staff. We are indeed a team, and of course our success depends on team effort.
In our building it is a tradition to make life-sized Fathead-style wall decals of our senior athletes and display them during each team’s respective season. Along those lines, they made me one too – kinda crazy to see oneself “blown up” (as it were). I am now hanging in our entryway, and my principal says I am there to stay during my KTOY year!
The city of Dodge City has been equally as kind. I was invited to attend a city commission meeting, and they proclaimed December 16th as “Shannon Ralph Day”! Woot woot! I’d have to say though, I was most touched by the proclamation that I am representing Dodge City as one of its honored citizens. I take that seriously because this is an awesome community.
Now it’s time to go to work. The 2015 KTOY team will be speaking at the January 2015 legislative session. Following that we begin our travels across the state to speak with pre-service teachers at every major university. We are putting the finishing touches to our presentation and are eager to inspire and teach the future educators of Kansas students.
Stay tuned for information regarding our first adventure in Topeka. I will report back. For now…