While introducing more than 50 nominees, foundation board President Dennis Devor praised Montrose High teacher Mike Nadiak for his quick response and first aid to save junior Mallory Haulman after she was stabbed in the throat in a school hallway on Nov. 11.
“A big thanks to the teachers and staff of Montrose High, especially Mike Nadiak,” he said. “None in our community is exempt from acts of violence.”
The nominees’ names were read off, and one by one they came to the podium to receive certificates of nomination while foundation Boardmember Dennis Lambert read excerpts from letters recommending them as teacher of the year:
“Beth Hall of Columbine Middle believes all students can achieve.”
“Jerry Hollingshead of Olathe High encourages students with low self-esteem.”
“Kerry Keller of Olathe Middle School. It is a stronger and better school because of her teaching and outside activities.”
“Nancy Kenton of Pomona Elementary is always ready to help and encourage students who need it or are not especially coordinated in sports.”
“Kindra Kurtz of Montrose High can turn a smile upside down.”
“Kay Lett of Cottonwood extends herself to ensure students’ success and also helps families in crisis get the help they need.”
“Tracy Lightsey of Montrose High – he makes your jaw drop in class.”
“Shawn Lund of Centennial, the best band director I’ve ever seen in the classroom.”
“Anne McGrath of Pomona turned several high-risk students into contributing students.”
“Sherry Jackett of Oak Grove is a consummate professional.”
The accolades took up most of the evening, which included a buffet dinner and speeches by other education leaders, including Bonnie Grigsby, the newly elected president of the Montrose Education Foundation Board of Directors.
More than 100 people attended the event at the Montrose Pavilion to honor the nominees, commemorate American Education Week and recognize the efforts of all public school employees. The event was underwritten by corporate sponsors.