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2024 Kansas Horizon Award Program Recognizes 32 Kansas Educators


 By the Kansas State Department of Education


KANSAS — Thirty-two educators from Kansas are being recognized for their outstanding teaching skills through the 2024 Kansas Horizon Award program.

The 2024 Kansas Horizon Award recipients were recently announced by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE).

The educators will be honored at a special ceremony during the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference on Feb. 23 in Topeka.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, sponsored by KSDE, allows all school districts in the state to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. To be eligible for the award, teachers must have successfully completed their first year of teaching and have performed in such a way as to distinguish themselves as outstanding.

The program is a regional competition with four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers may be selected for the award from each region.

Recipients of the 2024 Kansas Horizon Award were notified of their selection by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson.

The 2024 Kansas Horizon Award recipients, along with their regions, are listed below:


Region 1

  • Braiden Allen, Haven Grade School, Haven USD 312
  • Marlene Barajas, Dodge City Middle School, Dodge City USD 443
  • Jami Dryden, Fort Larned Elementary School, Fort Larned USD 495
  • Zachariah Harvey, Oskaloosa High School, Oskaloosa USD 341
  • Alexis Hattabaugh, Canton Galva Elementary School, Canton Galva USD 419
  • Jenna Kimble, Union Valley Elementary School, Buhler USD 313
  • Ashlyn Kuhlmann, Manhattan High School, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383
  • Ashley Sharbutt, Hutchinson Middle School, Hutchinson USD 308

Region 2

  • Michelle Barnes, Woodlawn Elementary School, Lawrence USD 497
  • Blair Conley, Riverside Elementary School, Emporia USD 253
  • Sarah Cormier, Jackson Heights High School, Jackson Heights USD 335
  • Erica Harper, Atchison Co. Elementary School, Atchison USD 377
  • Jacoby Johnson, Prairie View High School, Prairie View USD 362
  • Allison Jones, Emporia Middle School, Emporia USD 253
  • Leslie McCaffrey, Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet, Topeka USD 501
  • Jodee Nickell, Humboldt High School, Humboldt USD 258

Region 3

  • Garrett Bates, Paola Middle School, Paola USD 368
  • Janelle Craig, Olathe West High School, Olathe USD 233
  • Larry Gazaway, Broadmoor Elementary School, Louisburg USD 416
  • Richard Gutierrez, Turner Elementary School, Turner USD 202
  • Brennan Mills, Indian Woods Middle School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
  • Elizabeth Palmer, Rosehill Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
  • Jonas Pippitt, Gardner Edgerton High School, Gardner Edgerton USD 231
  • Taylar Flaming, Starside Elementary School, De Soto USD 232

Region 4

  • Drew Carney, El Dorado Middle School, El Dorado USD 490
  • Ivy Daugherty, Maize South Middle School, Maize USD 266
  • Shae Enegren, Oak Street Elementary School, Goddard USD 265
  • Makinsey Farber, Prairie Elementary School, Haysville USD 261
  • Morgan Kaiser, Valley Center High School, Valley Center USD 262
  • Haley Miller, Maize South Elementary School, Maize USD 266
  • Brianna Oglesby, Prairie Creek Elementary School, Andover USD 385
  • Elizabeth Toribio, Eisenhower Middle School, Goddard USD 265