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USD 308 Honors Teachers and Staff at Convocation


By USD 308 Board of Education


HUTCHINSON, KAN.  Hutchinson Public Schools welcomed back teachers and staff at their annual Convocation event on Wednesday, August 9th. Held at the Sports Arena, this event featured guest speaker, Debra Teufel, President of the Hutch Chamber, an awards ceremony presented by the Davis Foundation, and a keynote by Dr. Dawn Johnson. Staff were also recognized for their years of service in a new segment called the “Salthawk Service Award.” A community resource fair was held after the event.   


Certified and Classified Employee of the Year  

Each year Hutchinson Public Schools honors a Certified and Classified staff member as “Employee of the year.” This year’s Classified Employee of the Year winner was Karrah Bishop, Secretary at Morgan Elementary School. The award was presented by Classified Employee Council President, Sally Bailey. The Certified Employee of the Year winner was Mary Raines, English Language Arts teacher at Hutchinson Middle School 7. This award was presented by Krystal Young, Deputy Superintendent and Director of HR.  


Davis Foundation Recognizes Teachers  

The Davis Foundation began in 1954 when James and Juliet Davis sought to honor local Hutchinson Public Schools teachers and students. They saw an opportunity to award teachers for their hard work and dedication to students through cash awards. Each year, USD 308 teachers are nominated by students, staff, parents or administration. The nominations are reviewed by the Foundation committee. Teaching nominees are judged on their student impact, professional excellence, and exceeding expectations. An interview round is conducted during consideration. Nominations are kept secret until they are announced at Convocation each year.  


This year’s winners were:  

Trent Bain, Drafting teacher at Hutchinson High School Career & Technical Education Academy  

Ericah Chambers, 5th Grade Teacher at Lincoln

Julia Johnson, Art teacher at Hutchinson High School  

Mary Raines, English Language Arts teacher at Hutchinson Middle School 7  

Jazzmyn Tolbert, Third Grade teacher at Graber  

Kerri Werth, Fifth Grade teacher at STEM Magnet at Allen  


The Davis Foundation awards scholarships to Hutchinson Public Schools students as well. Students are recognized each spring during the awards assembly.   


Salthawk Service Award  

“We re-started an old tradition of recognizing the tenure of our staff at Convocation. Somehow, possibly during COVID when Convocation went digital, staff recognitions were lost. We requested feedback from Convocations in the past, and this was one event that people wanted us to bring back. We are calling this the Salthawk Service Award. Staff will be recognized for each 5 years of completed service with the district. They will receive a H-Hawk lapel pin for each 5 years of service and a certificate with their years of service,” said Krystal Young, Deputy Superintendent and Director of HR.   


This year, 54% of staff were recognized for more than 5 years of service with the district. Staff that have been employed 10 years or more represent 32% of all staff. District staff that have been employed by USD 308 for more than 15 years make up 20% of our employees. “That is a great honor- to work with individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to students,” said Young. “Some staff have been with us for over 45 years! Their dedication to our school district and this community is a true testament to the positive impact educators make every day.”  


Dr. Johnson Delivers State of the District   

Dr. Dawn Johnson delivered the State of the District speech. During her remarks she spoke on the work that the Board of Education and other community members have completed over the past 6 months. Through multiple workshops a new mission, vision and core value statement were drafted. Moving forward USD 308’s guiding principles will be:   

Mission: Educating and empowering every Salthawk for life.  

Vision: Today’s students prepared for tomorrow’s world.  

Core Values: Innovation, Compassion, Integrity, Perseverance.