Pelkey named USD 232 Secondary Teacher of the Year

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De Soto High School English teacher Lisa Pelkey poses with her AP Literature students after finding out she was USD 232 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Emma Bascom, Staff Reporter

The USD 232 Secondary Teacher of the Year is a very high honor and this year’s winner is Lisa Pelkey, English teacher at De Soto High School.

“I feel very honored and privileged, because I know there are a lot of great teachers here; not only in our school, but in our district, and I feel lucky enough to be a representative of what I think would be all of them,” Pelkey said.

The selection for the winner is a long process. There are several stages of elimination that the nominated individuals  go through, until the winner is eventually chosen.

“Your peers—so, teachers, or parents, or students—can nominate you, then once you’re nominated, you fill out a series of questions that you submit. A bunch of our teachers were nominated and all of the teachers who filled out the paperwork were selected from,” Pelkey explained. “I was selected from our building, then all of the buildings had a representative and I was selected from all of the buildings as  the USD 232 district representative. It’s sort of like a tournament.”

Pelkey feels very humbled by becoming this year’s winner.

“I was showing Hamlet when i discovered I had won. All I was thinking was ‘Oh my gosh! I won! This is awesome!’ Then I thought about it more and it made me really look at the ways that  I teach. They asked me questions about what I do and why I do it or why I like doing it and it really made me think and I feel I definately became more of a self-reflective teacher,” Pelkey said, “I’m just very honored to be a part of this.”

Pelkey, along with Jennifer Vaughan, the elementary selection from Prairie Ridge Elementary, will now represent USD 232 in the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year program.