In her second grade classroom at Lakeside Elementary, Ms. Ashley Snow is teaching her students about silent letters and how different letters combine to create sounds.
Snow was in the middle of doing a lesson in phonics when she received a very exciting call.
It was Dr. Randy Watson, the Kansas Commissioner of Education, letting her know she was named a winner of the Kansas Horizon Award.
"I was shocked to get the phone call from Dr. Randy Watson," she said. "It was great to hear from the Commissioner. He was very enthusiastic."
"With the help of great teachers like these, we are one step closer to meeting the vision for education in the state, which is Kansas leads the world in the success of each student," Watson said. "Kansas is lucky to have such quality teachers in its classrooms."
Snow has been a teacher at Lakeside Elementary for two years. The Kansas Horizon Award is presented to novice teachers who have performed in a distinguishing way compared to their peers.
"I wanted to be a teacher most of my life," she said. I had amazing kindergarten and first-grade teachers. They really brought learning to life and made me truly love school. From that point forward, I would play school with my sister at home and never wanted to go into any other profession."
Students drive the instruction in her classroom. Before each lesson, she asks herself 'how can I make this relevant, student-centered, and interesting?'
Her teaching style causes students to be responsible for their learning and motivated to meet objectives.
"Innovation teaches students to be lifelong learners who have the skills to collaborate with other individuals and keep up with changes happening in the world daily."
According to Principal Rhonda White, Snow's teaching style creates an environment that is full of fun and engaging participation.
"It is the combination of the learning environment, relationships formed, engaging lessons, and discoveries students make that are a direct result of how she motivates and inspires her students," White said.
"The goal with all of my instructional strategies is to provide a safe, orderly, student-centered learning environment," Snow said. "I try to provide diverse learning opportunities to inspire students to do their best and prepare them for college, the workforce, and life."
Snow will receive her award at the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network Conference being held February 15th through the 16th in Topeka.
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