Newman alumna Angela Massie was nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year Award during a Sept. 24 USD 260 Board of Education meeting,
“My principal, Kurt Geilenfeldt, asked me to see him and he said that the district wanted to ask if I would be the Derby Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2019,” Massie said. “I was shocked and speechless.”
Massie said she teared up, telling Geilenfeldt that she could give him a mile-long list of deserving teachers before her.
“He said that many people would probably say I was deserving, so I told him how honored I was to be chosen,” she said. “I still feel overwhelmed and surprised by the decision, but extremely honored and appreciative.”
Massie is currently a reading specialist at Swaney Elementary in Derby, Kansas. She started her teaching career at Wichita parochial schools before moving to Derby, where she has taught for 13 years.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and earned her master’s in education from Newman University.
“My mom graduated from Newman years ago with her degree in elementary education, so it has always been a
Since receiving her master’s, Massie has taken on new leadership roles in her school and within her district. She attributes her new responsibilities and successes to the classes she participated in at Newman, she said.
“I am a certified academic language therapist who works with students that have dyslexia and similar learner differences,” she said. “Every day I appreciate the challenge to discover how to reach my students — whether it be through connecting with them as a person or meeting them where they are at academically.”
Another favorite aspect of Massie’s job is working in what she calls “the best environment.”
“I observe young people growing daily and get hugs, smiles and high fives galore,” she said. “Plus I grow with and through them along with my wonderful staff, who I must say helped me achieve the Derby Teacher of the Year status.”
In an article from the online Derby Informer newspaper, Massie added, “I was very honored and grateful because it was not anything I expected. With an award like this, I say it’s a team effort because I didn’t get here alone.”