Newman alumnus Kris Moore has been nominated for the 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year award.
Moore works at Dodge City High School as a residential carpentry instructor. He has been highly successful in the classroom and focuses strongly on student engagement. He strives to help his students see they are a part of something bigger.
Moore said, “To be nominated for doing something positive for students by my peers is a huge honor. I belong to a group of great educators.”
He grew up in Dodge City and attended Fort Hays State University where he graduated in 2003 with his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and obtained a vocational technology education endorsement. He received his master’s degree at the Newman University Dodge City outreach center in 2007.
Moore was the first in his family to attend college. “I have always been driven to take things further in a positive way and I wanted to make my family proud. They have always been supportive of what I am involved in,” he said.
When deciding what to study at college, Moore had to choose between two things he loved: teaching and construction.
“I loved both,” he explained, “but I decided to go into education because I enjoy working and helping others achieve goals.”
While in college, Moore found a way to marry his two passions. His teaching degree and vocational technology education endorsement paired well together. Although he started his career in an elementary school classroom, he has been in his current position at Dodge City High School since 2007.
As for deciding to get his master’s, Moore said, “I wanted to continue to the next level in my career.” The Newman outreach center in Dodge City proved to be a convenient, local place for Moore to further his education.
To be nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year, teachers must meet certain requirements. Some of those requirements include at least five years of classroom teaching, being active in the community and school, dedication to their students and more.
In his classroom, Moore provides students with a 100 percent project-based learning environment. Moore tasks his students with a rather large project each year: Students build a 1,850-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home with a full basement from the ground up. The homes sell for more than $200,000 and are always sold within hours of being listed.
“Our program gives a student over 800 hours of real-life, hands-on construction experience, three construction certifications and a certificate to continue their education with Pittsburg State University in a construction degree. Most of all, students belong to something bigger,” said Moore.
Moore also offers dual credit courses from Dodge City Community College construction technologies for students.
Teaching is truly a passion for Moore. He enjoys seeing his students succeed in the classroom and beyond. He fills with pride seeing his former students making a difference out in the community.
He said, “I have witnessed the impact educators have on students’ futures.”
As for Moore’s role in the community, he is involved in numerous clubs and organizations. After 14 years with USD 443, he is highly involved in the school as well. He fills the role of department head of construction pathway at Dodge City High School, is a part of the Building Leadership Team, Skills USA, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and more.
Kansas Teacher of the Year nominees must go through a long process, moving through local, regional and state levels, before a winner is named in November 2018.
Until then, Moore will work on the portfolio of his program to present to the panel of judges and work on his goals for the future.
His sights are set high — he is always looking for ways to improve his classroom. “One objective we are currently working on is getting community and parent involvement, and so far our ideas have been a huge success.”