Scotty Twombly Hanf

A Hiawatha teacher is among 32 first-year educators from Kansas who are being recognized for their outstanding teaching skills through the 2020 Kansas Horizon Award program.

The 2020 Kansas Horizon Award recipients were announced Jan. 7 by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Among them was Hiawatha Elementary School instructor Scotti Twombly Hanf, second grade instructor who started with USD 415 with the 2018-19 academic year.

Hanf is a graduate of Doniphan West High School and graduated from Kansas State University in May 2018. She started with USD 415 Hiawatha schools in the fall of 2018 and said she is very honored to receive the award.

“During my first year of teaching I had amazing people supporting me and helping me along the way,” she said.” I couldn’t have asked for a better first year teaching experience than the one I received from everyone at USD 415!”

Principal Paul Carver said he is excited by the honor for Mrs. Hanf.The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.

The Kansas State Department of Education appoints regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.

Carver said the possible 32 teachers, four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers from each region will be individually recognized during a luncheon at the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) conference in Topeka on Feb. 14, 2020. Also, they will be invited to participate as special guests in the two-day KEEN conference.

“We are blessed to have many great educators in our school and excited to recognize the talents and hard work that Mrs. Hanf shows daily,” Carver said.

Superintendent Lonnie Moser said it’s always exciting to have one of Hiawatha’s deserving professionals receive statewide recognition.

“She is certainly deserving and USD 415 is fortunate to have her as a colleague,” Moser said.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, sponsored by KSDE, allows all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. To be eligible for the award, teachers must have successfully completed their first year of teaching and have performed in such a way as to distinguish themselves as outstanding.

The program is a regional competition with four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers may be selected for the award from each region.

Recipients of the 2020 Kansas Horizon Award were notified of their selection by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson.

“We are fortunate to have such quality teachers in classrooms across Kansas,” Watson said. “I want to congratulate these first-year educators. It is because of them that we move closer to our vision of leading the world in the success of each student.”

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