EMS Teacher Nominated for State Award

Dec 14, 2016 | District News Release

Christy Dragonas Will Represent Emporia in KTOY Program

Christy Dragonas, left, and Joann McRell, EMS colleague and 2016 Emporia Master Teacher

Christy Dragonas, left, and Joann McRell, EMS colleague and 2016 Emporia Master Teacher

Emporia Middle School teacher Christy Dragonas has been selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year secondary nominee for the Emporia schools.

Dragonas is a sixth grade language arts teacher at EMS, where she has taught since 2011. She has been a teacher in the Emporia schools for 21 years. She taught fifth grade at Lowther North Intermediate School and William Allen White until moving to sixth grade.

She has been a lead teacher at EMS and a member of Building Leadership Teams at EMS and W.A. White. She has a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and an English as a Second Language certification. She is currently working on a master’s degree in school counseling at ESU.

In her philosophy of education, she writes, “Teachers must create a safe, trusting, and caring environment while serving as an advocate for all students.  Flip Flippen states, ‘If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.’  I strive to become familiar with each of my students on an individual basis and use that knowledge to enhance the learning experience in my classroom.”

Dragonas said she has spent much of her career working with students who have special needs and students whose first language is not English. She also has used personal experiences with family members to relate to the individual needs of each student.

 “Building relationships with students is one of the most important components of my profession. Creating a safe and trusting atmosphere is crucial, while making sure students feel supported when taking risks, even when not successful,” she said.

The Kansas Teacher of the Year Program recognizes teachers who serve as leaders in the profession across the state. Nominees are full-time classroom teachers who have completed at least five years in the classroom. Each district may nominate two teachers, one from the elementary (K-8) level and one from the secondary level.

Laura Evins, a preschool teacher at Maynard Early Childhood Center, was named the elementary KTOY nominee for Emporia earlier this week.

Teachers nominated for KTOY awards become part of a team of teachers who represent excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.  Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.

The Kansas Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education. Regional semifinalists will be announced in each of the four Congressional districts next fall. The 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year will be named in November 2017.

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