Chanute Elementary School educators Megan Hurford, Samantha Reinecke and Shannon Sommers have been nominated for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Hurford, a behavior specialist, was nominated by an anonymous colleague for being a positive asset to her school. She assists students with their social and emotional needs, and she builds strong relationships by using her kind rapport and compassion. 

“I’ve seen firsthand, not only how passionate Megan is about her job, but how much heart she puts into her students,” said Ashley Marple, a colleague. “Megan’s role at school was brand new, and she is doing amazing work. Chanute Elementary is lucky to have her.”

Reinecke, a third grade special education teacher, was nominated by an anonymous colleague for making a tremendous impact on the students she works with. She works very closely with general education teachers to provide her students with the individualized support needed to succeed in the general education environment. She is also an advocate for students across the building by speaking up for their needs and making decisions in their best interest.

“Samantha is one of our biggest assets at Chanute Elementary School,” said her nominator. “I know, without a doubt, she continues to change the lives of the children she serves. She impacts countless other students and staff members by being a constant example of acceptance, tolerance, and what it truly means to believe in kids.”

Sommers, a librarian, was nominated anonymously for her outstanding leadership abilities. In her current position, she oversees libraries at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She is also collaborating with the Title 1 teachers in her building to provide literacy professional development to the staff.  

“Shannon Sommers is an asset to the students and staff of Chanute Elementary School, and to USD 413 Public Schools,” said her nominator. “She has a unique ability to positively impact all students and staff. She is a true LifeChanger.”

Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in April in Florida, where the grand prize winner will be revealed.


Humboldt’s Isbell receives honor from

Columbia Scholastic Press Association

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association announced earlier this week that Humboldt High School’s Kim Isbell has been named a Distinguished Adviser.

Only four journalism teachers in the country received the award.

Isbell, who is in her 19th year of teaching, advises the print and online Cub Tracks newspaper, Cub yearbook, photography program and video productions.

The award will be presented at the CSPA annual Spring Convention in New York on March 19 at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.

Other winners were J.D. Garber of Salina, Kristin Taylor of the The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, and Carolyn Wagner, of Lake Zurich (IL).

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