Tabatha Rosproy, a preschool teacher at Winfield Early Learning Center, Winfield Unified School District 465, was named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year on Saturday, Nov. 23, during a special ceremony in Wichita.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson made the announcement at a gathering of 470 people during the Kansas Teacher of the Year Banquet at the Marriott Hotel, 9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive, in Wichita.
“It is my honor to present the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year designation to Tabatha,” Watson said. “She is a great example of the quality teachers we have in Kansas and is very deserving of this honor. Tabatha knows how important social-emotional learning is and prioritizes it in her classroom. She also is active on her building leadership team and works collaboratively with her peers. I want to wish Tabatha and the members of the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year team success as they represent Kansas education in the coming year.”
Rosproy was named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year from a field of eight finalists.
Throughout the coming year, all of the finalists will work as a team to advocate for education and teaching.
Selected from a pool of more than 130 nominations, the other 2020 finalists are Stefanie M. Lane, a fourth-grade mathematics and English language arts teacher at Garfield Elementary School (Clay County USD 379); Shawn Hornung, a social studies teacher at Wamego High School (Wamego USD 320); Julie Loevenstein, a fourth-grade teacher at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School (Basehor-Linwood USD 458); Lara K. McDonald, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Washburn Rural Middle School (Auburn-Washburn USD 437); Melissa K. Molteni, a second-grade teacher at Corinth Elementary School (Shawnee Mission USD 512); Amy R. Hillman, a sixth- and eighth-grade project-based learning teacher at Santa Fe Trail Middle School (Olathe USD 233); and Kara E. Belew, an 11th- and 12th-grade social studies teacher at Andover Central High School (Andover USD 385).
Rosproy began her career as an early childhood teacher at the Heartland Programs Head Start in Salina, Salina USD 305, in 2010. She became an early childhood special education teacher at the Winfield Early Learning Center in 2014. She works in an intergenerational classroom at a Winfield retirement village and nursing home. The program serves at-risk, special education and typically developing students.
Rosproy received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood unified, with a minor in English, in 2009 from Southwestern College. She is currently working on obtaining her master’s degree in education, English as a secondary or other language, from Fort Hays State University.
Rosproy is involved in several leadership roles and professional organizations, and she has received several awards and recognition, including Winfield USD 465 Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2015.
Desaree’ Groene, principal of Winfield Early Learning Center and Country View Elementary School, Winfield USD 465, called Rosproy a “natural born leader and an outside-the-box thinker” who “not only forms relationships with her students, but also with their families and the community.”
“She was chosen for this reason to teach an intergenerational USD 465 classroom at a retirement village this year,” Groene said. “Administration knew she would do an excellent job in this role, but she has gone above and beyond to make this program successful.”
Kurt Auleta, senior vice president of distribution and sales operations for Security Benefit Corp., presented Rosproy with a $4,000 cash award.
In addition, Rosproy will receive the Kansas Teacher of the Year Lifelong Learning Scholarship to attend participating universities free of charge as long as she continues teaching in Kansas, and The Hubbard Foundation Kansas Teacher of the Year Ambassadorship. The ambassadorship provides funds for travel and other necessary expenses incurred by the Kansas Teacher of the Year.
Rosproy also will receive the use of a rental car from Enterprise Rent-a-Car for Kansas Teacher of the Year travel. Jostens Inc. also provides Rosproy with a Leader in Education ring.
All eight members of the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year team received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit and a red marble apple from the Master Teacher in Manhattan. In addition, each will receive Capturing Kids’ Hearts training from The Flippen Group, of College Station, Texas, and a one-year membership in the Kansas State Teachers of the Year organization.
The Teacher of the Year program has state and national competitions. The national program, presented by Voya Financial, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Kansas program is sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education.
Rosproy is now a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.