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University Relations

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August 26, 2005
Contact: Barbara Menke, KU School of Education, (785) 864-9979

KU School of Education honors 1,068 for teaching 25 years or more

LAWRENCE- The University of Kansas School of Education has announced the names of 1,068 Kansas teachers being recognized in its annual program to honor educators who have 25 years or more of teaching service. The 2005 honorees represent 171 of the 301 unified school districts and three of the 18 interlocal districts in 90 of the 105 Kansas counties.

" As an educator for nearly thirty years and father of three children, I know how teachers touch the lives of our youth," said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the KU School of Education. "These teachers have had a significant impact on children across Kansas, and we all should respect the dedication and work of these professionals. I hope that the great people of Kansas will honor the teachers in their communities for their commitment to the lives of our children."

Of the teachers recognized, 98 have taught 30 to 35 years and 23 have taught 36 years or more. Four have taught 40 years or more, including Robert Hart, Leavenworth USD 453 biological sciences teacher, 40 years; Donald Streit, Dodge City USD 443 middle school librarian; 41 years; and Barbara Swedberg, Maize USD 266 fourth grade teacher at Maize Central Elementary School, 45 years.

One of the four, Richard J. Whelan, special education consultant for Blue Valley USD 229 in Overland Park, has been an educator for 50 years. After completing his bachelor's degree in education at Washburn University, he became an elementary and secondary teacher and director of education at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka. Later he joined the KU Medical Center staff where he taught in the state's first demonstration classroom for emotionally disturbed children while completing his KU doctorate in special education.

He was named in 1968 as Ralph L. Smith distinguished professor of child development at KU and held appointments on both the KU Lawrence Campus and at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. He was chairman of the KU special education department twice, from 1966 to 1972 and from 1983 to 1988, and he was acting dean of the KU School of Education from 1992 to 1994. From 1972 to 1974 he was on leave from the university to direct a major program in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington, D.C.

For the teacher recognition, KU's School of Education sends questionnaires to Kansas public school districts to obtain names of educators who should receive recognition. Certificates are issued based on responses from individual districts statewide; some school districts do not participate in the recognition program.

Teachers who received certificates are listed by name online by district home county, district town location, district name and USD or interlocal number, total years taught and years taught in Kansas based on information furnished by their school districts.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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