Teachers of the Month

2019-2020 Teacher of the Month

May Lindsey Sellers
April Jane Bradbury
March Ernest Ballenger
February Amanda Tackett
January Amy Wagner
December Melanie Hammond
November Leah Dykas
October Jamie Smith
September Dawn Sheforgen

 

Lindsey Sellers

South High School’s Teacher of the Month is Lindsey Sellers. She has been teaching for 15 years and has been at South High for 14 years where she is a school counselor. Lindsey says having the privilege to work with youth is one of the greatest opportunities that she could be given and working with students on a daily basis is a dream come true. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is working with students and their families as a team to accomplish their educational goals, which essentially is high school graduation. She says being on the journey and watching students grow is a wonderful experience. Her message to parents and the community is "The enemy of progress is the demand for perfection!" As long as you are willing to take the first step to start you will far exceed what you think you can accomplish.


 

Jane Bradbury

South High School’s Teacher of the Month is Jane Bradbury. She has been teaching a total of 11 years at South High where she teaches Earth Space Science and Culinary Essentials. Jane says she was inspired to choose teaching as her profession when a mentor pulled her aside and stated "We need teachers like you". Jane says she enjoys the outstanding teachers, administrators and support staff at South High. The part of teaching she enjoys the most are her students and the relationship that will last all 4 years at South High. Jane asks the community to be as involved as you can with your child's education by asking them about their day and communicate with their teachers. Teach your children to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and do the right thing even when no one is looking.


 

Ernest Ballenger

South High School’s Teacher of the Month is Ernest Ballenger. He has been teaching a total of 11 years with all of those at South High where he teaches math. Ernest says he chose teaching as his profession because he was always a big fan of math. He says his greatest inspiration was his high school English teacher and basketball coach. Ernest says he has enjoyed being able to teach all levels of math and having the opportunity to coach sports while at South High. The part of teaching he enjoys the most is helping the students realize they can be good at math and being a mentor to students. Ernest says he would like to thank the parents and the community for the opportunity to work with their children.


 

Amanda Tackett

South High School’s Teacher of the Month is Amanda Tackett. She has been teaching 12 years and this is her first year at Salina South where she teaches English. Amanda says she chose teaching as her profession because being in education is what she always wanted to do. Her inspirations were her dance instructors and her high school English teacher, Keith Miller. Amanda says her favorite part of teaching is being involved with the newspaper, yearbook, debate/forensics and band. She says her favorite part of teaching is building quality relationships with her students. Amanda says even though she is new to the Salina area, she is excited to get involved not only in the school but the community as well.


 

Amy Wagner

South High School’s January 2020 Teacher of the Month is Amy Wagner. She has taught a total of 17 years at the elementary level and is starting her fifth year as a high school counselor. Amy says she chose teaching as her profession because she wanted to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment where her students could learn new skills and improve their confidence levels. Amy says she enjoyed teaching reading because it was in her comfort zone. She also taught 2nd and 3rd grade math toward the end of her teaching career. She says teaching math was out of her comfort zone but it was the most rewarding professionally. Amy says the best of part of teaching is challenging students academically. She would like to thank all the parents for trusting her with their children.


 

Jamie Smith

South High School’s December 2019 Teacher of the Month is Melanie Hammond. She has been teaching a total of 19 years with all of them being at South High where she teaches chemistry and physical science. Melanie says this is her second career and her first career was as an x-ray technician training students to become technicians. The joy that comes from showing someone something they didn't know and watching them master those skills made her realize that this was her true passion. As one of the Stuco sponsors, Melanie gets to be involved in a lot of community service projects and she appreciates how generous the students and faculty are when they are collecting items for community needs. Melanie says her favorite part of teaching is building relationships with her students. Her message to parents and the community is that teaching is not an easy job and teachers choose this path because they are passionate about what they do and they care about their students.


 

Jamie Smith

South High School’s November 2019 Teacher of the Month is Leah Dykas. She has been teaching a total of 8 years with all of them being at South High where she teaches social studies. Leah says she chose teaching after realizing that pharmacy wasn't her passion like she thought it was. Since she enjoys learning about the past, going to museums and telling people what she has learned, she realized she could make a career out of teaching others. Leah says she enjoys getting to know her students and helping them find what interests them. She also likes challenging herself to learn new information and enjoys her relationships with her co-workers. Leah would like to tell parents to be involved in anyway they can with their student because it means more than they know.


 

Jamie Smith

South High School’s October 2019 Teacher of the Month is Jamie Smith. She has been teaching for 5 years and this is her first year at South High where she teaches Spanish Level 1. Jamie says she chose teaching as her profession because she loves learning languages, helping people and making a positive impact on students. Jamie says she has formed many positive connections at South High and the teachers are amazing. She also says having an open and supportive dialogue with administration and colleagues really makes working at South High a positive experience. Jamie’s favorite part of teaching is building a rapport with the students because they help her to be a better teacher as well as keeping her days interesting. Jamie’s message to parents and the community is thank you so much for your help. Without the support of the community and parents, teaching would not be the same.


 

Dawn Sheforgen

South High School’s September 2019 Teacher of the Month is Dawn Sheforgen. She teaches 9th and 10th grade English.  She has taught for 14 years, all of which have been at South High.
Mrs. Sheforgen didn’t originally plan to be a teacher, but after teaching swim lessons many years, she realized that she loved seeing kids have ‘Aha’ moments and begin to do a skill on their own. This same joy comes now in the classroom. She loves seeing students work hard to master a challenging skill and then realize they can now do it independently.
For Mrs. Sheforgen, the best part of school is connecting with different students and staff on a daily basis.  The relationships she has made throughout her career are very fulfilling.
The message she would like to tell parents and/or the community is that success in high school (and life) starts at birth.  Love on your kids, even when they think they are too cool, and start reading to them every night from infancy.