Mrs. Wedel with student

Sarah Wedel received confirmation from the Kansas State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, on Thursday, January 7th that she had been awarded the Kansas Horizon Award. The award is given to exceptional first-year teachers.

 The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.             

The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts. The Kansas State Department of Education appoints regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers. Wedel is one of those four elementary teachers for region 1.

Wedel’s nomination was a culmination of her outstanding teaching for the 2019-2020 school year. As a first-year teacher, Sarah distinguished herself from her fellow first-year teachers through her creative and insightful instruction. Even with the abrupt halt of in-person instruction in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs. Wedel continued to provide her students with exceptional teaching via virtual and remote learning.  

The highlight from Wedel’s nomination is the classroom that she has established. Students thrive and learn at high levels even with the continued and constant change the pandemic has placed on her and her fellow teachers. Sarah bases her instruction on love and structure which creates rich and positive relationships with her students.

Mrs. Wedel’s nomination and receipt of the award is proof of USD 405’s commitment to the Lyons community that they hire only the best teachers. Principal John Cannon commented on Wedel’s achievement, “I am so proud of Sarah. Her love of teaching and her students is evident in the way she teaches. She is so deserving of the award and I am excited to see how she will grow as an educator. The future is bright for Mrs. Wedel.”

Wedel, a Baltimore, Maryland native, teaches first grade at Park Elementary. She is in her second year of teaching. She is married to her husband Tim and is the mother of two boys, Remington, 4, and River, 2. She has a bachelors degree from Friends University and a masters degree from McPherson College.