Wal-Mart has named a Wichita educator as Teacher of the Year for Kansas.
Sandra Peer, a former mathematics teacher at Wichita High School Northwest and now an instructor at Wichita State University, received the honor in the 12th annual Wal-Mart and Sam's Club State Teacher of Year program.
Wichita High School Northwest received a $10,000 educational grant in Peer's honor during an all-school homecoming assembly on Thursday.
Members of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional education association and a partner in the Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Teacher of the Year program, reviewed more than 1,000 applications nationwide to select the state winners.
"This award is to recognize those teachers who go the extra mile for their students and instill a love of learning long after graduation," said Mike Potter, manager of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at NewMarket Square in Wichita. "The associates at our store honored Ms. Peer as a local Teacher of the Year winner in May, and we are so proud that she is being recognized as a state winner."
Peer and all of the state winners will now automatically be considered for the national Teacher of the Year award which will be announced later this fall. The national winner will receive an additional $25,000 for his or her school.
"The three attributes that distinguish her as a teacher are her passion, commitment and skill," said Jim McNiece, Wichita High School Northwest principal. "She has been an inspiration to teachers and is responsible for many a student choosing the teaching field as a career choice."
Peer was honored as a Local Teacher of the Year winner in May, and at that time she received a $1,000 grant for Wichita High School Northwest from Wal-Mart.
Peer, who has 32 years of teaching experience, says she continues to be fascinated about the learning process, especially in the teenage brain and specifically in the area of mathematics. "The challenge is to find authentic reasons for each student to learn mathematics," explained Peer in her Teacher of the Year application. "That requires me to know my students well."