South teacher recognized for exemplary work during first year

Blake Smith, science, collects homework from students for Freshman General Science on Jan 17. Smith was awarded Kansas Horizon Award for being an outstanding first-year teacher. Photo by G. Buckner

Blake Smith, science, collects homework from students for Freshman General Science on Jan 17. Smith was awarded Kansas Horizon Award for being an outstanding first-year teacher. Photo by G. Buckner

by Taylor Mitchell

During a surprise phone call Jan. 17 Blake Smith, science, received news that he is one of 31 winners of the 2012 Kansas Horizon Award for his commendable work as a first year teacher during the 2010-2011 school year.

“I feel honored [to win the Kansas Horizon Award], it’s been great working with such supportive teachers and staff over the past two years,” Smith said.

Winning the Kansas Horizon Award not only recognizes Smith as an exemplary teacher but also Maize as a creditable district.

“My first thought when I found out that I had won was that I’m super excited, and that it’s a great honor for me and the district,” Smith said.

Along with the 31 other praiseworthy first year teachers, Smith will be honored at the Kansas Exemplary Educator Conference this coming February.

“It [teaching] has been a challenging but rewarding experience,” Smith said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Blake Smith, science, collects homework from students for Freshman General Science on Jan 17. Smith was awarded Kansas Horizon Award for being an outstanding first-year teacher. Photo by G. Buckner