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Two teacher education students honored as Teachers of Promise

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For the second year in a row, a Goessel High School graduate is one of the “Teachers of Promise” chosen by teacher education faculty at Bethel College.

Braden Unruh graduated from Bethel last May with a degree in music and is currently completing education licensure. He is a 2012 Goessel graduate.

Jaime Tschetter was Bethel’s second Teacher of Promise. All Kansas colleges and universities are allowed to choose up to two each semester. Tschetter, a 2012 graduate of Freeman (South Dakota) Academy, is finishing her degree in elementary education.

Last year, Bethel faculty picked Michelle Unruh, a 2011 Goessel graduate, as a Teacher of Promise. Her Bethel degree was in music with education licensure — and she happened to do part of her student teaching at Freeman Academy.

Both Tschetter and Unruh have been student teaching this fall. Unruh spent the first half of the semester at South Breeze Elementary in Newton and concludes the semester at Northwest High School in Wichita. Tschetter has been at Hesston Elementary, starting out in a first-grade classroom and finishing in special education.

Unruh was an active musician and conductor during his four years at Bethel, playing trumpet with the Bethel College Wind Ensemble, Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I and the Bethel College Philharmonia, and singing in the Bethel College Concert Choir and the men’s a cappella ensemble Open Road. He continues this fall with Jazz I.

He was a founding member of the Bethel College Brass Quintet and the student bluegrass band The Flannelbacks. As Walter H. Hohmann Conducting Scholar his junior and senior years, Unruh was a student conductor for the Concert Choir and directed the adult choir at Hope Mennonite Church in Wichita.

Tschetter lettered in women’s basketball and was part of an academic record-setting 2015–16 team that had 13 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes, including her. She was also a member of the Bethel College Concert Choir.

The Teachers of Promise were honored, along with the eight finalists for 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year, at the Kansas Department of Education’s annual State Awards Banquet, held Nov. 19 at the Wichita Marriott.

Twice each year, Kansas colleges and universities that offer teacher preparation programs are invited to choose one or two students identified as Teachers of Promise to participate in a specific professional learning and recognition opportunity.

Unruh and Tschetter, along with the other Teachers of Promise selected in the fall, attended a half-day workshop Nov. 19 presented by the Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) Team. Justin Coffey, the 2016 Kansas Teacher of the Year, led the team that also includes the seven state finalists (Kansas Regional Teachers of the Year) in sharing resources, strategies, lesson plans and tips.

At the banquet, Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson presented each Teacher of Promise with a framed certificate.

They also got to hear Jason Sickel, a Blue Valley North High School vocal music instructor, named the 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year. The 2017 KTOY Team will also comprise elementary and high school teachers from Junction City, Wamego, Auburn, Topeka, Overland Park, Maize and Derby.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016–17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.