NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Two Bethel College students attended the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference earlier this month after being nominated by their education faculty.
The two are seniors Mattison Hiebner, Hampton, Nebraska, and Kyle Regier, Whitewater, who were each named a “Teacher of Promise.”
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.
Bethel seniors Jaime Tschetter, Freeman, South Dakota, and Braden Unruh, Goessel, were honored in the fall semester.
Hiebner and Regier, along with other “Teachers of Promise” from across the state, were guests of honor at the annual KEEN luncheon and spring awards program, Feb. 10 in Topeka.
The day before, they could choose three different “share sessions” on topics related to current education and teaching issues in Kansas, many led by former Kansas Teacher of the Year finalists and KTOY team members.
Hiebner played for two years with the Bethel volleyball team, while Regier is a four-year member of the men’s golf team.
Regier also played basketball for three years at Bethel and served as an assistant men’s coach, working with the junior varsity, for the 2016–17 season.
Hiebner and Regier have consistently appeared on the Dean’s List at Bethel, which recognizes the highest academic achievement. Regier was named an NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete for 2015–16.
Both were members of Teams of Character (Hiebner in volleyball, Regier in both basketball and golf), an award given by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference to recognize teams that exhibit a dedication to campus and community service.
Regier, a 2013 graduate of Remington High School in Whitewater, is completing a degree in history secondary education with student teaching at Halstead High School. Hiebner, a 2013 graduate of Heartland Community School, Henderson, Nebraska, is an elementary education/special education major and will split the semester between South Breeze Elementary School and Santa Fe 5/6 Center in Newton.
The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) developed KEEN, which comprises individuals from the Kansas Teacher of the Year program, the Milken Family Foundation educator awards program, the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, the Kansas Horizon Awards program and Nationally Board Certified Teachers.
KEEN’s mission is to build and use a network of exemplary educators as leaders in improving schools, student performance and the teaching/education profession.
Members of KEEN are invited each year to professional development opportunities that address various pertinent education issues. KEEN members also serve on various advisory and selection committees for the KSDE.
The KEEN conference theme for 2017 was “Liftoff: The Journey Begins.” Conference sessions addressed the KSDE’s new vision for Kansas education in which “Kansas leads the world in the success of each student,” with the call for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success.