SHELA Teacher Named Horizon Award Winner

SHELA Teacher Named Horizon Award Winner
Posted on 01/10/2022
Alyson Daniels Award Presentation

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) recently announced the 2022 Kansas Horizon Award recipients, including Spring Hill Learning Academy (SHELA) teacher Alyson Daniels. Daniels joined USD 230 for the 2020-21 school year, and is now in her second year of teaching.


“From her first day in the classroom, Alyson Daniels has distinguished herself as an outstanding educator,” said SHELA Director Stephanie Barnhill. “She possesses knowledge and skill beyond that of a first year teacher. Ms. Daniels fosters the love of learning in her students by creating hands-on play based learning experiences.”

Alyson Daniels BOE Meeting Recognition

32 first-year educators from Kansas are being recognized for their exemplary performance during their first year in the classroom through the 2022 Kansas Horizon Award program. Recipients of this year’s award were notified of their selection by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson.


“Each of these recipients has demonstrated their dedication to the teaching profession, and we are extremely fortunate to have them in our Kansas classrooms,” Watson said. “Outstanding educators like these help us move closer to our vision of leading the world in the success of each student.”


The Kansas Horizon Award program, sponsored by KSDE, gives all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. The program is a regional competition with four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers may be selected for the award from each region.


2022 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients

Region 1

  • Katie Buhler, West Elementary School, Wamego Unified School District 320.

  • McKenzie Heft, Council Grove Elementary School, Morris County USD 417.

  • Lindsey Kepka, Hutchinson Virtual School, Hutchinson USD 308.

  • Nicole Menard, Buhler High School, Buhler USD 313.

  • Christine Pianalto, McPherson High School, McPherson USD 418.

  • Katelyn Stoss, Plum Creek Elementary School, Buhler USD 313.

  • Jazzmyn Tolbert, Graber Elementary School, Hutchinson USD 308.

  • Thomas Tryon, Washington County High School, Washington County USD 108.

Region 2

  • Sonny Bourne, Paola Middle School, Paola USD 368.

  • Julia Gloss, Shawnee Heights Middle School, Shawnee Heights USD 450.

  • Taylor Holmer, Northern Hills Elementary School, Seaman USD 345.

  • Emma Joens, Berryton Elementary School, Shawnee Heights USD 450.

  • Amanda Schafers, Topeka High School, Topeka USD 501.

  • Ivan Torres, Washburn Rural High School, Auburn-Washburn USD 437.

  • Mellisa Wilson, Central Heights Elementary School, Central Heights USD 288.

  • Austen Witte, State Street Elementary School, Topeka USD 501.

Region 3

  • Rose Bentley, Rockville Elementary School, Louisburg USD 416.

  • Alec Cowley, Piper Creek Elementary School, Piper USD 203.

  • Alyson Daniels, Spring Hill Early Learning Academy, Spring Hill USD 230.

  • Perlita Dominguez, Frank Rushton Elementary School, Kansas City USD 500.

  • Bailey Eisenbraun, Turner Middle School, Turner USD 202.

  • Zachary Johnson, Blue Valley West High School, Blue Valley USD 229.

  • Anna Meissbach, Monticello Trails Middle School, De Soto USD 232.

  • Lauren Sage, F.L. Schlagle High School, Kansas City USD 500.

Region 4

  • Jordan Camfield, Maize South Elementary School, Maize USD 266.

  • Kassie Campidilli, Goddard High School, Goddard USD 265.

  • Emily Crawford, Northridge Elementary School, Newton USD 373.

  • Lindsay Hincher, Hesston Middle School, Hesston USD 460.

  • Madison Hines Schmoll, Andover Middle School, Andover USD 385.

  • Alexandra McDowell, McLean Science and Technology Magnet Elementary School, Wichita USD 259.

  • Kynnedy Myers, Ewalt Elementary School, Augusta USD 402.

  • Erin Williams, Smoky Valley High School, Smoky Valley USD 400.


As recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award, these educators are invited to join the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN), a state-wide network of educators who have been formally recognized for their outstanding teaching skills. Members of KEEN have an opportunity to network with other educators and participate in several professional development programs throughout the year.


For more information about the award, please visit the KSDE press release.