Two teachers from McPherson School District were honored by the state this year for excellent first years of teaching.

Two teachers from McPherson School District were honored by the state this year for excellent first years of teaching.
Katrina Goscha, a freshman English teacher at McPherson High School, and Robyn Myers, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, both received the Horizon Award. This award is given annually to 32 new teachers in Kansas who displayed excellent teaching skills.
Every district in Kansas is allowed to nominate two teachers every year. This is the second consecutive year in which both of McPherson's nominees received the award.
Goscha said her interest in teaching began her senior year of high school with her own English teacher. She said the more she learned about teaching, the more she liked it.
“After I took my first teaching class in college, I fell in love,” she said.
Goscha said her teaching philosophy centers on student success. She tries to tailor assignments and activities to her students’ needs and also make learning fun.
“I want to give every kid the chance to be successful in my class,” Goscha said. “They have to take the class, so they might as well have fun with it.”
Goscha said she was surprised when she found out she had been nominated for the award.
“I’d heard about the award, but I never considered I’d be nominated for it,” she said.
She said her students were excited for her.
“I spend a lot of time celebrating them, so it was cool for them to be on the other end,” she said.
She said she was even more surprised when she won. She said she feels lucky to work in a district that’s so supportive of new teachers.
“I was in complete shock, and I think I still am. I have to live up to that status,” Goscha said. “I came in with a group of about 20 new teachers, and they’re all phenomenal. The district could have picked anyone, and we still would have won.”
Myers said she was surprised to be nominated as well.
“Administrators saw something in me that wasn’t like a normal teacher, and they nominated me,” Myers said.
Myers said the process of applying for the award included written statements about parent communication and teaching methods as well as letters of recommendation from fellow teachers.
“It was really awesome to see how other teachers think of you,” Myers said. “The first year of teaching is hard. You forget all the good things you do because you’re worried about what to do next.”
Myers said her teaching philosophy revolves around applying learning to real-world situations and helping students be good citizens and set goals.
“I try to make learning as real as possible, whether that’s interactive things or relating to thing in the real world,” Myers said. “It’s really cool when you have a kid write that they made their goal.”
Myers said she’s particularly passionate about reading and tries to make reading fun through creative book report projects and guest book presenters.
“Kids look at reading as an assignment, and I don’t want it to be like that,” Myers said. “The more they see adults read, the more they realize that’s something cool.”
Goscha and Myers were recognized at the Jan. 13 school board meeting for their accomplishments.