Some of our master teachers on our annual retreat.
Theresa Basadre: Theresa has been teaching for 26 years, 13 years in a Catholic private school and 13 years at Wichita Public Schools. She currently teaches Pre-calculus, Trigonometry, and Algebra 3 (college Algebra) at Heights High School and is a dual credit instructor for Friends University and Newman University. She graduated with a Bachelor in Science in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics, has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Friends University and 48 hours toward her Master of Arts in Mathematics. She is a doctoral candidate at Baker University studying Educational Leadership. Her passions includes teaching math, traveling with her family and playing tennis.
Carla Breckenridge: Carla Breckenridge’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Texas Southern University; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Wichita State University; and a Master of Science degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Newman University. For the past 13 years, she has taught, third, second, and fifth grade students with the Wichita Public Schools. She is currently a fifth grade teacher at Buckner Performing Arts & Science Magnet Elementary School. She has also taught and worked with high school students at Wichita State University’s Upward Bound summer program. Carla finds it gratifying to watch students learn, grow and persevere as they develop into self-confident young people who are able to work through their personal challenges.
Kristine Bruner: Kristine has worked in the Wichita Public Schools for 23 years. She teaches 7th and 8th grade math at Allison Traditional Magnet. She received her bachelor’s degree from Newman University and master’s degree from Baker University. She has been a part of the Kansas Strong team for 4 years. She teaches Crude Facts and Core Math workshops and enjoys collaborating with teachers from all over the state of Kansas. I have two grown children, a grandson, and a granddaughter. In my spare time, I enjoy remodeling houses and traveling.
Scott Capes: Scott currently is a lecturer in the Physical Sciences Department at Emporia State University. He is a retired public school teacher with 29 years in the classroom teaching chemistry, physics, physical science, earth science, technology education as well as computer science. His last 15 years of teaching were at Emporia High School. He has a BSE in chemistry and physics from Emporia State University as well as a Master of Science in Physical Science with an emphasis in chemistry and earth science also from ESU. Scott currently serves on the board of directors for the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science where he is a past president. He is also a past president of the Kansas Earth Science Teachers’ Association and a member of the National Science Teachers’ Association.
Nancy Koontz: Nancy is a third grade school teacher at Earhart Environmental Magnet school. She has been employed by the USD259 school district for 24 years, with 19 of those years teaching at Earhart. In addition to her teaching position, Nancy has been a master teacher for Kansas Strong over the last 10 years and helped co-write the current Drillers curriculum designed for K-2 students.
Marilyn McComber: Marilyn is a retired science educator with 36 years of experience in public schools in Kansas and Texas. Teaching assignments included grades 7 through college in the areas of physical science, chemistry, biology environmental science and earth science. She has additional experience in the Peace Corps in Belize, Central America. Marilyn’s accomplishments included: National Board Certification in Earth Science, Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the Year, ESU Kansas Master Teacher, NASA Exceptional Teacher, Paul Brandwein Fellow, Kansas Strong Master Teacher, and Kansas Teacher of the Year District Award.
Sharon McDonald: Sharon has a BS degree in mathematics from Colorado State University and has taught 7th – 12th math courses in public schools in Kansas including college algebra classes for several local junior colleges for 35 years. An MS degree in physical science from Fort Hays State University enabled her to teach physics, chemistry and physical science for the past 25 years. She retired 5 years ago but has continued to teach these courses in area schools where the need for teachers in these subjects is always open. She is a member of the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science (KATS) where she has served on the board for 8 years and been president for 2 years.
Becky Moeder: Becky has worked in her hometown of Derby for about 20 years, and has been working with Kansas Strong since 2010. She teaches gifted and enrichment services for students in grades K-5, and currently works as a Special Services Coordinator for Derby Public Schools. She has traveled throughout the state, touring neighboring districts, networking and building new relationships as a Kansas Teacher of the Year representative for her district. She serves with a Masters in Special Education from Wichita State University & a Building Leadership Endorsement from Fort Hays State University. She enjoys sharing personal stories and real life events presenting the Kansas Strong materials both to other educators and to students. She states, “I am honored to represent Kansas Strong and am grateful for the opportunity to educate others in an effort to promote the critical role this industry plays. I am thankful for the Kansas Independent Oil and Natural Gas Producers, and the Kansas Oil and Gas Resource Fund for their support, guidance and direction.
Shirley Rose: Shirley has been with Kansas Strong for a several years now. Her teaching experience is at the middle school level, with some experience at the elementary and college level. She currently teachs STEM (K-8), at Christa McAuliffe Academy, a Wichita Public School. She also teaches a physical science course for pre-service elementary educators at Wichita State University. She is a former KATS (Kansas Association of Teachers of Science), Executive Board member. Over the years, she has also given many presentations on various science topics/lessons. Her Bachelor of Arts, Education and my Masters in Education, Administration comes from Wichita State University. She has been an educator for over 30 years.
Dr. Brent Wolf: Brent is a 6th Grade English teacher in Derby, KS. He’s embarking on his 16th year as an educator. Previously, he had taught 3rd-8th grades in Winfield, KS and served as an Instructional Technology Specialist with USD 465. In July of 2015, he started serving as a Board of Education member for the Winfield USD 465 school district. He currently teaches at Cowley County Community College (Comp 2), Baker University (Business Writing), Southwestern College (Educational Technology), and Wichita State University (Education). He received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Southwestern College with a minor in Leadership Studies in 2003. In 2007, he completed a MA Ed. from Baker University. His doctorate in Educational Administration (from Kansas State University and Southwestern College) was completed in the summer of 2015.
Education Consultants Bios:
Dr. J. Michelle Vann: Michelle received an Associates of Arts in Education degree from Butler County Community College. She continued at Newman University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Michelle commenced her career with the Wichita Public Schools, teaching various grade levels and serving in various roles for almost 20 years. Her tenure with the Wichita Public Schools provided her many opportunities to impact both probationary teachers and young people alike. While teaching Michelle was able to obtain her Masters in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in History. Michelle retired from USD-259 in 2015. Right after her retirement, Michelle obtained her Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Faith Bible College Kansas City, Mo with and emphasis in Education. Michelle serves as an Educational Consultant with Kansas Strong, Adjunct Professor at Tabor College, and the Dual Credit Coordinator at Friends University.
Amy Steadman: Amy currently educates in Derby as a Gifted Facilitator for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and is on her 14th year of teaching, with 3 of these years being spent in 3rd grade. Amy graduated from Wichita State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Special Education: Gifted. She received her certificate for Building Leadership from Fort Hays State University. With Kansas Strong from the beginning, Amy has been trained in many of the Kansas Strong curriculum, has taught Fossil Fuels, Exploration, and Petro Active to other educators in our Energy Workshops, and currently serves as an Educational Consultant and Master Teacher. Amy was awarded the Derby National Education Association Teacher of the Year for Middle Level and the Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative Award of Excellence, the Air Force Association Chapter Teacher of the Year, AFA State Teacher of the Year, KAKE Golden Apple recipient. In the fall of 2018, she also received her district’s “I Make a Difference” award.
100 S. Main
Wichita, Kansas 67202