A new pair of signs honoring 2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy will greet visitors coming into Winfield.
The signs, which feature a picture of Rosproy and the words “Welcome to Winfield, Home of Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year,” are on U.S. 160 near the east and west entrances into Winfield. The signs are a partnership between USD 465, the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Winfield, and Winfield Convention and Tourism.
Rosproy, a preschool teacher with USD 465, was announced as the 2020 National Teacher of the Year in May by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Rosproy teaches the Little Vikes preschool class, which had been held at Cumbernauld Village but is being temporarily moved to the Winfield Early Learning Center due to COVID-19.
Sarah Werner, CEO of the Winfield Chamber, said the signs have been in the works since shortly after Rosproy’s award was announced. The idea came about when she and USD 465 Superintendent Nathan Reed were discussing ways to honor Rosproy for her achievement, Werner said. The City of Winfield had two sign unused sign holders and was on board with using them to honor Rosproy, said Werner. The signs were designed by Rosproy’s friend Kaydee Riggs-Johnson and made by Cardinal Sign in Winfield.
Werner said announcing to visitors that they are entering the hometown of the 2020 National Teacher of the Year felt like a fitting honor.
“It’s something to brag about,” she said about Rosproy’s award. “It’s also a good selling point for the community, and could make people interested in moving here.”
Rosproy told the CourierTraveler she had heard there was an effort under way to recognize her in this way, but she didn’t see the signs for the first time until she received a text message with a picture from Werner on Wednesday. She took a selfie in front of one of the signs, then went back later with Werner for another photograph, which was posted to the Chamber’s Facebook page.
“I was so surprised and honored,” Rosproy said. “It makes me feel like my hometown is super proud of me and is behind me, even when I have to be away.”
Rosproy said her year-long tenure as National Teacher of the Year will include around 150 speaking engagements. Most of these have become virtual due to COVID-19, she said. She has also done some traveling within the state of Kansas, and will continue to do so as long as safety measures are in place.
The signs were an especially pleasant surprise because this time of year is very stressful for teachers, Rosproy said. Currently, among other things, she is helping her classroom substitute prepare for the upcoming school year.
Rosproy said she is thankful for the signs’ sponsors and is proud to be from Winfield.