Rosproy named state top teacher

Tabatha Rosproy, a preschool teacher at the Cumbernauld Little Vikes early learning classroom in Winfield, was named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year by the Department of Education.

Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson made the announcement at a gathering of 470 people Saturday during the Kansas Teacher of the Year banquet at the Marriott Hotel, according to a press release.

“It is my honor to present the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year designation to Tabatha,” Watson said. “She is a great example of the quality teachers we have in Kansas and is very deserving of this honor. Tabatha knows how important social-emotional learning is and prioritizes it in her classroom. She also is active on her building leadership team and works collaboratively with her peers.”

Rosproy was named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year from a field of eight finalists.

Desareé Groene, principal of Winfield Early Learning Center, called Rosproy a “natural born leader and an outside-the-box thinker” who “not only forms relationships with her students, but also with their families and the community.

“She was chosen for this reason to teach an intergenerational USD 465 classroom this year,” Groene said. “Administration knew she would do an excellent job in this role, but she has gone above and beyond to make this program successful.”

Rosproy began her career in 2010 as an early childhood teacher at the Heartland Programs Head Start in Salina USD 305. She became an early childhood special education teacher in 2014 at the Winfield Early Learning Center.

She works in an intergenerational classroom at Cumbernauld Village retirement community and nursing home. The program serves at-risk, special education and typically developing students.

Rosproy was not available for comment on Monday, but Retired United Methodist Bishop Bruce Blake, head of the Cumbernauld Village trustees, praised Rosproy for her “brilliance” in enabling relationships between the children in the classroom and Cumbernauld Village residents. 

One of Blake’s motivations for approving the program was the knowledge that many young children have no relationships with adults two generations older than they are, and many retirees have no regular interaction with young children.

“What we have now (at Cumbernauld Village) is an extended family,” Blake said.

USD 465 Superintendent Nathan Reed also commented on Rosproy’s honor.

“Tabatha will be an excellent advocate for Kansas educators and early childhood learning,” Reed said in press release. “We are very proud of her and know this is a reflection of the staff, students, parents and community of Winfield USD 465,” Reed said.

Rosproy is a Southwestern College alum and current adjunct instructor.  “I know Tabatha is proud to be a Builder as well as a Viking,” Reed added.

Reed thanked the USD 465 Board of Education, Cumbernauld staff and residents, and former superintendent Dr. JK Campbell for their vision of the Pre-K program “that has captivated Kansas.”

Rosproy received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood unified, with a minor in English, in 2009 from Southwestern College. She is currently working on obtaining her master’s degree in education, English as a secondary or other language, from Fort Hays State University, the press release states.

Rosproy is involved in several leadership roles and professional organizations, and has received several awards and recognition, including Winfield USD 465 Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2015.

“Through this prestigious recognition, our district and community will be on display at the state level, more than ever,” Reed said. “We will have visitors from across Kansas, wanting to know all about the positive things happening in Winfield.” 

Rosproy received a $4,000 cash award fro Security Benefit Corp., and will receive the Kansas Teacher of the Year Lifelong Learning Scholarship to attend participating universities free of charge as long as she continues teaching in Kansas, according to the release.

She also receives The Hubbard Foundation Kansas Teacher of the Year Ambassadorship, which provides funds for travel and other necessary expenses incurred by the Kansas Teacher of the Year.

Rosproy also will receive the use of a rental car from Enterprise Rent-a-Car for Kansas Teacher of the Year travel. Jostens Inc. also provides Rosproy with a Leader in Education ring.

All eight members of the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year team received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit and a red marble apple from the Master Teacher in Manhattan, the release states. 

In addition, each will receive Capturing Kids’ Hearts training from The Flippen Group, of College Station, Texas, and a one-year membership in the Kansas State Teachers of the Year organization.

Rosproy is now a candidate for National Teacher of the Year. She was not available for comment on Monday.

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