Highlands Elementary Teacher Named Kansas PTA Outstanding Educator

Highlands Elementary Teacher Named Kansas PTA Outstanding Educator
Shawnee Mission School District

Marie Hooker, Highlands Elementary sixth-grade teacher, is the 2021 Kansas PTA Outstanding Educator of the Year, as named by Kansas PTA.

As a sixth-grade teacher, her areas of focus are English Language Arts and Social Studies. She was selected by Kansas PTA because of her numerous accomplishments in education, her tenacity and respect for students, along with her hard work and dedication on behalf of children.

Kansas PTA recognizes an outstanding educator each year at the Annual State PTA Convention. As defined by Kansas PTA, an outstanding educator is an “educator making significant and unique contributions in the field of education benefiting children and youth.”

Nominated by parent and Highlands Elementary PTA President, Jen Davis, Highlands Elementary PTA President nominated Hooker for the honor. Davis’s nomination describes her as a consistent force of positivity and inspiration in the classroom.

Davis included comments from a student in the nomination describing how she is empathetic and mentors students.

 “She respects us and never talks to us like we’re little kids,” the student expressed.

Marie Hooker also encourages student participation in the PTA Citizenship contest. In 2021, Highlands represented the second-highest participation levels in the district, with two advancing to win district awards.

“This kind of involvement cultivates and builds a supportive relationship between staff, students and parents,” Davis shared.