Kala Blochlinger, 4th grade teacher at North School Elementary in Goodland has been awarded the state of Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year. The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics — for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment — can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Winners receive:
- A $1,000 award for professional development expenses.
- A $1,000 award for his/her school.
- Two award plaques: one for the teacher, the other for his/her school.
- An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference to receive their award.
Kala was nominated by Lowell Coleman Post 1133 and its Auxiliary for her work with the Veterans Day Breakfast at North School. Kala has demonstrated patriotism, leadership and a great concern for veterans. Her students have been seen at local parades and ball games displaying proper flag etiquette and they have made table decorations for the Run for the Wall dinner hosted in Goodland as well as doing things for veterans in the nursing homes.
When asked why she felt completed to make time in her school curricula for these activities, she responded; “I actually had three uncles in the service. One was chosen to escort President Kennedy’s body back to Washington, D.C. I think it is important for the students to understand that soldiers fought for our freedoms and our independence and the sacrifices they make/made.”
Mrs. Blochlinger’s entry will now be advanced to the national level.