Of the ten educators selected to be in the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, two of them are from Wellington - Barbara White and Connie Frederking.
To be chosen for the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame (KTHOF), a teacher has to have taught for at least 25 years. The committee selecting the teachers base their decisions on such things as that teacher’s evidence of outstanding teaching, positive interactions with students and parents and qualities that set them apart from other teachers.
Since its inception in 1977, there have been 429 exemplary educators inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020 will be the 44th class to be inducted into the KTHOF. A luncheon will be held in their honor, followed by the induction ceremony on Saturday, June 6 at Dodge City High School.
“I feel humbled and honored,” said White, who taught for 38 years
White taught from 1980 to 2018 - 15 years in Belle Plaine and 23 years in Washington Elementary in Wellington. She taught kindergarten, first and third grades and gifted classes.
“The students were the best part,” White said. “They gave me much joy. I loved everything about teaching. I love to learn, myself, so I loved to share that love with students.”
White’s mother was a teacher and she has a daughter who is a teacher in Belle Plaine.
“I felt called,” she said. “I view teaching as a vocation.”
Frederking is in her final year of a 43 year teaching career. She began teaching in 1977 and has been with Wellington schools since 1987. For the past 30 years, she has been teaching special education at Lincoln Elementary.
Being named to the KTHOF is “quite an honor,” Frederking said. “It’s a nice way to end a career.”
Frederking worked as a speech pathologist in schools before pursuing her master’s in education.
“I think you have to have fun,” she said. “You have to have a lot of empathy and enjoy kids and you have to love working with people because there’s a lot of people who work with kids.”
In her final quarter of teaching, the COVID-19 virus has forced Frederking to adapt to teaching students remotely and online.
“I never expected I would end my teaching career like this without the kids,” she said.