By Kaleb Vining
Staff reporter

On Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m., the EdBuilders held a zoom meeting to honor the National Teacher of the Year, Tabatha Rosproy, talk about the future of their meetings and to hand out Teachers of Promise Awards to students in the education program.

The meeting was led by J.K Campbell, associate professor of education. However, Campbell quickly handed the spotlight over to Tabatha Rosproy.

Rosproy graduated from Southwestern College and is the first early childhood educator to win National Teacher of the Year. She was first selected by the Kansas Teacher of the Year in Nov. 2019 but was selected at the national level to represent as the teacher of the year.

Rosproy had nothing but great things to say about her alma mater and gave all the thanks to everyone who has supported her along the way. She had some advice for the students that attended the meeting.

“It has opened my eyes to the phenomenal educators in our state. I can’t say enough about how you should take advantage of the opportunities to connect with educators not only in your district but outside of your district,” said Rosproy.

Rosproy said that stepping out of her comfort zone has helped her as an educator and advised the students to do the same. She was excited to bring a voice to the effort that goes into early childhood education as well as social and emotional education. Rosproy was able to teach a class last semester at Southwestern, and it is a goal of hers to do more of that.

The meeting then switched gears to congratulate the two students who won the Teachers of Promise awards. Brailey McMinn, elementary education senior, was named the Elementary Teacher of Promise, and Cole Griffin, mid-level math education senior, was named the Secondary Teacher of Promise.

McMinn said that she is student teaching at an elementary school in Texas and it is going well. The school is completely virtual so it has been a challenge. McMinn said she loves it there and she knows this is exactly where she is supposed to be.

Meanwhile, Griffin is student teaching in Arkansas City. He said that while it is a hybrid learning environment amidst the pandemic, he is learning a lot and enjoying the experience.

Following the recognition of McMinn and Griffin, Campbell opened up the topic of EdBuilder officer positions. The positions available are president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Those positions should be filled no later than noon on Sept. 25.

Campbell said, “We do need new officers. The best way to do that would be to email me if you are interested in a particular position.”

The officers will be named by a vote. The ballot with the candidates’ names will be sent out through Google forms to EdBuilder members so that they can decide who they want to represent them.

The group then addressed how they should go about activities this year amid the pandemic. The meeting split off into different breakout sessions to discuss new ideas for getting together this year.

Lydia Bumgarner, education sophomore, said, “Lauren and I came up with a couple of different ideas. The first one was to use sidewalk chalk to write motivational or educational quotes on the stairs. Instead of the Trunk or Treat, we could make gift bags and take them to the library and have people drive through or take them to the schools ourselves.”

Campbell said that he thought it was a great idea. “Honestly we need to be about service-learning as well. It can’t just be about us, but what we can give back to the college and the community.”

Griffin said that for the next Zoom meeting they could come up with brain breaks for their students before the meeting and then share them to help with ideas in the classroom.

Erin Floyd, early childhood education senior, said, “We could go to the library and do a zoom session, then invite students so we could read to them.” Campbell approved of the different ideas and they will use them to come up with more activities for meetings to come.

The next EdBuilders meeting will take place next month although no date has been officially set.