Two seniors Erin Buster, Wichita, and Brian Oliveras, Derby, have been recognized as “Teachers of Promise.”

Jackie Glasgow, coordinator of student teaching at Southwestern, said each year Kansas colleges and universities with teacher education programs are invited to name two individuals to be recognized as “Teachers of Promise.” These individuals will be honored at a Nov. 23 banquet in Wichita.

“In this selection process, the teacher education program faculty of SC typically considers individuals who are presently in their student teaching semester through both the campus and professional studies cohorts. With the continued growth of our program, the pool of potential candidates continues to grow, making the final selection challenging,” Glasgow said.

Buster is the daughter of Terry and Gina Buster, Wichita.

“Southwestern has had a great influence toward my success,” Buster said.  “The family-like atmosphere has created a foundation of support from students and faculty to push me to be the best I can be. After student teaching I plan on being a substitute in the district and applying for jobs within the Wichita district.”

Oliveras and his wife, Sawinee, have three children and live in Manhattan.  He is the son of Pedro and Marti Oliveras and the late Kristina Oliveras.

“My journey as a teacher was an unconventional one that began in 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand,” Oliveras said.  “Aside from a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a six-week training course in teaching English as a foreign language, I had absolutely no professional training as an educator. Most of what I learned in my development as a teacher was through first-hand experience in classrooms with up to 40 students. It was my four years teaching ESL and language arts in Thailand where I developed my passion for teaching. I returned home with my family in 2010 to begin the most challenging but rewarding part of my journey as an educator; enrolling in the master of arts in teaching (MAT) program at Southwestern College. The MAT program has provided me with the skills and knowledge to succeed in any classroom whether here in the U.S. or abroad. After graduating with an MA in Teaching and Kansas teacher’s license I hope to gain experience teaching high school English here in the U.S., but ultimately, I’d like to return to Thailand to teach English language arts at an international school.”

Glasgow said that in naming “exemplary” candidates, attributes of effective professional educators are considered, similar to those utilized in identifying the Kansas State Teacher of the Year.

Those attributes include demonstrating a strong commitment to the teaching profession, planning and delivering effective lessons which attempt to meet the learning styles and needs of all students, building team relationships with colleagues, supervisors, parents and engagement in the greater school community.

Pam Green, director of secondary education at Southwestern, and SC education student Kelsey Smith have been selected to be on the committee that will choose the Kansas State Teacher of the Year.