Alumni Spotlight: Belleville grad chosen for National Teachers Hall of Fame

Belleville grad chosen for National Teachers Hall of Fame

The Belleville Telescope

Cindy Couchman, an upperlevel math instructor at Buhler High School, will be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in June in Emporia. Couchman is the daughter of Ed and Janice Slavik of Belleville. Couchman is one of five teachers in the US–one other from Kansas–chosen for this year’s honor.

Honorees will be fl own to Washington DC for a May 2 reception hosted by the National Education Association. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will attend. In June, the class will be formally inducted in Emporia.

Corporate sponsors provide gifts that includes $1,000 in educational materials, a ring and lapel pin. Couchman teaches upper level math classes at Buhler High School. She is a graduate of Kansas State University, and has taught for 23 years. She was selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year in 2009. She was nominated for the national award by the administrators at Buhler.

She learned of her selection for the national award at a surprise ceremony at Buhler High School in March. In attendance were her husband, Monte, and their sons Clayton, a high school junior, and Carter, an eighth grader. Both are enrolled in the Smoky Valley district at Lindsborg, where the family lives. In receiving the award, Couchman gave credit for her success to the enthusiasm of her students and the faculty at Buhler High School. Brad Neuenschwander, deputy commissioner for learning services at the Kansas State Department of Education told the Hutchinson News that he agreed.

“Cindy is just one bright flower out of a huge bouquet,” he said, referring to the school district’s teachers. He said Buhler students’ yearly assessment results “blow everybody out of the water.” “It’s really a culture of success, and I’m just part of that,” Couchman told the News.

Students said Couchman turns “every lesson into fun” and “she’s just positive every day.” Couchman keeps buckets of blank slips of paper in her room, and encourages students to write anonymous positive messages, which she delivers. “She’s creating positive world-changers in her classroom,” Superintendent Mike Berblinger told the News.

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