KAIRS names St. Dominic School teacher Judy Strasser
‘Distinguished Teacher of the Year’
St. Dominic School teacher Judy Strasser was named “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” at the annual KAIRS banquet Feb. 11 in Topeka.
KAIRS (Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools) represents more than 35,000 Kansas school children, nearly 2,400 teachers and approximately 22,000 families.
“I have taught at St. Dominic Catholic School for 25 wonderful years,” Strasser said. “The most rewarding thing to me about teaching in a Catholic school is that I can share my faith through Catholic teachings to help my students learn to love one another and to develop a moral and work ethic while receiving an excellent academic education.”
Strasser is married to Mark; the couple have two grown children, Kristin, 35, and David, 31. Apart from teaching the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), Strasser said she is privileged to “help prepare my students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist for these many years. It is so special to see their bright, shining, holy faces when they receive these sacraments.
“As Catholic school educators, we strive to form our students morally as well as academically. When years later I speak to, or hear about, former students, what a great joy it is to celebrate them for the caring, successful, productive, and upstanding members of society they have become, exhibiting all the Christian values that our school is so dedicated to instilling in them. Even though I have had only a small part of their formation, I feel like a proud parent.”
Like the children, who will remember special moments from their elementary years throughout their life, teachers also hold special those times throughout the year when children are not just taught, but celebrated.
“Other fond memories I have are of Catholic Schools Week activities, Advent and Lenten activities, Spaghetti Dinners, Fun Days, Talent Shows, and class field trips, but what I treasure most are the relationships I have developed with my students, their families, and the many staff members that I have worked with over the years,” Strasser said. “We are truly a family.
“To receive the KAIRS award is a great honor and I truly appreciate it. There are so many hardworking, deserving teachers in our diocese, and I share this award with them.”
Approaching its 50th year, KAIRS works to ensure that children attending religious and independent schools are treated equitably in educational law, policy and programs. KAIRS is committed to excellence in education and to maintaining unity within its membership and productive relationships with public school leadership.