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K-State News
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Excellence, potential earn College of Education students honors

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's College of Education is recognizing several of its new graduates for excellence.

Earning the college's Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award for outstanding leadership and scholarship are six students, while two students are receiving the Outstanding Future Teacher Award for their potential as future teachers. In addition, two students are being honored by the Kansas State Department of Education as Teachers of Promise. All of the students were recognized at the college's commencement ceremony Dec. 10. In addition, the Teachers of Promise award recipients were recognized earlier this fall at the Kansas Teacher of the Year State Awards Banquet in Wichita.

The following students, all December 2016 bachelor's degree recipients, have earned one of these select honors:

• Anna Hein, elementary education, Andale, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A university honors list student, Hein was the recipient of the Hucke-Wavering Scholarship and the Skeen Education Scholarship. She is the daughter of Roman and Patty Hein. Hein is a 2012 graduate of Andale High School and earned an associate of arts from Hutchinson Community College.

• Jensine Ernacio, elementary education, Junction City, Outstanding Future Teacher Award for elementary education. Ernacio was a member of K-State's Asian American Student Union, serving as secretary; vice president of the Philippine Student Association; and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was the recipient of the Beverly and Morris Greenwood Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship and the Elvon G. and Lydia E. Skeen Education Fund. In addition, Ernacio participated in K-State's women's ultimate Frisbee. The daughter of Juanito and Josephine Ernacio, Junction City, she is a 2012 graduate of Junction City High School.

• Skylar Ross, elementary education, Linwood, Teacher of Promise Award. Ross, an Eagle Scout, is the recipient of a National Heroism Award. The son of Matthew and Maureen Ross, Linwood, he is a 2012 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School, Basehor.

• Shannon Oakley, secondary education, Manhattan, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Oakley was president of the College of Education Ambassadors, rituals chair of Kappa Delta Pi education honorary and a member of the Kansas National Education Association. She also served as co-chair of the All-University Open House Student Core Committee and was a career specialist with K-State's Academic and Career Information Center. She was the recipient of the Tomorrow's Teachers Skeen Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship, Foundation Scholarship and a K-State Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship. She is a volunteer with the Kansas Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership program, currently serving as director of operations. She also volunteered as a tutor at the Douglass Community Center in Manhattan and served on the university's International Service Team in the Dominican Republic and with the USD 457 Student Teaching Incentive Program. The daughter of Tom and Christi Oakley, Manhattan, Oakley is a 2013 graduate of Rock Creek Senior High School, St. George. She will teach seventh-grade mathematics at Kenneth Henderson Middle School in Garden City.

• Elizabeth Hix, secondary education, Olathe, Teacher of Promise Award. Hix, who graduated summa cum laude and served as the College of Education's student commencement speaker, was a member of the University Honors Program; Quest, the freshmen honorary; Christian Challenge; and Helping International Students. She also participated in the K-State Idol competition and studied abroad at Queen Mary University in London. She was the recipient of the Rankin, Skeen, Memorial and Foundation Plus scholarships. The daughter of John and Judith Hix, Olathe, she is a 2012 graduate of Olathe South High School.

• Alyssa Dimon, secondary education, Overland Park, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Dimon served as treasurer of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary, and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key academic honoraries. She also was the recipient of K-State's Putnam Scholarship. The daughter of Jeff and Maureen Dimon, Overland Park, she is a 2013 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School, Overland Park.

• Erin Stout, elementary education, Shawnee, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. An ambassador for the College of Education's Project Excel, Stout also was a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honoraries, Wildcat Buddies and St. Isidore Catholic Student Center. She received the Tomorrow's Teacher Scholarship, Academic Achievement Scholarship, Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship and Shawnee Rotary Club Scholarship. She also received a Presidential Service Award and was a religion teacher at Sacred Heart School. The daughter of Randal and Kimberly Stout, Shawnee, she is 2013 graduate of St. James Academy, Lenexa.

• Molly DeBusk, elementary education, Kansas City, Missouri, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. DeBusk served as volunteer with the College of Education's Project Excel, as well as with Meadowlark Hills retirement community, Friendship Meals, and the Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan. She served on the K-State Homecoming Committee, as a K-State Johnson County ambassador and was a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, the human ecology honorary. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, serving as new member educator, and was on the Panhellenic Council, serving as continuous open bidding/retention chair. She was a mentor with the Ellis Scholarship Program, an intern with the Department of Defense and North Carolina State University, is an Apple-certified teacher, and took part in a domestic violence training program. DeBusk also earned a bachelor's degree in family studies and human services from K-State in May 2016, graduating magna cum laude. She is the daughter of Steve and Deb DeBusk, Overland Park, and a 2011 graduate of Blue Valley High School, Stilwell. She is married to Nathan Petrie.

• Jessica Pennybacker, secondary education, Geneva, Illinois, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Pennybacker was a member of the College of Education Ambassadors; served as a learning assistant for the Spanish in Action CAT committee, a program of K-State First; was a recruitment guide for the K-State Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life; and was vice president of standards for her sorority, Kappa Delta. She also served as a student assistant in the College of Education's Academic Advising Office, was a K-State orientation leader and studied abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica. The daughter of Mark and Leslie Pennybacker, Brenham, Texas, she is 2012 graduate of Geneva Community High School, Geneva.

• Nicholas Uremovich, secondary education, Euless, Texas, Outstanding Future Teacher Award for secondary education. Uremovich is the son of Gerry and Lisa Uremovich and 2011 graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School, Colleyville, Texas.


Pam Monroe


College of Education

News tip

Andale, Basehor, Garden City, Junction City, Lenexa, Linwood, Manhattan, Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee and St. George, Kansas; Geneva, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; and Brenham and Euless, Texas.

Written by

Beth Bohn