Head of the class: College of Education honors outstanding new graduates
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
MANHATTAN — Nine future teachers from Kansas State University's College of Education have earned honors from the college or the Kansas State Department of Education for excellence.
At the college's Dec. 12 commencement ceremony in Manhattan, five students were recognized as winners of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award for their demonstrated excellence in leadership and scholarship as undergraduates. The college also recognized two graduating seniors — an elementary education major and a secondary education major — as recipients of its Outstanding Future Teacher Award.
In addition, the state's Department of Education recognized two Teachers of Promise from each of the teacher education programs in the state. The Kansas State University recipients were recognized with the other Teacher of Promise recipients at the Kansas Teacher of the Year state awards banquet Nov. 21 in Wichita.
The following students, all December 2015 bachelor's degree graduates, are award winners:
• Jordan Kennedy, elementary education, Frankfort, Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise Award. A summa cum laude graduate of the college, Kennedy is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society, and a recipient of the Transfer Achievement Award, Crosby Family Education Scholarship, Charles and Doris Setterquist Scholarship, College of Education Alumni Scholarship and Edwin Lee Holton Scholarship. She also presented "Rigorous Technology in the Classroom" at the 2015 Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics conference. The daughter of Michael and Melissa Kennedy, Frankfort, she is a 2011 graduate of Frankfort High School.
• Autumn Snesrud, secondary education, Iola, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. President of the Staley School of Leadership Studies Ambassadors, Snesrud also served as a leadership studies peer leader practicum student leader and a member of one of the school's International Service Teams. She was a member of Silver Key, the sophomore honorary; the Kansas State University Marching Band, serving as section leader; and Tau Beta Sigma, the music service sorority. She also was the recipient of a Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award and was co-coordinator of the Olathe Ethics Conference. The daughter of Jim and Melody Snesrud, Iola, she is a 2011 graduate of Iola High School.
• James Ashcraft, secondary education, Lawrence, College of Education Future Teacher Award. Ashcraft is the son of Dick and Sue Ashcraft, Lawrence, and a 2004 graduate of Lawrence High School.
• Jennifer Beesley, secondary education, Overland Park, Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise Award. A member of Kappa Delta Pi education honor society, Beesley served as its historian and membership chair. She was a member of KSU Navigators, a University Experience tutor and a four-year Putnam Scholarship recipient. She also served as a camp counselor at Camp War Eagle and Little Apple Day Camp. Beesley is the daughter of Darin and Kari Beesley, Overland Park, and a 2011 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School.
• Hannah Pralle, secondary education, Randolph, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A magna cum laude graduate, Pralle has earned semester honors throughout her time at the university. She is the recipient of several College of Education scholarships, including the David R. Laurie Jr. Scholarship, Doris and Charles Setterquist Memorial Scholarship, College of Education Alumni Scholarship, Dr. Charles I. Rankin Scholarship in Education and the College of Education Faculty and Staff Scholarship. She is a member of the university's student chapter of the Kansas National Education Association and of the Kansas Reading Association. Pralle co-authored an article that appeared in the Kansas Reading Journal. She also is active in 4-H. She was a 12-year member of the Randolph Ramblers 4-H Club, serving as club president, vice president and secretary. The daughter of Steve and Michelle Pralle, Randolph, she is a 2011 graduate of Blue Valley-Randolph High School.
• Jessica Leichter, elementary education, Shawnee, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A summa cum laude graduate who earned semester honors throughout her Kansas State University undergraduate career, Leichter also completed the University Honors Program and was a Nancy Larson Foundation and Kansas State University Foundation scholar. She was active in the college, serving as historian of the Education Ambassadors; a member of Kappa Delta Pi education honor society; and a member the student chapter of the Kansas National Education Association, KNEA-SP, serving as new member and newsletter chair. At the university level, she was on the standards committee for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and community service project chair for Silver Key, the sophomore honorary. In addition, Leichter was featured in the College of Education documentary, "A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students." Her community service includes the college volunteer program at Children's Mercy Hospital, summer staff for Trail West Family Camp, lead teacher in her church's preschool ministries, book club and bingo activities volunteer at Via Christi Senior Housing and presenter at the Kansas Association for Teachers of Mathematics annual conference. The daughter of Kim Leichter and James Leichter, both of Shawnee, she is a 2012 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.
• Bonnie Bailey, elementary education, Washington, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A university semester honors list student, Bailey is a member of Education Ambassadors, serving as its Ad Hoc Committee chair. She also is a member of Christian Challenge, serving on the leadership team and as a life group leader. She has received the BSNSF Scholarship and Maude C. Meyer Education Scholarship, and she had internships in Amsterdam and Spain. Bailey is the daughter of Terry and Ruth Bailey, Washington, and a 2011 graduate of Washington High School.
• Hilary Cosgrove, elementary education, Wichita, College of Education Future Teacher Award. A Kansas State University semester honors list student, Cosgrove also received the Pilots Program's 2011 Freshman Excellence Award. She was a member of the Classy Cats dance team from 2010-2014, serving as an assistant section leader of the squad in 2013 and 2014, and being named the Assistant Section Leader of the Year for both years. She also was a recipient of the Kansas State University Marching Band's Medallion Scholarship in 2013-2014. She earned the National Dance Alliance's All-American Dancer Award at Collegiate Dance Camp in 2012 and 2013. The daughter of Daniel and Margaret Cosgrove, Wichita, she is a 2010 graduate of Kapaun Mount Carmel High School.
• Sarah Potter, elementary education, Winfield, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Potter served as president of Transfer Ambassadors and as an Education Ambassador. She also was a life group leader for Christian Challenge and received the Order of the Arrow as an outstanding coach and bearer of the 3 Flames at Camp War Eagle in Rogers, Arkansas. The daughter of Pat and Dorothy Potter, she is a 2011 graduate of Winfield High School.