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Source: Pam Monroe, 785-532-5525,

Friday, May 20, 2011


MANHATTAN -- Research and experience have demonstrated the key role school leaders play in the achievement of children. That's why a Manhattan couple who served as teachers and administrators throughout their careers in the Manhattan school system have created an award to recognize other outstanding educators.

The Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award has been given this year to Max. O. Heim of Russell, a Kansas educator who most recently served as the interim president of Colby Community College. The award is presented through the Kansas State University College of Education.

Heim began his career as a teacher and principal in Gorham, Clifton, and Colby public schools. He later served as the director of secondary education and as an assistant superintendent in Manhattan and Olathe. He has been a superintendent of schools in Independence, Hutchinson, Lyons and in the Geary County School System, where his leadership led to the district naming their early childhood education center in his honor.

Heim also served as a faculty member at Emporia State University and Mississippi State University, where he was appointed associate dean and dean, and at the University of Kansas. He has been the director of the Kansas Commission of Education Restructuring and Accountability for the Kansas Legislature, the executive secretary of the Kansas Association for Curriculum and Instruction, the director of human resources for the Turner school district, and a western Kansas field specialist for the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Heim has been recognized as the Kansas Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators, the Administrator of the Year by the Kansas Association of Educational Office Personnel; the Governor’s Awardee for Outstanding Service by the Kansas State High School Activities Association; and the Kansas Communicator of the Year by the Kansas School Public Relations Association. In 1997 he was named to the Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame and in 2006 received the ABC Award for Outstanding Leadership in Kansas Education.