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March 28, 2013

Cowley alumnus named Distinguished Classroom Teacher


Steve Parks, Deanna Sinisgalli, Deborah Fagg, Frances Oare, Jessica Fuchs, Kathy Abdul-Hameed and Todd JunkerTodd Junker, a 1999 graduate of Cowley College, was recently named the recipient of the Wichita Public Schools 2013 Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award.

Junker is a physical education instructor at Christa McAuliffe Academy.

“I love getting to work with kids every day,” Junker said. “Just getting to see them "get it" is pretty rewarding. I love teaching PE because I am a very active person and this allows me to share that passion with kids.”

Junker was surprised with the award at his school on March 1 by Board of Education members, district leadership and members of the selection committee.

The award honors outstanding teachers who affect the quality of education in the Wichita Public Schools.

“It is flattering to me because I don't teach what I teach to get awards, I teach what I teach because it is the right thing to do to help kids,” Junker said. “I am very lucky to have an amazing teaching partner, along with some wonderful colleagues who make it a lot of fun. I would be ok never getting an award and just teaching the way I am suppose to everyday. It is really nice though that someone thinks that much of my teaching, because to me it is just what I am supposed to be doing.”

Junker taught at McLean Elementary in Wichita for 10 years prior to spending the past year teaching physical education at Christa McAuliffe Academy.

Following graduation from Cowley, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Wichita State University in 2002. He plans to complete his Master’s Degree from Baker University this spring.

“Cowley helped me because it gave me my first college experience,” Junker said. “It was a place where I slowly started to decide how I wanted to steer my career path. It was great because all of my teachers gave me lots of help and they could do that because the classes were small.”

Junker and Steve Parks, math instructor at Wichita Heights High School, will represent the Wichita Public Schools for the prestigious Kansas Teacher of the Year award this fall.

Pictured, from left, Steve Parks, Deanna Sinisgalli, Deborah Fagg, Frances Oare, Jessica Fuchs, Kathy Abdul-Hameed and Todd Junker.