Teachers of the Year Honored

The Salina USD 305 School District honored its teachers of the year Tuesday evening.

According to the district, Kylene Comeau, third grade teacher at Sunset Elementary, and Charlie Todd, mathematics teacher at Salina High School South, have been selected as USD 305 Teachers of the Year. They were honored by the Salina Board of Education

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Kylene Comeau, Sunset Elementary School

Kylene’s teaching experience includes at-risk reading at Coronado Elementary, second grade in Osawatomie and Title 1 reading and math at Schilling before joining Sunset Elementary, first as a first grade teacher and now as a third grade teacher. She earned her bachelors in elementary education from Kansas Wesleyan University and her masters in education from Baker University.

In 2016, Kylene joined the Salina Teacher Leadership Academy where she received her masters in educational leadership from Kansas State University. As part of the academy, she completed a project to digitize the district’s poverty training. All new teachers at USD 305 now benefit from the online training she developed and recorded.

Kylene believes the most significant issue in public education today is the social-emotional needs of students. As a member of Sunset’s Positive Behavior Support team she has helped steer practices and policies toward a more positive approach. She has led professional development dedicated to refining and teaching building expectations in her role as a CHAMPS (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, Successful students) trainer. Monthly character education assemblies, building-wide celebrations and other positive influences have helped shift the school’s culture to a more positive mindset.

Kylene is an outstanding classroom teacher and respected leader who has a deep caring for her students. She shares a daily goal, “I may not be able to change or eliminate the stresses students have outside of the school day, but I can ensure that when they are in my classroom, they know that they are safe, loved, and supported by me.”

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Charlie Todd, Salina High School South (SHSS)

Charlie received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Kansas State University and will complete his Master of Science in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education from Kansas State University next summer. He has taught at South High School for seven years as a mathematics instructor.

In his classroom, Charlie encourages his students and has an infectious enthusiasm about mathematics that sparks the students’ interest. He guides students to focus on actual learning rather than on earning a particular score. Charlie knows that students reap huge benefits when they create their own understanding, are in community and interact meaningfully with their peers. His classroom is built on this foundation.

Knowing that relationships with students are essential to maximizing student success, Charlie mentors at-risk students, bringing his caring manner when working with students dealing with major life challenges. He volunteered to take students on a trip to New Mexico where they worked on building community and giving back to others. He serves as Link Crew co-coordinator, the effort that helps incoming freshmen feel welcome and find success at SHSS.

Charlie has served as a summer school and credit recovery teacher and can be counted on to assist with any effort that contributes to school improvement. Featured in the Salina Journal in 2017, students shared their appreciation for Charlie and how he has made math relevant for them.

Always encouraging a growth mindset, Charlie’s classroom is an environment of respect and rapport. His students know they can take educational risks and learn from their mistakes.