MNU Alum is 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year

Nov. 16, 2013
20131105 DSmokorowski

Andover Middle School eighth grade advanced language arts teacher, Dyane Smokorowski, has been named the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year. Nominated by her former principal Brett White, Smokorowski was honored by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Diane DeBacker during a ceremony in Wichita Nov. 17.

“It is truly a pleasure to present this award to Dyane Smokorowski,” DeBacker shared. “When Dyane talks about teaching, her entire face lights up. She gets carried away with her enthusiasm for her profession and for her students, and it is impossible not to be carried away with her. I am grateful to have teachers like Dyane in Kansas.”

Smokorowski completed a Master of Educational Technology degree at MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2007. Known as an outstanding teacher and role model, “Mrs. Smoke,” as students call her, runs a student-centered classroom where she incorporates a variety of technology strategies to help students build stronger communication skills.

Recently, Smokorowski’s 8th grade students researched issues surrounding digital piracy, plagiarism and copyright. Throughout the project, they learned how to use Skype to connect with, and interview, a wide variety of intellectual property experts. During the course of the project, students talked to FBI cyber crime agents and the CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.  

“Through this experience and others like it, I have successfully connected my small town Kansas students to classrooms on all seven continents and with more than 30 experts in areas ranging from the entertainment industry to the American Revolution,” Smokorowski said.

This is the second Kansas Teacher of the Year in the past three years to have earned a Master of Education degree at MNU. Karen Tritt, a foreign language teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District, won the award in 2010. Tritt completed a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning at MNU in 2001. For more information on MNU’s master of education program, visit www.mnu.edu/med.