National Teachers Hall of Fame to induct Conard

Friday, June 8, 2007

UNIONTOWN -- Norm Conard, a social studies and video production teacher at Uniontown Junior Senior High School, is one of five teachers nationwide who will be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame on June 14-16 in Emporia.

In April, Conard was honored by fellow USD 235 teachers, students and administrators, as well as a group of NTHF representatives, during a special assembly in Uniontown. Conard, a 30-year educator, will be officially be inducted next week during a series of recognition events. Following the inductions, the story of these teachers' careers will be on permanent display at the NTHF gallery in Emporia. This is the 16th consecutive year that the NTHF has honored teachers nationwide with the award.

Biographies of the five teachers will also be posted on the Internet at the program's Internet site, www.nthf.org. Nominees for the national award must be certified public or private schoolteachers with at least 20 years of experience teaching preschool through 12th grade students.

Conard, who is originally from Cherokee County and a 1990 graduate of Pittsburg State University, is the 85th teacher to be inducted into the NTHF, which began its recognition program and museum in 1989. Conard began his teaching career in Uniontown in 1987.

"Conard believes that each student in his classroom is of great value and should be challenged to achieve higher levels of learning and to develop creativity and critical thinking," a statement from Megan Stewart-Felt, one of Conard's former students, said. "His classroom is a center of research, a place where students seek primary sources and deal with problem solving."

During the ceremony in Uniontown, Conard received such honorary items as a plaque featuring his photograph that is on display at the school; $1,000 in educational materials from Pearson Education, one of the sponsors of the NTHF; a signet ring and a 10-karat gold lapel pin from Herff Jones, Inc., another one of the program's corporate sponsors; and a $1,000 scholarship from Sodexho School Services that will be presented to a USD 235 student who pursues a teaching degree in college.

The other four national nominees received these awards, as well as other gifts and mementos. Letters of recognition were also read from local and state education officials during the Uniontown ceremony in honor of Conard's most recent accomplishment.

Other types of recognition Conard has received over the years include being named Kansas History Day Teacher of the Year in 2007, the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education in 2004, the National Education Association Civil Rights Award in 2003, the USD 235 Educator of Distinction Award in 2001 and 2003, the Kansas Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Educator award in 2001, the 100 Most Influential Educators in America award in 2000, the USA Today All American Teacher First Team award in 2000, and the National State Teacher of the Year in Social Studies in 1994, among several others.

In 1992, Conard received the Kansas State Teacher of the Year award, the Milken National Educator Award, and the Uniontown Teacher of the Year award.

"The goal of Norm and his students is to repair the world by teaching respect and tolerance, a lofty ambition at any level but especially so for students," Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Jane Foley said of Conard.