Clipped From The Hays Daily News
Teaching is 'a lifestyle' for honoree By JUDY SHERARD HAYS DAILY NEWS Teaching is more than a job to Darlene Plymell, Plymell, the Hays-National Education Association Association Master Teacher of the Year. "Teaching is a lifestyle. You don't just leave the building and be done with it. If you care about the kids, there are extracurricular activities. activities. And as a math teacher, there's lots of papers to grade," she said. Plymell, who teaches math at Hays High School, has spent all but two years of her 37- year career in the Hays district. A Fort Hays State University graduate, Plymell Plymell stayed in the district "because of the kids and my colleagues. We have a strong math department, and it's a nice place to raise a family." Though she has served as an extracurricular extracurricular sponsor and math department chairwoman, chairwoman, she gave up some of her activities a few years ago because of health problems. "Now I just spend my time in the classroom," classroom," she said. Her teaching assignments include a class in functions, statistics and trigonometry and college college algebra for dual credit with FHSU. Her students are "mostly juniors and seniors with a few sophomores sprinkled hi." Her advice to a beginning teacher is to "keep an open mind and stay in more than the first year. Sometimes it's the roughest, and things fall into place in the second year. Be firm and be fair, and have high expectations." expectations." Plymell was honored to receive the district award "because there are a lot of quality teachers in 489. That's part of the reason so many have been here a long time. A lot of my growth is because of my colleagues," Plymell said. She and her husband, Larry, have three daughters, Molly Jacobsen, Sherry Kinderknecht and Cortney Britton, and two granddaughters, who all live in Hays. Kinderknecht also is a math teacher at Kennedy Middle School. Building-level master teacher nominees were chosen by the Hays-NEA membership in each school. This year's nominees were Diane Flood, Kennedy; Diane Fall, Lincoln Elementary; Elementary; Donna Fleischacker, Felten Middle; Ar- MOLLY HAUXWELL/ Hays Dally News Hays High School math teacher Darlene Plymell was chosen by her peers, through the Hays-National Hays-National Education Association, as the Hays USD 489 Master Teacher of the Year. Plymell was to be honored at a reception at 4 p.m. today in the Hays High School library. lene Carlile, Wilson Elementary; Laura Gaughan, Washington Elementary; Emily Jackson, Hays Area Children's Center; Kristal Leiker, O'Loughlin Elementary; Jolene Hamel, Roosevelt Elementary, and Plymell, representing Hays High. Plymell was chosen by the Hays-NEA membership membership from the pool of building-level candidates. candidates. As the district winner, she will represent the district in the state competition sponsored by Emporia State University.