Benedictine College Grad Named Kansas Horizon Winner

Benedictine Grad Named Kansas Horizon Winner

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Madeline Dierking, ’13 was announced as one of the 2015 Kansas Horizon Award winners. The Kansas Horizon Award Program recognizes exemplary teachers who perform their first year in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. After graduating from Benedictine College with a degree in Elementary Education, Dierking is now a fourth grade teacher at Logan Elementary School in Emporia, Kansas.

"Throughout my first year of teaching, I was constantly reminded that I had the most important job in the world; providing a quality education for each student in my room," said Dierking. "It is so important to create a climate where students know they contain great gifts and have the potential to make a difference in the world."

Dierking is now in her second year of teaching. During this academic year, she has taken a leadership role for her school as part of a district curriculum team.

"Ms. Dierking has certainly stood out as an exceptional educator in our district," wrote Vicki Schweinler, executive director for elementary education, in her nomination letter. "Recently, she was added as a lead teacher to our district level (curriculum) alignment team. This is virtually unheard of for a first-year teacher to be placed in such a demanding role. She has not only embraced this new role but has excelled at it."

Dierking joins a growing list of Benedictine graduates who have been recipients of the award after their first year of teaching, including 2010 winner Megan (McMillian) Rapp ’08, 2009 winner Lisa Twombly ’07, and 2008 winner Nichole (Congrove) Honeywell ’06, MASL ’10.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.