Teachers of the Month



Miss Mahoney

Kate Lindsay

Irma Garcia

Juan Maldonado

Mrs. VanDeCreek

Ryan Schafer

Joe Turner



South High School’s March Teacher of the Month is Melissa Mahoney. Miss Mahoney is in her fourth year teaching, and her second at South High, where she teaches Medical Investigations and Medical Internship. Miss Mahoney chose teaching because she was inspired by her mom, who has always been a role model and is still who she leans on for guidance and inspiration to grow as a teacher. She has a passion for teaching students and enjoys helping students grow both in the classroom and in the community. She would like to say thank you to the parents and the community for your contributions and sacrifices; your involvement makes the difference in education. Congratulations, Miss Mahoney!



South High School’s February Teacher of the Month is Kate Lindsay. Ms. Lindsay is the Theatre Director and has been teaching for 38 years, with the past 35 being at South High. Ms. Lindsay says she has had many inspirational teachers since she was very young, and in many ways, they continue to inspire and guide her as a teacher today. She says the South High Cougar Community is amazing, and she is grateful to be a part of South High and Salina Public Schools. She enjoys watching student growth and seeing their “light bulb” moments. Seeing student proud of their accomplishments is a tremendous feeling. Ms. Lindsay would like everyone to know, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your area schools. Volunteers and/or donations are often needed and greatly appreciated! It is a rewarding experience to become a part of the educational community. Congratulations, Ms. Lindsay!


South High School’s January Teacher of the Month is Irma Garcia. Ms. Garcia has been teaching art for eight years, and this is her fourth year teaching at South High. Ms. Garcia was inspired by her previous art teachers to pursue teaching herself. She enjoys the teachers that she works with and how well South High’s art department all work together. Her favorite part of teaching is the growth that she sees in her students in the classroom. Congratulations, Ms. Garcia!




South High School’s December Teacher of the Month is Juan Maldonado. Mr. Maldonado is in his fifth year of teaching, all at South High, with this his first year as the English as a Second Language instructor. He chose teaching as a profession because he had amazing mentors growing up, who happened to be teachers, and he wanted to be like them and mentor kids who may need guidance. He enjoys getting to know each student in class. Mr. Maldonado’s favorite subject is English. He says he had to learn English when he was young, and he enjoys now helping those students who are learning a new language. He wants to thank everyone for supporting South High students and staff. Go Cougs! Congratulations, Mr. Maldonado!



South High School’s November Teacher of the Month is Carie VanDeCreek.  Mrs. VanDeCreek has taught for 26 years, all at South High!  She chose teaching as a profession to help all students strive to reach their full potential.  She was inspired by many great educational leaders growing up.  Mrs. VanDeCreek enjoys South High because ALL students have a change to feel accepted.  She loves seeing students reach their individual goals.  She wants everyone to know that it’s not a disability, it’s a different ability.  Congratulations, Mrs. VanDeCreek



South High School’s October Teacher of the Month is Ryan Schafer. Mr. Schafer has taught for 15 years, six at Salina Central, five at Salina West, and he is in his fourth year at Salina South. He remembers when he was in middle school, thinking he might want to be a teacher, and then Coach Mike Butler was a big inspiration to him in high school to pursue teaching as a career. Mr. Schafer enjoys the fact that he gets to do something he loves every day. Building relationships with students is his favorite part of teaching, and he loves seeing students accomplish things that they never thought they could do. He wants everyone to know that this generation of students is incredibly resilient, and that through all of the strange and difficult times over the past few years, students have shown up, time and time again. Congratulations, Mr. Schafer!


South High School’s September Teacher of the Month is Joseph Turner. Mr. Turner has taught English at South for five years, and has been teaching for eight years overall. Mr. Turner chose teaching to help students find passion and enjoyment in a subject that gets a bad reputation, and to help students create goals that will help in life outside of high school. He enjoys the connections he creates with colleagues and students. He likes the variety South High offers, with so many different individuals and their experiences, who can help us all learn who we are and what limitless potential we all have. Mr. Turner says that this is the community and the school district in which he was raised, and he wants to do his part every day to give back. Congratulations, Mr. Turner!