Teachers of the Month

Renaissance Teachers of the Month

 May Caleb Stewart
 April Alyssa Lane
 March Melissa Gates
 February Craig Bagley
 January Lisa Mahler
 December Don Luthi
 November Jeremy Stover
 October Arnold Schmidtberger
September  Trey Crow


Caleb Stewart

South High School’s May Teacher of the Month is Caleb Stewart. Mr. Stewart spent five years teaching at South Middle School, and is in his first year in the South High English Department. He enjoys learning something new every day, and truly believes he has the best students, co-workers, and administrators, and they all make South High the best place to work.  Mr. Stewart says that he chose to become a teacher because he wanted to make a difference.  He was inspired all of the amazing teachers he learned from in school and aspires to be like those who made him feel like he could achieve anything.  He sees the best part of teacher as not just guiding students to new understandings of writing and literature analysis, but new understandings about life, goals, dreams, and education.  Mr. Stewart is thankful for the opportunity to educate, and be inspired by, some of the finest young people that our community has to offer.  His job would not be possible without the support from parents and the greater Salina community.  Congratulations, Mr. Stewart!


Alyssa Lane

South High School’s April Teacher of the Month is Alyssa Lane.  Miss Lane has been teaching for seven years, the past five years at USD 305.  She found her love for teaching while helping with the Salina Youth Symphony in high and college and seeing the Aha! moments.  She loves that her position is grades 5-12 orchestra, so she gets to be a constant and familiar face for students from elementary through high school.  Her favorite part of teaching is seeing student finally understand the musical concept everyone has been practicing together and they get to make music.  Miss Lane would like to thank everyone for supporting the orchestra community.  Please continue to give you support to allow the program to continue to thrive!  Congratulations, Miss Lane!


Melissa Gates

South High School’s March Teacher of the Month is Melissa Gates.  Mrs. Gates has been at South High for over 12 years, first as a paraprofessional, then leading its JAG program, and now in her first year in the Business Department.  She initially came to the school for the favorable work-life balance, but fell in love with helping young people overcome challenges, and credits former administrator Mr. Gary White for pushing her to use her degrees and apply for the JAG position. She continues to enjoy building relationships with students and getting to know so many cool and talented young people. Mrs. Gates loves making education enjoyable for her students and creating real-world lessons, all while having fun and interacting with her great South High colleagues. She says, like her colleagues, that she truly loves her job and could not imagine doing anything else.  Congratulations, Mrs. Gates!


Mr. Bagley

South High School’s February Teacher of the Month is Craig Bagley.  Mr. Bagley has taught for 15 years, the past 3 at South High.  He says he was never a very good student, so he thought her should stay in school until he got it figured out.  He loves teaching with stories, knowing the great impact they can have on our lives and push us to want to do better.  He loves when he is able to share something with his students in class and see them get legitimately excited by it.  He encourages everyone to keep doing the great work that you are, and how that work within the walls of your home is the most important in life.  Congratulations, Mr. Bagley!


Mrs. Mahler

South High School’s January Teacher of the Month is Lisa Mahler.  Mrs. Mahler has taught for nine years, and this is her first year at South High.  She loves getting to know all of her students.  She is drawn to literature and its ability to make human connections across time and space, thus reminding us that we are not alone.  She would like to remind us that although so much of the last few years has been out of control, it is important to teach our kids that through hard work and good choices, they are very much in control of their futures.  Congratulations, Mrs. Mahler!


Mr. Luthi

South High School’s December Teacher of the Month is Don Luthi.  Mr. Luthi has been working in special education for many years, including 10 years in the special education department at South High.  He knew that he wanted the opportunity to inspire and help young people build their self-esteem, believe in themselves, and to learn, regardless of their background or abilities.  He says seeing progress in students’ abilities ALWAYS puts a smile on his face.  He says it has been a wonderful and rewarding privilege to work and build relationships with the students and staff at South High. He would like parents to know that he is here to help support student success.  Students show the most improvement when teachers and parents work together as a team.  Congratulations, Mr. Luthi!


Mr. Stover

South High School’s November Teacher of the Month is Jeremy Stover.  Mr. Stover is in his 19th year of teaching, spending his first four years in Atchison, KS, before coming to USD 305 and now being in his 15th year at South High.  In high school, he was fortunate to have an outstanding social studies teacher who became his inspiration, using an enjoyable teaching style that encouraged him to pursue a degree in education.  He says the Social Studies Department at South High has been teaching together for nearly a decade, and they are not only his colleagues, but some of his closest friends, and they make every day enjoyable as they come to work to educate students.  Mr. Stover teaches many levels of classes, and most students who attend South High will have him as a teacher at some point.  He enjoys getting to know students, building relationships them, and getting to be a part of their growth from freshman to senior year.  He believes, because he has seen it for 15 years, that South High is a special place to teach and learn and truly fosters a culture where every student can achieve success.  Congratulations, Mr. Stover!


Mr. Schmidtberger

South High School’s October Teacher of the Month is Arnold Schmidtberger.  Mr. Schmidtberger is in his 34th year of teaching, and his 3rd year at South High.  He always wanted to be a teacher, as school always brought structure and stability to his life, and then as he got into junior high and high school, his teachers and coaches were very inspiring.  His great college experience encouraged him to continue to pursue a teaching career, and his favorite classes have always been Social Studies and English.  He sees working in the school as a great environment, with every day providing new challenges and opportunities.  Mr. Schmidtberger enjoys watching students succeed as they progress through school and then become successful after high school, seeing their experiences in the classroom and in school activities helping them in their adult lives.  He sees the structure that school brings to a student’s life and sees the importance it has in their personal, academic, and social development, especially as shown by the past 18 months.  He encourages all students to make the most of their education, and regardless of their path after high school, take advantage of their K-12 school years. Congratulations, Mr. Schmidtberger!


Trey Crow

South High School’s September Teacher of the Month is Trey Crow.  Mr. Crow is in his 20th year with USD 305, six at South Middle School and fourteen at South High School.  He chose to become a teacher because he loves helping others and he loves science.  After deciding not to pursue medical school, he had an advisor who guided him into education, where he enjoys being able to bring science to life for students, showing them how everything we do has an impact and they get to choose what that impact will be on the world.  Mr. Crow loves the science department at South High and how they all are willing to help each other out when needed.  He would like to tell parents that right now the world is hurting, but like everything in life, this is but a brief moment; keep persevering, encourage your kids, and know it will get better. Congratulations, Mr. Crow!