Pair of educators nominated for Horizon Award

Paige Stewart

Nick Preheim

Hutchinson Public Schools literally has dozens of up-and-coming teachers. The Kansas State Department of Education recognizes a small group each year and takes nominees from school districts across the state for its Horizon Awards.

Unfortunately, the KSDE rules allow the district only to pick two – one from elementary schools and one from secondary schools.

USD 308’s nominees this fall are Nick Preheim, first grade teacher at Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen, and Paige Steward, English language arts teacher at Hutchinson Middle School – 7.

          Sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education, the Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.             

Preheim came to Hutchinson USD 308 in 2019. He grew up in Peabody where he student taught second grade in Peabody Burns Elementary School.

The elementary educator came to the district with a background in the Kansas Can School Redesign Project as he was a part of a Gemini II school in Peabody. Preheim teaches first grade at Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen.

Stewart is a 2014 Nickerson High School graduate. She managed the writing center and played basketball at Bethany College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors with a degree in English Literature and a minor in coaching.

Following graduation, Ms. Stewart joined the Peace Corps where she worked as an educator volunteer, teaching English to children in Indonesia. It was during this time Ms. Stewart found a passion for education.

Upon returning to the states, Paige worked as a substitute teacher in multiple school districts and applied for the Transition to Teaching program. She accepted an English language arts position at HMS-7 in 2019 and will graduate with her masters in May 2021.

The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts. The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.

Regional winners will be announced in January 2021.