When Janet Schuler was contacted concerning the Kansas VFW Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year award, she thought they wanted her to nominate someone for the distinction. Instead, the call was to notify her that she had been named the recipient for grades K-5.
When Janet Schuler was contacted concerning the Kansas VFW Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year award, she thought they wanted her to nominate someone for the distinction. Instead, the call was to notify her that she had been named the recipient for grades K-5. “To know that someone thought enough of me to nominate me, truly made me feel great,” Schuler said. “I have always been proud of our country and have taught kids to be proud of their heritage. It’s wonderful that others have noticed.” The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively. According to the nomination form, teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for this award. Schuler said she doesn’t know who nominated her but she is humbled by the award. “I have always said that God gave me a strong love for two things - children and music. I have been able to work all of my working days with one or the other and most of the time, both of those,” she said. “I have been really blessed in my career.” Schuler has been in the teaching field for 47 years, 45 of those spent in USD 443. She retired in 2001 but continued to substitute in the district before returning to work full time in 2006. She is currently teaching music at Wilroads Gardens. She said that while things have changed in her 47 years as an educator, she has never thought of her job as challenging. “There are things that come up with discipline and the changing role of education; and sometimes it is challenging when we change our curriculum,” she said. “But, you deal with the situations and then you go on. “ Having been recognized at the state level, Shuler is now eligible for consideration in the national awards contest. She is awaiting notification from one of the heads of the state VFW as to when she will receive her awards. In the meantime, Schuler said she is just blessed to still be in the teaching field. “I do enjoy what I do,” she said. “I am proud of the children I have worked with through the years and I am very proud of the friendships that have been formed with great people throughout my teaching career.”