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Michelle Hilliard named 2019 Kansas Master Teacher

Michelle Hilliard hears the news that she is a 2019 Kansas Master Teacher. Michelle Hilliard, math teacher and assistant principal at Complete High School Maize, has been named a 2019 Kansas Master Teacher.

She is one of seven educators statewide to receive the distinction. Please click here to view more information about Michelle and her fellow winners, selected by Emporia State University.

She was surprised at school on Monday with a phone call from Emporia State University sharing the news.

Michelle also receives $1,000 via the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. She will be recognized on Master Teacher Day, April 3 at Emporia State University.

In 1954, Emporia State began the annual Kansas Master Teacher awards, which recognize "the outstanding qualities of earnest and conscientious teachers."

Michelle Hilliard and Complete High School Maize students Earlier this month, Michelle and a few of her students presented to the Maize Board of Education about Complete High School Maize’s General Store, which students operate at Reflection Ridge Retirement Community near 21st Street and Tyler Road in Wichita.

The experience builds relationships and teaches finance and marketing, among other subjects.

Students of Maize USD 266's nationally recognized alternative high school explained about how they purchase and manage inventory for the store; take requests for inventory from Reflection Ridge Retirement Community residents; and track finances, including bank statements, deposits, and withdrawals, to balance the store’s books.

Students build relationships with the residents by making them birthday cards and teaching them during a Technology Day event how to use computers and phones. The students work in the store during the summer and are learning what it’s like to run a small business. Complete pays $1 a year to rent the space from Reflection Ridge.

Michelle Hilliard leads the General Store project and uses it to teach her students. It is just one of many examples of how she uses heart and innovation in her teaching.

(Pictured from left on Feb. 11: Teacher and Assistant Principal Michelle Hilliard; students Stacie Moomey, Aspen Joseph, and Jimmy Duran; and Dr. Kristy Custer, Principal.)