Meet the 2015 National Teacher Hall of Fame Inductees

TeacherHallofFame
In February, five outstanding educators – two from New York and one each from Kansas, Virginia and Washington—were selected to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF). These members of the upcoming class of 2015 were surprised with an assembly at their respective schools held to announce their induction.

The NTHF was founded in 1989 by Emporia State University, the ESU Alumni Association, the City of Emporia, and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce.  The organization is dedicated to promoting education and drawing public attention to amazing educators in the U.S. through the induction program, a museum, and resource center.

Located on the Emporia State University campus, the Hall of Fame includes a gallery of honored teachers, a Wall of Fame, teacher contracts, old school desks, antique textbooks and a display of classroom miniatures among other fascinating artifacts.

The first NTHF induction took place in 1992. Since then, 75 educators from 32 states and the District of Columbia have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Induction festivities for the Class of 2015 will be on induction festivities will take place on June 12th in Emporia.

Meet this year’s inductees:

Dr. Patricia Jordan is a retired teacher from Roslyn High School in Roslyn, New York. With 29 years of classroom experience, she teaches 9th-12th grade Mathematics. She has an undergraduate degree in black studies and psychology, master’s degrees in school psychology and special education, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Hofstra University. She has also earned a license to practice clinical psychology, and certification as a K-12 mathematics instructor, school psychologist, and special education teacher.

Richard Ognibene teaches 10th-12th grade Regents Chemistry and Physics at Fairport High School in Fairport, New York. Now in his 28th year of teaching, Ognibene has received the 2002 American Chemical Society Teacher of the Year Award and the 2006 Fairport High School Crystal Apple Award for excellence in teaching. He has also served as an adviser to his district’s Gay Straight Alliance and is an active member of the Fairport Educators Association.

Susan Rippe is a College Biology teacher at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas. With 32 years of teaching experience, Rippe also taught 10th grade students in aerospace and engineering chemistry at Olathe Northwest from 2003-2008. Prior to that, she taught in the Wichita School District. In 2000 she received the Kansas Teacher of the Year award.

Ben Talley teaches science at Van Pelt Elementary School in Bristol, Virginia. With 24 years of teaching experience, Talley is also an author of several books, including “The Game My Father Taught Me,” penned in 2007, which sold nearly 11,000 copies. He also splits his time between teaching GED courses at the Bristol Virginia Jail and teaching elementary pupils. In 2003, Talley won the McGlothlin Award and in 2008, he won the Bristol Mayors’ Award of Distinction.

Brigitte Tennis teaches 7th-10th graders in all subjects at Stella Schola Middle School in Redmond, Washington. With 32 years of teaching experience, Tennis is the founder and head teacher of Stella Schola.  A product of the Lake Washington School District, Tennis attended the University of Washington on an academic scholarship, completing her bachelor’s degrees in Violin Performance and in Education (K – 12).  Her master’s equivalency is in Education. She has been acknowledged as a distinguished educator in Who’s Who For American Teachers in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006 she accomplished her National Board (NBCT) certification as a nationally recognized professional teacher of excellence in English.

On Wednesday, April 29th, Inductees will fly to Washington, where they will meet with staff at U.S. Department of Education to provide input on how the federal government can be helpful to fellow teachers. NEA will hold a reception in their honor in Washington on the evening of May 1st.

For additional information, contact The National Teachers Hall of Fame at 620-341-5660 or nthfdirector@emporia.edu.

  • John Jankowski

    I have shared this story with my facebook friends and how it
    touched me. Think about how grateful Kelvin’s family and friends must have been
    when it turned out Christine was a match, and she was still proceeding onward.
    Think of the prayers Kelvin and everyone who knew him had been praying. And
    think of the gratitude they must have for answered prayer, and for Christine
    herself. While reading the story, all of that touched me. But something else in
    that story touched me as well. It comes from the following paragraph:

    “When she revealed her plans to her employers and friends,
    the reaction was mixed. Most people applauded her decision, but some admitted
    they were concerned. While no one explicitly used the word “crazy” to
    describe what she was doing, she knew that’s what they meant. They pointed out
    that she has a husband, two young daughters and an important career where she
    makes a difference in the lives of many hundreds of students each year.”

    Can you imagine the reactions? Here is a lady, happily
    married with kids, a great career, and she didn’t hesitate. She went and got
    tested, and went through a litany of subsequent tests, and each time they tell
    her about the risks and also that she can stop if she wants….she doesn’t have
    to go through with it. But her heart and mind says no, let’s proceed. Some of
    them implied that she was crazy! And as the paragraph suggests, “they point out
    that she has a husband, two young daughters, and an important career where she
    makes a difference in the lives of many hundreds of students each year.”

    It is this last sentence that touched me. Christine Buell,
    with this beautiful display of unselfishness, this extraordinary act of
    kindness, this seismic demonstration of love, has put herself unwittingly in
    the position of making a difference in all of our lives if we can somehow find
    the courage to live our lives sharing kindness and love with each other. Jesus
    stated to love your neighbor as yourself…but how often do we do it? We live in
    a chaotic world and we see a lot of hopelessness, homelessness, and
    hatefulness. God really is good. And if He lives in you, despite what the world
    says, let Him work through you.

    I hope whoever reads this post feels compelled to write
    Christine Buell and say thank you for being such an inspiration…she’s on
    Facebook. Please share this post and the story on your page and inspire people
    to write Christine and say thanks. Kelvin could have been your brother, dad,
    friend. It would not have mattered to Christine! I am constantly amazed at what
    teachers and educators do for their students. Here is one who has done
    something for all of us. Please pray for her and Kelvin

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/principal-to-give-former-student-ultimate-christmas-gift-her-kidney/ar-BBnV6OH?ocid=spartandhp

  • John Jankowski

    I have shared this story with my facebook friends and how it
    touched me. Think about how grateful Kelvin’s family and friends must have been
    when it turned out Christine was a match, and she was still proceeding onward.
    Think of the prayers Kelvin and everyone who knew him had been praying. And
    think of the gratitude they must have for answered prayer, and for Christine
    herself. While reading the story, all of that touched me. But something else in
    that story touched me as well. It comes from the following paragraph:

    “When she revealed her plans to her employers and friends,
    the reaction was mixed. Most people applauded her decision, but some admitted
    they were concerned. While no one explicitly used the word “crazy” to
    describe what she was doing, she knew that’s what they meant. They pointed out
    that she has a husband, two young daughters and an important career where she
    makes a difference in the lives of many hundreds of students each year.”

    Can you imagine the reactions? Here is a lady, happily
    married with kids, a great career, and she didn’t hesitate. She went and got
    tested, and went through a litany of subsequent tests, and each time they tell
    her about the risks and also that she can stop if she wants….she doesn’t have
    to go through with it. But her heart and mind says no, let’s proceed. Some of
    them implied that she was crazy! And as the paragraph suggests, “they point out
    that she has a husband, two young daughters, and an important career where she
    makes a difference in the lives of many hundreds of students each year.”

    It is this last sentence that touched me. Christine Buell,
    with this beautiful display of unselfishness, this extraordinary act of
    kindness, this seismic demonstration of love, has put herself unwittingly in
    the position of making a difference in all of our lives if we can somehow find
    the courage to live our lives sharing kindness and love with each other. Jesus
    stated to love your neighbor as yourself…but how often do we do it? We live in
    a chaotic world and we see a lot of hopelessness, homelessness, and
    hatefulness. God really is good. And if He lives in you, despite what the world
    says, let Him work through you.

    I hope whoever reads this post feels compelled to write
    Christine Buell and say thank you for being such an inspiration…she’s on
    Facebook. Please share this post and the story on your page and inspire people
    to write Christine and say thanks. Kelvin could have been your brother, dad,
    friend. It would not have mattered to Christine! I am constantly amazed at what
    teachers and educators do for their students. Here is one who has done
    something for all of us. Please pray for her and Kelvin

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/principal-to-give-former-student-ultimate-christmas-gift-her-kidney/ar-BBnV6OH?ocid=spartandhp