KSPA congratulates the 2023 Sunflower Award winner: Madison Loomis from Maize South High School.
The Sunflower Award recognizes new advisers who show enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program and aims to encourage those teachers to remain in the profession.
Loomis advises the yearbook and teaches English at Maize South High School.
In letters of recommendation, students, administrators and fellow teachers described Loomis as a teacher and publications adviser:
English department chair Mark David Bradshaw wrote, “From every success and failure, Ms. Loomis has learned. Given a Breakfast Club of kids, she has worked closely with our assistant principal to institute classroom policies to challenge learners and hold all students accountable … This upward climb has born rich rewards: for her second year as advisor, Loomis and her team won an All-Kansas distinction for their yearbook, called Updating.”
KSPA mentor and former adviser Mary Patrick wrote, “The improvements her program has made in under three years of advising have been drastic . . . she has grown her program into a strong course that provides an attractive elective option . . . She has led her staff in life lessons of courtesy, diversity, acceptance, and ethical and moral considerations.”
Current Maize South senior Carly Craft wrote, “Ms. Loomis is one of the most passionate teachers I’ve ever had. She truly loves helping students and getting others engaged in journalism. Ms. Loomis helped me learn how to lead and she ultimately has set me up for success.”
And finally, Megan Fowler-Waugh, assistant principal at Maize South, wrote, “Madison cares deeply about her students and wants to support them in producing an award winning yearbook. She understand the important of positive student-teacher relationships, which she form and utilizes to motivate her students.”
The judges for the award said:
This adviser has achieved a great deal in a compressed period of time, lending stature to a program both in its curricular value, as well as in its school community setting.
Maize employees and administrator surprised Loomis in her classroom with the announcement of the award in April.
The KSPA staff and board congratulate Loomis on earning the 2023 Sunflower Award.