(785) 864-0605


Aurora Farmer Wins 2024 Sunflower Award

Aurora Farmer has been named the 2024 winner of the Sunflower Award, which recognizes a new adviser who shows enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong journalism program.

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. 

Farmer advises newspaper and photojournalism at Halstead High School, where she has been since 2022. In her two years at Halstead High School, Farmer has made a significant impact on the journalism department, inspiring not only her students, but fellow advisers as well. 

During her short time at Halstead High School, Farmer has created an inclusive, engaging learning environment in her classroom where she consistently shares her knowledge and passion for journalism with students and staff. 

Students and colleagues spoke highly of Farmer’s ability to connect with students and garner interest for student journalism in their letters of recommendations.

Words of nomination: 

Kelli Zehr, journalism teacher at Halstead High School: 

One of Aurora’s outstanding qualities is to create an engaging, inclusive learning environment. She gears the learning to the current industry trends and provides students with valuable insight and practical knowledge. She is dedicated to journalism and works with students to foster a love for the craft.

Despite my 22 years of teaching and since my time in the classroom with Aurora, I have also learned from her. She has revitalized my passion and love for journalism. She is not afraid to share her knowledge and passion with colleagues and students because she wants everyone to have their own niche in the world of journalism.

Chad Baalman, Halstead High School principal:

In the two years that Aurora has worked at Halstead High School, I have consistently witnessed Aurora’s exceptional commitment to her students and her craft. Her passion for teaching is not only evident in the lessons she plans but also in her unwavering dedication to the personal and academic growth of each student under her guidance.

Aurora’s ability to excel in her role as an educator stems from her innate drive to continuously improve and innovate. She took a nonexistent program and has grown it to be a pathway that all students want to take. Aurora consistently seeks out ways to enhance her skills and enrich the learning experiences of her students.

Makayla Ediger, journalism student at Halstead High Schoool: 

During my time under Aurora’s mentorship, she served not only as a yearbook sponsor and graphic design teacher but also as a source of inspiration. Initially enrolling in her graphic design class as a requirement, I quickly discovered my passion for the subject, creating a significant shift in my academic and career path. Aurora’s ability to ignite a love for digital media in her students is a confirmation to her outstanding teaching skills and unwavering support.

One particular instance that stands out is the times in the print shop, where I created logos, menus, and brochures for companies around town. As a beginning designer, I found myself hesitant about my designs and unsure of my abilities. However, Aurora’s guidance and encouragement were essential in helping me overcome my doubts and insecurities. Her patience, constructive feedback, and unwavering belief in my abilities motivated me to push myself beyond my limits. Thanks to her mentorship, I gained valuable skills and confidence that continue to shape my professional journey.

From the selection committee:

After two years of teaching, Aurora Farmer has definitely made her mark at Halstead High School. Letters from teaching colleagues, school administrators, former students and parents all point to the “interesting and engaging learning atmosphere she has created.

Add to that her willingness to help other teachers with digital media and her ability to inspire students to love photography enough to start their own business and you have an obvious choice for the Sunflower award.

KSPA congratulates Aurora Farmer for her continued efforts to connect with her students and improve the publications she leads at Halstead High School. 

Post a comment

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop