Teresa Schrant, a 37-year adept educator at Holy Family Elementary, was recently awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award at the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools Conference. Schrant maintains high expectations of her students and inspires them to go beyond their previously conceived notions.

Schrant, who began her career in 1981 when HFE was St. Joseph’s School, has dedicated her faith-filled work and initiatives over the years, bringing liturgical and cultural events that have become part of HFE’s tradition and heritage, such as the annual pet blessing in October, Mary’s Baby Shower in December and pancake races in February. Moreover, Schrant always keeps the HFE school spirituality in the forefront of her mind as she creates beautiful scenes in the school trophy case that correspond to liturgical and seasonal times of the school year. Additionally, Schrant organizes the school spelling bee annually during Catholic Schools Week.

Through her meticulous planning and exemplary high expectations of student performance Schrant not only demands excellence, but inspires students to perform at levels higher than they believed capable. Her matter-of-fact demeanor allows students to recognize where they come up short and where they need to work harder to achieve the next level of success and then each level of success is celebrated. Thoughtfully she photographs the students and special events throughout the school year and assembles a beautiful photo book of her fourth graders’ school year experience. 

“Schrant is a teacher leader in our school building that supports the needs of students and staff while helping create a culture of excellence with fun and celebration sprinkled in appropriately,” stated Rachel Wentling, HFE principal. The KAIRS organization represents 35,000 students in Kansas and hundreds of teachers. Schrant’s award was nominated and represented the educators of the Salina Diocese of Kansas.

Schrant earned a BS in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University in 1981. Throughout her tenure in teaching she has taught second and fourth grade.