2020 LSR-7 Teacher of the Year
Matthew Ketteman, Longview Farm Elementary School
Matthew's favorite quote:
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
A self-described ‘joy wrangler’ Matthew Ketteman, Lee’s Summit’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, teaches music at Longview Farm Elementary and delights in creating a classroom where sharing is encouraged and listening is required. Ketteman believes “If there was ever a time we need to learn how to self-regulate emotions and empathize with another so we can find joy, it is now. In my classroom, gender, race, height, IQ and athletic ability do not matter; our sound is better with each individual voice contributing to the harmony of the ensemble.”
Principal Kimberly Hassler says of Ketteman, “Matthew establishes student connection and learning as the fundamental purposes in his choral classroom, and his students know it is a safe place to grow and learn. Mr. K’s Magical Music Show, which he created, produced and starred in this spring reflects his creativity and willingness to go above and beyond”. Ketteman transformed his own children’s play room into a makeshift broadcasting room where he recorded weekly livestreams for his students and their families. He did it because he, “wanted them to have a community experience; we needed fellowship, not isolation - a live experience.”
Ketteman’s going the extra mile was deeply appreciated by parents, one of whom messaged the district in the midst of the pandemic saying, “All year he (Ketteman) has gone out of his way to make music fun for students, but watching him in this extraordinary circumstance is awe-inspiring.” Ketteman has served in numerous capacities including being selected with the Longview Farm Stallion Singer Choir to perform the National Anthem for a Royals game, providing live music performances and DJ services to multiple charities and LSR7 schools, coordinating annually with the Kansas City Symphony to bring third grade students to the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts in a collaborative performance, and coaching and organizing the LFE Stallion Archery Team while running an annual charity archery tournament to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Selected in May 2020 as the Lee’s Summit R-7 Teacher of the Year, Ketteman was notified in July that he had been selected as one of 34 Regional Teacher of the Year recipients. He submitted his state application to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in late July and learned in early August he was one of seven finalists for Missouri Teacher of the Year.