Region finalists were named this past weekend for the 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year award.

Among the finalists in Region 1, were St. George Elementary art teacher Erin Pittenger and Smoky Valley High School art teacher Gretchen Elliott. The pair will each receive a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, the program’s major corporate sponsor and are eligible for the Kansas Teacher of the Year, which will be announced at a Sept. 23 ceremony in Wichita.

Pittenger and Elliott were recognized at a ceremony Saturday in Salina. They were among six Teacher of the Year semifinalists from Region 1, which covers the the first U.S. congressional district.

Other area semifinalists included Wamego High School special education teacher Kelly Estes and Lindsey Graham from Lincoln Elementary in Clay Center.