Topeka teacher faces educators statewide for Kansas Teacher of the Year

Cherryl Delacruz
Cherryl Delacruz(Topeka Public Schools)
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 4:18 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An educator of Topeka’s very own has been named the Region 2 Kansas Teacher of the Year as she goes up against finalists from other regions to be crowned Kansas Teacher of the Year.

Topeka Public Schools USD 501 says that Cherryl Delacruz, a math teacher at TPS College Prep Academy and Highland Park High School, has been named the secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year for Region 2 by the Kansas State Department of Education.

TPS noted that Delacruz joined the team about 15 years beforehand after she arrived from the Phillippines. She also leads math curriculum planning for teachers districtwide.

“Mrs. Delacruz represents excellence in teaching across Topeka Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson. “She is a teacher who humbly leads with love and grace to fulfill our mission to engage, prepare, and inspire students for a lifetime of learning. We are all so very proud of Mrs. Delacruz, the Kansas Teacher of the Year for Region 2, and our elementary nominee Mr. Allen Lake.”

TPS indicated that it will recognize Delacruz and Lake at the April 6 Board of Education meeting at 5:30 p.m. A celebration for Delacruz will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 27 at Bishop Professional Development Center.

“Mrs. Delacruz’s passion for education, her students, and her fellow educators is amazing,” said TPS Board of Education President Sue Bolley. “She brings that enthusiasm to work with her every day to uplift and support students and staff and build upon the greatness of the Topeka Public Schools district. We are so proud of her, and she is so deserving of this prestigious award.”

The district said this is the second year in a row it has had a regional winner with Pamela Muñoz of McCarter Elementary serving as a 2023 Finalist and Delacruz earning the 2024 Teacher of the Year of region 2 secondary educators.

“Mrs. Delacruz is inspiring to students and teachers,” said TPS Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Billie Wallace. “She exemplifies the profession in how she supports and gives back, always putting students first.”

At Delacruz’s announcement ceremony, officials said she gave an inspiring speech that referred to teachers as “unsung heroes,” and thanked her colleagues, superintendents and principals for their support.