We are excited to announce the 2019 KVATE Keynote Speakers


T.J. Warsnak is teacher and coach who works to move students closer towards their dreams. He has spent the past twenty-one years teaching social studies where he has used his knowledge of history and passion for teaching to help students and colleagues become optimistic and unselfishly push themselves to better the world. After beginning his career in Deerfield, KS,  TJ has taught the last eighteen years at Halstead High School. Each year T.J. has become more excited about teaching and has looked for ways to share that joy with others. He has had the opportunity to see his students grow, excel, graduate and then come back to share their experiences, challenges and successes. He looks forward to each day as a new opportunity to engage students to help solve problems, learn and make the world a better place. He has had the opportunity to speak on enhancing student engagement, integrating technology and other educational topics as well as being honored as 2019 Kansas Teacher of the Year Finalist, the 2008 Kansas History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and 2017 USD 440 Teacher of the Year. 

Derek Schutte has been teaching High School Social Studies and a Head Basketball Coach for the past 13 years.  Derek spent the first six years of his teaching career at Hodgeman County High School in Jetmore, KS, and the last seven years teaching at Halstead High School in Halstead, KS. Derek is devoted to emulate model behavior and civic engagement in the students by self example as he volunteers for many community committees, helps with the downtown beautification project, manages the swimming pool, and coaches youth sports teams year round. 
A Google Certified Educator, Derek, strives to try new and challenging practices in the classroom that he feels will benefit students.  He implemented the first paperless classroom in Halstead USD 440. He helped train teachers in the district on GAFE (Google Apps For Education) and Google Classroom.  Working with fellow colleagues and students to try new things and enhance their engagement in the classroom makes teaching an exciting profession.