• Teacher: Kris Munsch
  • Subject: Industrial Technology
  • School: Bonner Springs High School
  • Awarded: November 2010

Teacher Bio - After Kris Munsch tells his story, there's rarely a dry eye left in the room. Munsch, now in his fourth year at Bonner Springs High School, lost his 16-year-old son in an automobile accident in 2005. As he grieved the loss of his son, Munsch searched for his purpose in life and eventually accepted the industrial technology position at Bonner Springs High School.

After struggling with the death of his son, Munsch wrote "The Birdhouse Project" to help his healing and as a way to help others who are grieving. The book is the story of how he emerged from dark times after his son's death and includes a step-by-step healing process that incorporates building a birdhouse. In Munsch's industrial technology classes, The Birdhouse Project has given students an outlet for the issues they encounter as teenagers.

After reaching students through "The Birdhouse Project" and getting the ball rolling, Munsch and his students came up with a program to support families who have lost infants. Through the Soft Pine program, Munsch's classes build caskets and vaults and donate them to families who don't have funds available to cover funeral costs.

It's easy to understand why principal Joe Hornback says Munsh is the most impactful teacher he's ever met. After receiving the Nov. Educating Excellence award, Munsch was featured in the Bonner Springs Chieftan.