Saturday, September 17, 2011

Teacher of the Year Winner to be Announced Tuesday at State Fair

Supt. Janet Barresi

OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi will announce the 2012 Teacher of the Year winner during a ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. September 20, 2011, in the Carriage Hall at the Oklahoma State Fair.

“Truly one of the most enjoyable parts of my job was getting to tell each of these 12 finalists that they were nominated for Teacher of the Year,” Barresi said. “It will be my extreme pleasure to announce the winner. This group represents the best of the best in education, and I’m thankful to each of them for their hard work and dedication to the students in Oklahoma.”
Six state regional committees composed of teachers and parents each selected two of the 12 finalists. A state committee composed of education, business and civic leaders will choose the winner.
The winner represents Oklahoma in the national Teacher of the Year competition, receives more than $50,000 in cash and prizes and serves as Oklahoma's "Ambassador of Teaching,” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.
The finalists for Teacher of the Year are: 
  • Anthony Rose - is a four-year science, and geography teacher at Cheyenne Middle School in Edmond Public Schools. “An outstanding teacher is someone that makes a child’s day every day through encouragement, dedication, and love.”
  • Amy Braun - has spent six of the last eight years as a first-grade teacher at Northmoor Elementary School in Moore Public Schools. “I believe students need to experience success to develop a life-long love of learning.”
  • Trina Evans - has been an eighth through 12th-grade English, Algebra, pre-calculus, Advanced Placement calculus, and Advanced Placement statistics teacher at Liberty High School for 11 years of her 12-year career. “Belief in the ability of all students to learn is essential in an outstanding teacher.”
  • Ebony Harris - has taught for 13 years, with her last 10 years teaching ninth through 11th-grade Algebra; Algebra II and geometry at Seminole High School. “Effective teachers must seek and seize opportunities, strategies, and solutions that will encourage, assist, and facilitate an inward transformation of a student’s self-worth.”
  • Betty Henderson – is an 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement biology II and anatomy and physiology teacher from Bartlesville High School with 23 years of experience. “Each student deserves more than simply the opportunity to learn, but the encouragement and support to master the material and incorporate it into his or her own life, both now and in the future.“
  • Dawn Poyndexter - has taught first and second grades looping at Cedar Ridge Elementary in Union Public Schools for 11 years, with a total of 22 years of teaching experience. “Each child learns differently, but all children can learn.”
  • Kristin Shelby - a 16-year educator, Shelby has taught fourth-grade for the last three years at Sallie Gillentine Elementary School in Hollis Public Schools. “If my students love school, strive for personal excellence, and leave my class prepared for future paths, then I have accomplished my mission.”
  • Lori Sosenko - a Choctaw-Nicoma Park Public School teacher with 18 years total experience, Sosenko currently teaches fourth grade at James Griffith Intermediate School. “I believe that to become a teacher, you must have a calling.”
  • Jill Steeley - With 40 years of experience in education, Steely currently teaches second grade at Central Elementary School in Coweta Public Schools. “I am not successful until my students learn.” 
  • Tonya Stites - has taught pre-kindergarten through second-grade students physical education at Liberty Elementary in Sallisaw for the last five years of her 12-year career. “Every day my goal is to teach the value of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, and build a positive and encouraging relationship with each student.”
  • Mark Thomas - a 10th- through 12th-grade geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry, and Advanced Placement calculus teacher from Stillwater has 16 years of experience, with the last four being at Stillwater High School. “…by having quality teachers teaching other teachers, they can have a rippling impact across many classrooms with students they will never meet.”
  • Lyndal Westmoreland - has 29 years of experience as an educator, the last 22 being as an Advanced Placement English literature; eighth-grade English; seventh- and eighth-grade reading; and speech, drama and debate teacher at Okarche High School. “Each year I discover new analogies to explain a concept, new allusions to help make a point, and new technique to teach a lesson.”
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