TULSA, Oklahoma - State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister introduced the 12 finalists for Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year on Tuesday.

“These 12 individuals represent the highest standard of education in our state and are exceptional examples of the tremendous impact one person can make in the lives of kids,” said Hofmeister. “Their use of innovative instructional strategies and their demonstrated ability to forge meaningful relationships with students and families demonstrate their commitment to the success of every child in their classroom. We are proud of their success, and they are deserving of this important honor.”

The 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalists are: 

  • Cara Bowerman, a visual arts teacher at Edmond North High School in Edmond Public Schools.
  • Debbie Carlisle, an English teacher at Clinton High School in Clinton Public Schools
  • Kirbey Dietzel, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Jenks East Intermediate School in Jenks Public Schools
  • Terri Guthridge, an English teacher at Grove High School in Grove Public Schools
  • Lesa Hefner, a career readiness teacher at Duncan High School in Duncan Public Schools
  • Elizabeth Hoggatt, an English teacher at Norman High School in Norman Public Schools
  • Patricia Lightfoot, a sixth-grade reading teacher at Weatherford Middle School in Weatherford Public Schools
  • Jena Nelson, an English teacher at Deer Creek Middle School in Deer Creek Schools
  • Michelle Rahn, a sixth-grade science teacher at Will Rogers Middle School in Claremore Public Schools
  • Kari Rhoden, a Pre-K teacher at Oologah Lower Elementary in Oologah-Talala Public Schools
  • Cassandra Stauder, science teacher at Dewey High School in Dewey Public Schools
  • Katie Thompson, kindergarten teacher at Shawnee Early Childhood Center in Shawnee Public Schools

The Teacher of the Year will be named on Sept. 17 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.