The 12 candidates to be Oklahoma’s next state Teacher of the Year were announced Thursday in Oklahoma City. The finalists were named during a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s summer conference.
“These teachers demonstrate incredible talent, creativity and dedication. They represent the best-of-the best, and that is not an easy achievement when you consider how many amazing teachers our state has in all of its schools,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said.
“I am honored to recognize our finalists, and I look forward to collaborating with them and sharing their successes with all of Oklahoma.”
Five of the 12 teach in public schools in eastern Oklahoma:
- Amanda Bowser is a Title I Math Interventionist and learning coach for students in second through fifth grade at Oak Crest Elementary in Broken Arrow Public Schools.
- Jenniffer Callaway teaches English Language Arts I, II, III and IV as well as the elective course Healthy Lifestyles at Jenks Alternative Center in Jenks Public Schools.
- Lisa Kerns teaches second grade at Hilldale Lower Elementary in Hilldale Public Schools in Muskogee.
- Jack Reavis teaches AP U.S. History and AP Government and Politics at Muskogee High School in Muskogee Public Schools.
- Ryan Walters teaches AP World History, World History and U.S. History at McAlester High School in McAlester Public Schools.
The other finalists include:
- Cindy Butler teaches fifth grade English Language Arts at Parkview Elementary in Mid-Del Schools.
- Tony Flores teaches music to students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Wiley Post Elementary in Putnam City Schools.
- Lori Hartin teaches English II, Pre-AP English II and competitive speech at Madill High School in Madill Public Schools.
- Sharon Morgan teaches first grade at Piedmont Elementary in Piedmont Public Schools.
- Kimberly Paxson teaches Design Basics, Advanced 2D and 3D art, and AP and pre-AP Studio Art at Shawnee High School in Shawnee Public Schools.
- Shawn Sheehan teaches Algebra I at Norman High School in Norman Public Schools.
- Susan Weaver teaches Pre-Kindergarten at Highland Park Elementary in Stillwater Public Schools.
The 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be announced on August 25.