Broken Arrow Teacher Aims To Shine Light On Public Education As Teacher Of The Year Finalist

Broken Arrow hasn't produced a state teacher of the year since 2018, but 5th-grade teacher Amanda Bowser hopes to change that, not for herself, but for her students.

Thursday, March 7th 2024, 5:20 pm

By: Matt Rahn


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The 10 finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year have been announced, and several are from the eastern side of the state. 

One finalist from Broken Arrow is excited to have the opportunity to share the joys of teaching. Broken Arrow hasn't produced a state teacher of the year since 2018, but 5th-grade teacher Amanda Bowser hopes to change that, not for herself, but to help shine a light on Public Education.

Amanda Bowser's name proudly sits on the Broken Arrow district teacher of the year list twice actually, for last year and 2015. 

"The number of phone calls I get at the beginning of the year begging to have Mrs. Bowser as their teacher and obviously she can't teach every kind, but is an honor and a testament to what she does in the classroom," says Bowser’s Principal Nate Hutchings.

Her Principal at Rosewood Elementary can't praise Bowser enough, and doesn’t want to think about the year hiatus she'll take if selected as state teacher of the year. 

"Yeah that's tough, that's a tough thing to do but how exciting to be able to know that the light that I've had in my building for almost 4 years now has an opportunity for public education," says Bowser.

Bowser has taught for 19 years in Broken Arrow and has a passion for nurturing leaders. She's happy to be nominated but wants the spotlight to shine on her students, not herself.

"I hope that I'm not put on a pedestal, because being named a top 10 finalist doesn't make me a perfect teacher, that doesn't exist," says Bowser.

She's actually out of the classroom today, interviewing the next BA teacher of the year. 

"To sit and to hear the stories of other teachers, now I get to go and tell their stories and that feels really exciting to me," says Bowser.

Principal Hutchings says that's one of the things she does best, inspiring other teachers, a quality much needed for whoever may be Oklahoma's next teacher of the year. Some of the other finalists are Amanda Winn from Glenpool, Nichole Leib from Morris, and Frances Millspaugh from Locust Grove. 

The winner will be announced in July. 

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