State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year finalists last month at a at the annual conference for Oklahoma’s school administrators. “It is a pleasure to congratulate these finalists,” said Superintendent Barresi. “These teachers are the best and brightest representing the broad array of expertise among Oklahoma’s teachers, and the commitment of our educators to constant improvement and innovation.”
Six state regional committees comprised of teachers and parents each selected two of the 12 finalists. A state committee comprised of education, business and civic leaders will choose the winner, with Superintendent Barresi scheduled to make the announcement in ceremonies at the Oklahoma State Fair in September.
The 2011 finalists for Teacher of the Year are:
- Jody Bowie—a 10th-12th grade Physics, Earth Science, and Physical Science teacher at Putnam City High School with 4 years of experience.
- Amy Braun —a 1st grade teacher at Northmoor Elementary School in Moore Public Schools with 8 years experience.
- Trina Evans – an 8th-12th grade English, Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Advanced Placement Calculus, and Advanced Placement Statistics teacher at Liberty High School with 12 years of experience.
- Ebony Harris—a 9th through 11th grade Algebra; Algebra II; and Geometry at Seminole High School with 13 years of teaching experience.
- Betty Henderson—an 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement Biology II and Anatomy and Physiology teacher from Bartlesville High School with 23 years of experience.
- Dawn Poyndexter —a 1st and 2nd grades looping at Cedar Ridge Elementary in Union Public Schools, with a total of 22 years of teaching experience.
- Kristin Shelby —a 4th teacher at Sallie Gillentine Elementary School in Hollis with a 16-year teaching career.
- Lori Sosenko —a 4th grade at James Griffith Intermediate at Choctaw-Nicoma Park Public with 18 years total experience.
- Jill Steeley—a 2nd grade teacher at Central Elementary School in Coweta Public Schools with 40 years of experience in education,.
- Tonya Stites—a Pre-Kindergarten-2nd grade Physical Education teacher at Liberty Elementary in Sallisaw with 12 years teaching experience.
- Mark Thomas —a 10th through 12th grade Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Advanced Placement Calculus teacher from Stillwater High School with 16 years of experience.
- Lyndal Westmoreland —an Advanced Placement English Literature; 8th grade English; 7th and 8th grade Reading; and Speech, Drama, and Debate teacher at Okarche High School with 29 years of experience as an educator.
The winner represents Oklahoma in the national Teacher of the Year competition and serves as Oklahoma’s "Ambassador of Teaching,” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.