State Superintendent Janet Barresi on Wednesday announced Oklahoma’s 2014 Teacher of the Year finalists during the State Department of Education’s annual Vision 2020 conference.
“The happiest part of my job is being able to notify 12 very excited finalists that they have been nominated for the highest teaching honor in our state,” Barresi said. “These teachers have demonstrated their superior devotion to children in their classrooms and a great deal of talent in giving their students the knowledge and thinking skills that will help them succeed both in and beyond the school environment.”
Committees comprised of teachers, parents and community members selected the 12 finalists -- two finalists from each of the six regions in the state. 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 winner represents Oklahoma in the national Teacher of the Year competition, receives more than $50,000 in cash and prizes from generous donors, and serves as Oklahoma’s “Ambassador of Teaching,” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.
The finalists for 2014 Teacher of the Year are:
- Barbara Bayless was a 3rd-grade teacher at James Griffith Intermediate School in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District for the past five years. She will be a reading specialist in the coming school year. She has nine years of teaching experience.
- Frank V. Cooper is a 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade world history and comparative religions teacher at Charles Page High School in the Sand Springs School District with 20 years of experience.
- Jentri Guinn is a 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade English teacher at Porter High School in the Porter Consolidated School District with eight years of experience.
- Betina Jones-Parra is a 10th- through 12th-grade Advanced Placement calculus, pre-Advanced Placement calculus and Algebra II teacher at Noble High School in the Noble School District with 21 years of experience.
- Tera Landrum is a 5th-grade teacher Oak Crest Elementary School in the Broken Arrow School District with three years of experience.
- Peter L. Markes is an 8th- through 12th-grade string orchestra and Advanced Placement music theory teacher at Edmond North High School in the Edmond School District with 12 years of experience.
- Dana Moore is a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Hills Elementary School in the Lawton School District with 19 years of experience.
- Therese D. Rawlinson is a fifth-grade teacher at Jane Phillips Elementary School in the Bartlesville School District with nine years of experience.
- Mara Richards is an 8th-grade science and pre-Advanced Placement physical science teacher at Durant Middle School in the Durant School District with 15 years of experience.
- Susan Rindal is a prekindergarten teacher at Vanoss Elementary School in the Vanoss School District with 15 years of experience.
- Chelsea Roberts is an 8th-grade American history teacher at Woodward Middle School in the Woodward School District with two years of experience.
- Eddie Lou Strimple is a pre-kindergarten through 5th-grade music teacher at McKinley Elementary School in the Enid School District with 42 years of experience.
Go here for more about the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year program.