2017 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program and logo

Jon Hazell

Current Teaching Position

  • 9th-12th Grade Science Teacher

  • Durant High School, Durant
    Public Schools

  • 33 years of teaching experience


  • M. Ed. in Public School Administration, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • B.S. in Science Education, Southeastern Oklahoma State University


Teaching Philosophy

"A turning point occurred in my career when I realized that if I am urging my students to listen, or learn, or try, I may have already failed. Conventional wisdom might suggest that exhorting students to do those things is the very essence of my job. My experience has taught me to turn this conventional wisdom away from the teacher and toward the learner. My job is to bring students to a place where they ask me to teach them."

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Message

"in the end, we all want the same thing, regardless of how we may differ about the best approach. We can be sure that we will find solutions to our current challenges. The best teachers are those who will stay, and who will find ways for all of us to succeed based on that common ground."



Jon Hazell has taught Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, and Environmental Science at Durant High School for 34 years. His wife, Jeanie, has taught 2nd grade in Durant for 32 years. They have done missionary work with churches and schools in various parts of Africa and Mexico, and he serves on the Treasure of Life Board, an organization dedicated to promoting social justice in Ghana. He is a founding board member of J 127 ministries, an organization dedicated to helping children who have aged out of Foster Care in obtaining housing and furthering their education, and he has been active in jail and prison ministry for 20 years. Mr. Hazell serves on the Bio-med educational advisory board for the Kiamichi Technology Center, and he is the Student Council Advisor and the FCA huddle leader for Durant High School. During the summers he is the lead facilitator for the ropes course at Crosspoint Camp on Lake Texoma. He is also the pastor of the Community Christian Church in Durant.
This past year, Mr. Hazell was awarded the Professional Oklahoma Educators award as the outstanding high school teacher in Oklahoma. He has been awarded the Diamond Book Award by the Teachers Appreciation Foundation for 2017, and in August of this year he was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the State of Oklahoma.



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Last updated on March 10, 2017