Welcome to “Year of the Teacher” in Oklahoma

After spending 30 years preparing for the first day of school, it’s a little bittersweet this August as I begin my tenure as the Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year. I miss the excitement and nervousness of the start of a new school year but cherish the opportunity to represent our profession in a new capacity.  Teaching is one of the most well-respected and impactful careers a person can choose, and I am extremely proud to be a teacher.
There are many tremendous teachers throughout our state who spend countless hours and energy working to ensure the success of our students in Oklahoma. My expectation for the 2018-19 school year is to visit as many sites across the state as possible to meet and showcase the amazing teachers we have in Oklahoma. I want to see your classrooms, hear your stories, highlight your talents and help spread the passion you exude every day on the job. This is the “year of the teacher” in Oklahoma.
It has been my privilege to get to know the other 2018 12 state finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Each of them is a superb teacher, but more importantly, they are some of the kindest and most classy people I have ever met. Their excellence needs to have a platform to be expressed as much as mine. Therefore, our blog is going to be a little different this year. Each month, several of the 12 finalists will be adding their thoughts to the blog on various topics. I deeply appreciate their willingness to participate in this process. I know you will enjoy their insight and inspiration as much as I have enjoyed it over the past year. This month Jill Andrews from Claremore High School, Shala Marshall from Jenks High School and Christine Mueller from Moore Junior High School will be sharing their thoughts.

Thank you all. Have a great start to the school year.

Donna Gradel
2018-2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

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Last updated on August 14, 2018