Norman learning coach named 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

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Carrie Burkhart
Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371, c: (405) 760-7881

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-3375

Annette Price
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-6647



Norman learning coach named 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY (Mar. 4, 2021) -- Jessica Eschbach, an innovative learning coach from Norman Public Schools, was named the 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year today in a virtual ceremony. Eschbach teaches technology integration for all grades.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the announcement, which comes with $10,000 in cash and prizes, including the use of a vehicle for a year to tour the state as Oklahoma’s next teacher ambassador.


“Jessica understands that the world of instruction is constantly updating to reflect new research, and she strives to help students, families and fellow teachers to adapt to technology and new ways of learning. She embraces innovative strategies that aim to reach schoolchildren where they are and stands out as a leader among educators,” Hofmeister said.

Eschbach has been teaching for seven years, all in Norman, including roles as a social studies and English teacher at Alcott Middle School. While a teacher-librarian at Kennedy Elementary, she implemented a successful guest reader program, inviting prominent members of the community into the Title I school to read aloud. As an innovative learning coach, Eschbach works with teachers across the district to improve instruction and integrate new learning techniques and educational technology in their classes. She is based at Norman North High School.

“This pandemic and this year has shown us that there are some inequities that we can face head-on and make sure that every student in the state of Oklahoma is getting access to the best educational opportunities that we have to offer. Our students are going to be our future,” Eschbach said during the virtual ceremony.

Beginning July 1, Eschbach will assume full-time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. She will succeed Jena Nelson, of Deer Creek Public Schools, who will continue to tour the state until July as the 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

For a glimpse of Eschbach in the classroom, view her teaching video here.

To learn more about the other Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalists, click here.


Norman Public Schools teacher Jessica Eschbach is stunned after being named 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year during a virtual ceremony March 4.


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Last updated on March 4, 2021