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Oklahoma Teacher of the Year


Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program

The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program is coordinated through the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister. The program is in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year Program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the ING Foundation.

Application and Selection Timeline Changes

We're excited to announce some improvements to the selection timeline for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program! The application for 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year is now active at the link below. The deadline for submission will be August 31, 2020. The 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year ceremony will be scheduled in February of 2021 and the newly selected Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will travel Oklahoma as an ambassador for teachers during the 2021-2022 school year.

Teacher of the Year Application

Please contact us with any questions.
Phone: (405) 522-8767
Email: teacheroftheyear@sde.ok.gov

Teacher of the Year Request to Speak

Teacher of the
Year Blog

Teacher of the Year Ceremony Photos

 

2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Jena Nelson

 

Jena Nelson - Teacher of the Year 2020 Jena Nelson teaches 8th-grade composition and academic enhancement at Deer Creek Middle School. Jena is a 15-year educator and formerly taught theater, musical theater, and stagecraft. A longtime advocate for career-based curriculum, Jena has helped her students earn over $4 million in scholarships and incorporates career readiness in all her classes. She has been selected twice to direct at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and was also chosen as a presenter at the International Music Festival in Campina Grande Brazil. This year she was selected by Congresswoman Kendra Horn to attend the State of the Union Address in Washington D.C. She is former Edmond North High School Teacher of the Year, Read Across America Ambassador for the OEA, and was named Outstanding Partner in Education from Crutcho Schools. Jena is thrilled to start her revolution of morale and represent and advocate for the profession she loves.


Read more about Jena...


Congratulations, Jena Nelson!

 

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Topics

 

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program

 View the latest finalist.

 

General Qualifications

All Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 classroom teachers in state-accredited schools is eligible for nomination. It is important that every teacher is given the opportunity to participate in this recognition process. No minimum years of teaching experience are required to be qualified for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Nominees should be exceptionally skillful and dedicated classroom teachers who are planning to continue in an active teaching status. According to the director of the National Teacher of the Year Program, a classroom teacher is one who teaches a group of students every day within the confines of the classroom and does not have administrative duties. Nominees should communicate effectively and demonstrate creative and imaginative teaching on a day-to-day basis. The nominee should have the ability to inspire the value of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and assure academic success. Nominations should be made without regard to age, sex, race, or religion.

 

Selection Process

At the local district level, the Teacher of the Year program is coordinated through the district superintendent. It is the responsibility of the district superintendent to make sure that every teacher is given the opportunity to participate in the recognition process. It is important to emphasize that the search is not for “the best teacher,” but for one who exemplifies the finest in the profession.

Local District Selection Process

The local school district determines the local selection process and announces the local Teacher of the Year.

Regional Selection Committee

The regional selection committee will evaluate the applications that have been submitted by local Teachers of the Year and select twelve finalists to continue on to the State Selection Committee.

State Selection Committee

The state selection committee will follow procedures identified below for each of the twelve finalists to select the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

  • Conduct an interview
  • View a digital video file of classroom teaching. Finalists will partner with the OSDE videographer to create a short video that will document highlights of their classroom instructional methods.
  • Recommend the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year to the State Superintendent

 

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Recognition

The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year serves as Oklahoma Ambassador of Teaching, representing Oklahoma in the national competition by sharing knowledge and resources with fellow educators around the state and encouraging education as a profession.

 

Edward C. Joullian III Scholarship

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a high school senior in the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s district.

The Oklahoma State Fair Board established the Edward C. Joullian III $5,000 Scholarship to be awarded to a high school senior in the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district. The scholarship winner is announced at the Oklahoma State Fair. This scholarship was established to encourage students to continue their education, recognize the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district, and celebrate the contributions of Mr. Joullian to the lives of Oklahoma’s young people.

Former Oklahoma Teacher of the Year List

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Last updated on January 19, 2021