Wednesday February 8, 2017

The Foundation, OKCPS name nine finalists for Teacher of the Year

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and the Oklahoma City Public Schools District (OKCPS) have named nine finalists for Teacher of the Year.

The 2016-2017 finalists are:

• Abby Hernandez, Westwood Elementary School, second grade
• John Hill, Southeast High School, advanced math
• Shannon Larsen, Wilson Elementary School, special education, K-fifth grade
• Adrian Rosado, Linwood Elementary School, third grade
• Debbie Patry, Nichols Hills Elementary School, third grade
• Karen Sleigh, Webster Middle School, eighth grade math
• Dina Torres, Shidler Elementary School, English language development
• Amanda Trimble, Southern Hills Elementary School, fifth grade English language arts/social studies
• Madison Wingate, Pierce Elementary School, pre-K

The finalists will be recognized at the Stars of Education celebration May 9 at the Historic Farmers Public Market Auditorium in Oklahoma City. They will receive more than $7,000 in cash awards from The Foundation, and the district Teacher of the Year will be announced.

“Stars of Education is one of my favorite nights of the year,” said Foundation President Mary Mélon. “Our teachers play such a critical role in the lives of our students. Their dedication and commitment to providing each child in OKCPS with the rich educational experience they deserve is worth celebrating.”

A selection committee comprised of Oklahoma City Public Schools educators and administrators selected the nine finalists by reviewing nomination packets submitted by the school site Teachers of the Year. The selection committee will review video of the finalists in their classroom and will also conduct interviews. The OKCPS Teacher of the Year goes on to serve as the district’s candidate for Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.

The Foundation hosts the Stars of Education ceremony each spring to celebrate teachers and outstanding achievement throughout the district. Cash awards will also be presented to honorees for Support Staff and Valuable Volunteer. In addition, winners in five categories will receive Community Partner of the Year awards.

The OKCPS Teacher of the Year has been named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year three times since 2000 – Talita DeNegri in 2001, Robyn Hilger in 2006 and Heather Sparks in 2009. Last year’s OKCPS Teacher of the Year, Rebecka Binion, was named a finalist in the state competition.

About The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools
Created in 1984, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance excellence, create champions and build strong community support for lasting change in Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Foundation works closely with the District and business community to align strategies and priorities for sustained performance improvement. Please visit us online at for more information on our focus areas and volunteer and giving opportunities.

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