Stars of Education & Teacher of the Year

Stars of Education & Teacher of the Year

Join Us as a Sponsor!

More Information
Show your support for the stars of OKCPS.
More Information

2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year Celebration: May 4, 2023

Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation honors those who do the day-to-day work of educating our city’s children through our Stars of Education/Teacher of the Year event! The community-wide celebration starts in the fall of each school year when District staff, students, parents and community members submit nominations for the Partners in Action Community Partner of the Year, Super Support Staff Awards and Valuable Volunteer Awards.

Each school site also selects their “Site Teacher of the Year” each fall. This gives the district’s top educators time to put together a comprehensive portfolio demonstrating the educator’s teaching philosophy, which is then reviewed by past district Teacher of the Year finalists, honorees and state Teachers of the Year. With a lot of hard work, these submissions are narrowed down to an elite group of nine finalists, who compete to represent the Oklahoma City Public School District in the State Teacher of the Year competition.

The celebration is usually held in the spring as site-based award ceremonies are held throughout the District celebrating the top partnerships, support staff and volunteers. As the school year draws to a close, the Stars of Education celebration concludes with the district Teacher of the Year announcement.

OKCPS Names Nine Finalists for District Teacher of the Year

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) have named nine finalists for OKCPS Teacher of the Year. The following nine finalists for the award were selected from the district’s teachers of the year from each school site.

2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists:

  • Christopher Lance Cudjoe, Star Spencer Mid-High School
  • Sherry Dew, Southeast High School
  • Carrie Helm, Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School
  • Judith Huerta, Taft Middle School
  • Felix Linden, FD Moon Middle School
  • Faisal Madni, Shidler Elementary School
  • Carsen Moon, Classen SAS High School at Northeast
  • Emily Riley, Kaiser Elementary School
  • Lisa Ummel-Ingram, Wheeler Middle School


“Congratulations to our nine OKCPS Teacher of the Year finalists,” said Superintendent Sean McDaniel. “I also want to say ‘thank you’. Thank you for making us proud and being part of #TeamOKCPS. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our students and the difference you make in the lives of our young people every single day. You are seen and you are appreciated more than words can express.”

The selection process began last fall when each school site selected a Teacher of the Year candidate. Each site Teacher of the Year was then able to submit a nomination packet to be considered for OKCPS Teacher of the Year. A committee of OKCPS educators and administrators anonymously evaluated each candidate. The results from the evaluations secured the nine OKCPS Teacher of the Year finalists through specified rating criteria. Now that the nine finalists have been identified, the selection committee will review video filmed in their classroom setting and will also conduct personal interviews to select the winner.

The finalists will be recognized at the annual Stars of Education celebration, where the 2023 OKCPS Teacher of the year will be announced. The event will be held in-person on May 4th at the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services. Finalists will receive cash awards, plus a number of valuable prizes donated by community partners. The winner will then serve as the district’s candidate for Oklahoma’s State Teacher of the Year. The Stars of Education event is held each spring to celebrate teachers and outstanding achievement throughout the district. In addition to the announcement of OKCPS Teacher of the Year, awards will also be presented to honorees for exceptional support staff, volunteers and Community Partners of the Year. Two outstanding OKCPS principals, one from an elementary school and one from a secondary school, will receive The Sam and Charolet Shirley Outstanding Principal Awards as well as cash awards.

“The Stars of Education ceremony is one of my favorite days of the year because we get to celebrate our amazing teachers, principals, support staff and volunteers,” said Mary Mélon-Tully, Foundation President/CEO of Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. “OKCPS has such incredible and dedicated teachers. It is truly our honor to recognize them for the life changing work they do and for the difference they are making in the lives of our students every day.”

2022 OKCPS Teacher of the Year

Kimberly Banz, Classen SAS High School at Northeast

Contact Kimberly:

View the 2022 Stars of Education/Teacher of the Year Celebration

See our past winners