Stars of Education & Teacher of the Year
2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year
Felix Linden, F.D. Moon Middle School
“As a teacher, I get a chance to change the future, and that’s a responsibility I take really seriously. I’ve been blessed to do some bold things in education, working to give my students access to opportunities that they may not have otherwise and to make the world a better place for them and their families. I thank God for planting seeds in the form of ideas in my life and giving me the talents to make those things come to fruition.
Congratulations and thanks to all of my fellow finalists. I’m forever grateful to be included in the same group as these extraordinary educators.” –Felix Linden
Christopher Lance Cudjoe, Star Spencer Mid-High School
Click here to get to know Christopher Lance Cudjoe
Sherry Dew, Southeast High School
Click here to get to know Sherry Dew
Carrie Helm, Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School
Click here to get to know Carrie Helm
Judith Huerta, Taft Middle School
Click here to get to know Judith Huerta
Felix Linden, F.D. Moon Middle School
Click here to get to know Felix Linden
Faisal Madni, Shidler Elementary School
Click here to get to know Faisal Madni
Carsen Moon, Classen SAS Highschool at Northeast
Click here to get to know Carsen Moon
Emily Riley, Kaiser Elementary School
Click here to get to know Emily Riley
Lisa Ummel-Ingram, Wheeler Middle School
Click here to get to know Lisa Ummel-Ingram
The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) have named Felix Linden as the 2023 Oklahoma City Public Schools District Teacher of the Year. The winner was announced during the Stars of Education event on May 4.
Linden has been teaching at Oklahoma City Public Schools for 13 years and is currently the English Language Arts teacher at FD Moon Middle School. He was honored as this year’s winner after receiving the highest scores from the panel of judges for his written application, interview and classroom lesson evaluation.
As the OKCPS District Teacher of the Year, Linden received a cash award from the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, a watch from BC Clark and the use of a new car for one year from Fowler Automotive. Linden will represent the district in the Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year competition.
“Felix and our other Teacher of the Year finalists represent just a fraction of the incredible teachers who call OKCPS home,” said Mary Mélon-Tully, President and CEO of The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. “We are proud that our Stars of Education Awards program allows us to highlight the impact that these educators have on the lives of thousands of students every day. Their dedication is second to none and it is our honor to tell their stories and celebrate them.”
The nine finalists for this year’s award were selected from the district’s site teachers of the year and were also recognized at the Stars of Education event. All nine finalists received a cash award from the OKCPS Foundation and additional prizes from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Sonic, and the Oklahoma Educators Credit Union.
“The Stars of Education Awards is one of my favorite nights of the year as it is an opportunity to celebrate OKCPS educators and other community partners who are truly making a difference in our schools,” said Superintendent Sean McDaniel. “Congratulations to Felix and all of our finalists. The passion and commitment that our teachers bring to OKCPS classrooms reaches far beyond a lesson plan, providing our kids with the caring support, stability and inspiration they need to be successful both now and into the future. As Mary often reminds us, schools can’t do it alone, and OKCPS is grateful for the many individuals and partners who stand with and support us in big and small ways each and every day.”
The Sam and Charolet Shirley Outstanding Principal Award winners also were recognized during the Stars of Education. The honorees, John White of Mark Twain Elementary and Chris Gardner of John Marshall Enterprise Middle School, both received a cash award plus $1,000 to use toward Partners in Action projects at their schools.
The Valuable Volunteer and Super Support Staff winners were also recognized during the event. Alicia Clark, volunteer at Nichols Hills Elementary, Angie Holman, volunteer at Coolidge Elementary and Greg Williams, volunteer at US Grant High School were honored as this year’s OKCPS Valuable Volunteers and their schools will receive a $500 award to use toward a Partners in Action project.
Super Support Staff honorees included: Melissa Parker, Pre-K Teaching Assistant at Arthur Elementary; Whitney Puiggari, 1st Grade Teaching Assistant at Nichols Hills Elementary; and Stacy Wehrenberg, Principal’s Secretary at Monroe Elementary. Each received a $500 cash prize from the Foundation.
Two Community Partners of the Year were named during the event as well. Ascent Resources was named the large business honoree and Mach Resources was the winner for the small business category. Britton Christian Church was named the nonprofit/faith-based honoree.
Dick and Glenna Tanenbaum and Fowler Automotive Group are this year’s Stars of Education Diamond event sponsors. American Fidelity, Crossings Community Church, Devon Energy, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, McLaughlin Family Foundation and Sonic Foundation also supported the event as Platinum sponsors.
View Past Teacher of the Year Winners
- Kimberly Banz, 2022
- McKenzie Hodge, 2021
- Leslie Davis, 2020
- Dr. Christina Kirk, 2019
- Anthony Chancellor, 2018
- Madison Windate, 2017
- Rebecka Graffigna, 2016
- Samantha Murch, 2015
- Meredith Ziegler, 2014
- Heather Meldrum, 2013
- Daniel Buckmaster, 2012
- Nikki Cowshow, 2011
- Meredith Wronowski, 2010
- Jennifer Robinson, 2009
- Heather Sparks, 2008
- Michael Payne, 2007
- Sanford Jackson, 2006
- Robyn Hilger, 2005
- Jill Scott, 2004
- Michael McGuire, 2003
Thank you to our 2023 Stars of Education Sponsors
Richard and Glenna Tanenbaum
Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores
McLaughlin Family Foundation
EL & Thelma Gaylord Foundation
Oklahoma City Thunder
BC Clark Jewelers
Rob and Chrissy McLaughlin
Ray and Pat Potts
Tinker Federal Credit Union