The Edmond Sun

Local News

September 17, 2013

2014 State Teacher of the Year is Edmond music teacher

North’s Peter Markes to be Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Teaching

OKLA. CITY — Peter L. Markes, an eighth- through 12th-grade string orchestra and advanced placement music theory teacher from Edmond North High School was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi during Tuesday’s ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair.

Markes has 12 years of teaching experience, 11 in his current position and one year of service with Enid Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree of music in Education, with an emphasis on instrumental music from Oklahoma City University. He was chosen from a field of 12 finalist educators to represent the teachers of Oklahoma as the 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

He will serve as Oklahoma’s “Ambassador of Teaching” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.

“Mr. Markes’ passion for teaching and instilling confidence in his students as well as his ability to interweave the more rigorous Oklahoma Academic Standards into his classroom work epitomizes what we strive for in every effective teacher,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi.

“Choosing between 12 qualified and excellent teachers is almost impossible. Each of our finalists represents the best in Oklahoma education. They instill hope that our children will indeed graduate from their schools ready for college, career, citizenship and anything life may bring their way.”

Committees comprised of teachers, parents and community members selected the 12 finalists two from each of the six regions in the state. A state committee comprised of education business and civic leaders chose the winner. The state-level competition included individual and group interviews, a written portfolio and personal videos showcasing each finalist’s teaching strategies.

“The irony of receiving this award,” Markes said in an emotion-filled voice, “is that I have to leave the students I love working with for a whole year.”

Edmond Superintendent David Goin said he is elated that Peter’s outstanding qualities have been validated at the state level.

“While his absence from the classroom at Edmond North will be difficult, we are pleased to support his important role as the state’s most honored educator,” Goin said. “Peter’s professionalism and tremendous communication abilities will advance respect and appreciation for the cause of public education in our state and beyond.”

Markes’ principal, Jason Pittenger, said, “In more than 20 years of education, Peter represents the best I have worked with. His passion, caring commitment and love of music is infectious. His leadership, sensitivity, professionalism and work ethic are admirable. He epitomizes the relentless pursuit of excellence.

“It is a double-edged sword for me as principal; I am thrilled he has the chance to convey to others what teaching in Oklahoma is all about while at the same time, sad to know his students and I will miss him. Our profession deserves an ambassador that is gifted, articulate, authentic and passionate.”

Markes told members of the audience, “I teach CPR, community, passion, and relevance” in my classroom. CPR is in order to revive what is so good about education in Oklahoma. Our community, especially our parents, must be engaged for the reinforcing support necessary to educate a child. We must instill in the students the same passion for learning that we have as teachers, with hopes that the students will go home and ignite that same passion in their parents. Finally, we must help the students understand that what they are learning is relevant to both their current world and the world that we are planning for in our future.”

Markes grew up in Waukomis and had a master teacher who taught his sixth-grade physical science class, 10th-grade biology class, 11th-grade anatomy and physiology class and 12th-grade teacher cadet program.

“Regardless of the class, the drill was always the same: ‘Think,’” Markes said. “His lessons were more like conversations. He talked to us; we talked to him; we all talked with each other. We wrote, he read our essays, and then we talked some more. We thought together. Sometimes I felt like the thinking would never end — and often it didn’t — because every day after school, it was this same teacher, my dad, driving me home.”

Markes quoted Japanese educator and founder of the talent education school, Shinichi Suzuki, who said: “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

Through engaging, energetic lessons and interesting, rewarding travel and performance experiences, students are learning to share their gifts; they are developing beautiful hearts, Markes said.

When Markes was 19 he wrote a song based on a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson titled “Success.”

The words of the song tell the listener to leave the earth a better place. Laugh often and much and earn the affection of children. Strive to know even one life has breathed easier because of you.

Markes told the teachers they must be invigorated and lead their students with passion as they teach. He added there is much to do this coming year in and out of the classroom, and he urged teachers in the audience to show their passion for educating to their students and to show their students how much they care.

Markes will represent Oklahoma in the national Teacher of the Year competition in the spring of 2014. The national competition is sponsored by the Council of State School Officers and the ING Foundation.

Event sponsors gave gifts valued at about $50,000 in cash and prizes including $5,000 from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, the use of a Buick Encore for a year from Byford Buick and GMC of Chickasha, software and professional development from SMART Technologies, a laptop computer from Oklahoma Schools Insurance group, a $2,500 tuition credit, a $500 credit toward a classroom makeover, and a Greg Burns print from American Fidelity Assurance Company. Numerous scholarships and tuition waivers from many of the state’s universities were among many other gifts.

Each finalist received prizes including a $1,000 award from Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, two courtside tickets and in-game recognition at an Oklahoma City Thunder game, a $100 gift card and other gifts from American Fidelity Assurance Company, software and professional development from SMART Technologies as well as gifts from the Oklahoma State Fair, the Oklahoma Education Association and Professional Oklahoma Educators.

The Teacher of the Year ceremony is presented by the state Department of Education, its long-time partners the State Fair of Oklahoma and Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, American Fidelity Assurance Company as well as a long list of contributors.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Great Expectations names 4 Edmond public schools ‘Model Schools’

    Great Expectations, a non-profit foundation that provides intensive professional development to teachers and administrators, announces four Edmond Public Schools have earned the organization’s highest distinction: Model School. Based on Great Expectations theory implementation, there are three categories of recognition, including Transitional School, Progressive School and Model School.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • officers killed 1.jpg 67 cops die on duty across country

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 67 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014 — a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
    Of these 67 officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes. California led all states with eight officer fatalities followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results