The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 29, 2013

Teacher of the Year develops beautiful hearts, music

EDMOND — Peter Markes, Edmond North High School’s orchestra teacher, was named Edmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He was chosen from a field of 24 teachers selected by their faculty to represent each of their schools.

The announcement was made at the Celebration of Excellence April 9 at Santa Fe High School sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation Inc.

Markes was unable to attend the celebration because he currently is performing with a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs-sponsored 35-day world tour with the American Voices’ American Music Abroad 2013 program. He is performing with Horseshoe Road, a trio composed of Markes, the University of Central Oklahoma Ambassador in Residence Kyle Dillingham and Brent Saulsbury.

Markes said the greatest influence toward his becoming a teacher was, of all people, another teacher.

“Half my lifetime ago in a classroom in Waukomis, I sat at my science lab table knowing I would be called on for an answer,” Markes said. “Our teacher expected each student to be prepared with a response to his discussion. ‘Think an answer,’” he would prod. “’Put down your hands and think an answer,’ so that’s what we did, all of us. We all had an answer. Speaking for only myself, but likely many, it wasn’t always the correct answer, but it was an answer. I was thinking. That was all he asked.”

Markes said perhaps this teacher made such an impact because, like many master teachers, he taught so many different classes.

“I had him for sixth-grade physical science, 10th-grade biology, 11th-grade anatomy and physiology, and 12th-grade Teacher Cadet. Regardless of the class, the drill was always the same: ‘Think.’ His lessons were more like conversations than boring, pedantic note-taking sessions. He talked to us; We talked to him; We all talked with each other. Then, we wrote, ‘My Seven Intelligences,’ or my favorite, ‘A Day in the Life of a Hamburger.’

“We wrote, he read our essays, and then we talked some more. We thought together. Sometimes I felt like the thinking would ever end, and often it didn’t, because every day after school, it was this same teacher, my dad, driving me home.”

Markes said throughout high school he was keenly interested in both math and music. Math came easily, but for him music was more inviting.

“After my first couple of ‘gigs’ on violin and guitar, I realized it might be my livelihood as well,” Markes said. “My experience with the high school Teacher Cadet program led me to a student-teaching type practicum, and l was fortunate to be placed with my junior high math teacher and Mathcounts coach, Mr. Hart. Through this experience l realized the thrill of teaching, albeit the hard work. Eventually, it made logical sense to teach music, and it was the most natural way to keep this part of my life alive.”

Markes said corning from a family of educators, he never really considered anything else. “I knew I could always achieve gratification through performing, but the real reward was in teaching others what I knew. Since then, I have enjoyed a professional career that has been continually uplifting with regard to satisfaction, opportunities and growth.”

Markes quoted Japanese educator and founder of the Talent Education School, Dr. 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.”

Markes said one of his greatest pleasures in his profession is mirrored by his students’ ease of ability and loving willingness to share their music with others. This was affirmed at a recent concert featuring the Edmond North Symphony Orchestra at The Midwest Clinic, an accomplishment that equates to playing in the Super Bowl for a high school band or orchestra program.

“Following their highly polished performance, the first guest to approach me with his congratulations was Brian Balmages, one of the composers of a piece we performed. The first words he spoke were, ‘Congratulations, l have never seen a group of high school students play with such enjoyment. I could see that they love to play.’

“I could hear no greater praise. What is most affirming about these unforgettable words is that a respected colleague was able to witness this intangible foundation of my teaching. He was able to see my students’ heart. The language of music rhythms, notes, dynamics and the myriad of other string techniques are all just vehicles toward helping students develop beautiful hearts.”

Markes said when his students graduate, they will become spouses, co-workers, civic and corporate leaders, teachers and most importantly, parents. To do these things well, they must be kind, loving, patient and gentle. “I believe one of my greatest contributions to my profession is drawing more students to this possibility through their opportunity in music,” he said.

Since Markes began working 11 years ago, the number of students involved in the North’s orchestra has more than doubled.  

“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 asked what l do, l often think l am so clever to say, ‘l teach kids.’ Of course, the answer they want to know ís what subject I teach. I teach beauty, sensitivity, passion and poise. I teach orchestra.”

Markes will compete for the state’s teacher of the year honor later this year.

pmiller@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 171

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 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

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX 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 Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
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