To paraphrase Elaine Hutchison, the newly named 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, geek is chic this year.
Hutchinson was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi during a ceremony Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Fair.
The Fairview Public Schools teacher teaches Algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus and AP calculus at Fairview High School and Chamberlain Middle School in the Fairview School District and at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center.
“I am absolutely thrilled to give this title to Ms. Hutchison,” Barresi said. “I have to believe her enthusiasm for preparing students for jobs and the real world outside of high school, and her passion for her subject matter were deciding factors for the judges. I would like to stress, however, that all of our finalists bring unique gifts to the children of our state, and each are worthy of this high honor.”
Hutchison is a National Board Certified Teacher with 19 years of classroom experience. She has been in her current position 10 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Oklahoma State University.
“A teacher’s enthusiasm ignites greatness,” Hutchison wrote in the portfolio that was considered by the Teacher of the Year selection committee.
“If we want our students to be excited about learning, they must feed on our passion,” Hutchison added. “We must work as though our daily contributions are what make or break our students’ success.”
Hutchison said she is a fourth-generation teacher. Her grandmother taught piano until she was 88. She developed her work ethic, a foundation that propelled her to where she is today, from her mother. Hutchison’s husband is a science teacher.
Hutchison has developed what she calls the HT6, which includes six statements that help her in her life including, “be high tech and high touch, teach students not what to think but how to think to develop higher level thinking skills, use hands-on techniques, practice habitual thankfulness and be heroic teachers.”
Committees comprised of teachers, parents and community members selected two finalists 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.
Hutchison will represent Oklahoma in the national Teacher of the Year competition in the spring of 2013, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the ING Foundation.
Edmond Public Schools 2013 Teacher of the Year, Angela McKenna, was one of the 12 finalists. McKenna has been teaching sixth- through eighth-grade Choral music, jazz and show choir at Sequoyah Middle School for 15 years. A National Board Certified Teacher, she has a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.
“Every child has a voice,” McKenna said. “It is my job to help find that voice, celebrate its uniqueness and encourage its growth.”
More than $150,000 in gifts and monetary awards were given to the Teacher of the Year finalists including more than $50,000 in cash and prizes from numerous contributors earmarked for the 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
Hutchison received $5,000 from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma; the use of a Ford vehicle for a year from the John Vance Auto Group, in coordination with the Oklahoma State Fair; products, software and professional development from SMART Technologies; a laptop computer from Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group; $1,000, a $2,500 tuition credit and 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; among many others.
Hutchison will serve as Oklahoma’s “Ambassador of Teaching,” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.
Each finalist received prizes including a $1,000 award from Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma; two tickets and in-game recognition to an Oklahoma City Thunder game, a $100 gift card and other gifts from American Fidelity Assurance Company, in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Thunder; software and professional development from SMART Technologies; as well as gifts from the Oklahoma State Fair, the Oklahoma Education Association and Professional Oklahoma Educators.
Rising Star Teachers Recognized
Barresi recognized six Rising Star Teachers from across the state during Tuesday’s state Teacher of the Year Ceremony. Rising Stars are teachers who have been in the classroom seven years or less but who show an amazing amount of promise in their profession.
“It’s important that we honor the enthusiasm and the potential of these teachers,” Barresi said. “To be recognized by your peers after such a short time in the classroom is an amazing achievement. We are excited for the benefit these teachers will bring to Oklahoma students.”
Rising Stars were named a Teacher of the Year for their district. They are selected based on portfolios reviewed by the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year regional selection committees. The judges are made up of award-winning teachers, past Teachers of the Year and past finalists and PTA members.
This year’s Rising Star Teachers are Marcy Jack of Ada Early Childhood Center, Bridgette Smith of Bartlesville Mid-High School, Brandon Chitty of Broken Arrow Centennial Middle School, Mary Ann Campbell of Carnegie Public Schools and Andrea Tomlison-Brown of Millwood High School.
Fairview math teacher receives top honor
To paraphrase Elaine Hutchison, the newly named 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, geek is chic this year.
U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10
All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
“This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.
OC expands to 5 academic colleges
Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
“Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”
Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action
In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.
Be on the lookout for termites
Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.
Central community learns about water conservation
Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.
Accountability push for public schools now in question
One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal.
Among them: Common Core State Standards, the Reading Sufficiency Act, A-F school grades for districts, and middle-school end-of-instruction exams for history and social studies. These could all be scaled back or revoked by various legislative bills that have passed in both the House and Senate.
State suspends student testing over glitches
Computer glitches forced state education officials to suspend online testing Monday, affecting student testing in Edmond and Deer Creek.
State Superintendent Janet Barresi said as a result of online testing disruptions for students in grades 6-8 and high school end-of-instruction (EOIs) exams she directed testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill to suspend online testing for the day.
“We certainly share in the frustration that students and school districts feel,” Barresi said. “It is of paramount importance that CTB finds the nature of the problem and resolves it as quickly as possible.”
Guthrie board calls for Common Core repeal
A resolution recently passed by the Guthrie school board calling for the repeal of Common Core standards has attracted the attention and support of several state legislators.
State Reps. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, and state Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, praised the school board for weighing in on the Oklahoma Legislature’s pending action to repeal state-issued Common Core standards.
Touch-A-Truck event draws families to UCO
Edmond Electric and Edmond Vehicle Maintenance are co-hosting the Edmond Touch-A-Truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 in the UCO parking lot off Second Street. Touch-A-Truck is a fundraising event that provides children of all ages with the opportunity to experience life-size vehicles and interact with community support leaders like police officers, firemen, construction workers and many more. Families will have the opportunity for a hands-on exploration of many vehicles such as Edmond’s own fire trucks and police cars, an Edmond Electric bucket truck and even a solid waste truck.
Admission for the Touch-A-Truck event is a suggested $2 donation with the proceeds going to the Edmond HOPE Center. For more information, contact Edmond Electric at 216-7671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biggest student loan profits come from grad students
This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.
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