The Edmond Sun

April 7, 2014

Memorial educator named EPS Teacher of the Year

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Memorial High School Principal Justin Coffelt said it’s not uncommon to see teacher Elanna Killackey in her classroom at 6:30 or 7 p.m. with her own children preparing for the next day.

Killackey, a ninth- through 12th-grade English teacher, yearbook adviser and Student Council sponsor at Memorial High School, is the 2014-15 Edmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year. She will now go up against other educators across the state for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award.

Killackey is a passionate, creative educator who tries to make learning English interesting and relevant through ideas like having students research topics for classroom debates, Coffelt said.

“She’s just extremely deserving,” Coffelt said. “I think Elanna is a great representative of how passionate and enthusiastic our teachers are about our kids. We couldn’t ask for a better representative of our faculty than her.”

Friday evening, Killackey received the award during a ceremony at Oak Tree Country Club. One by one, the six finalists were introduced. They came and stood in a line near the podium. As Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin read the winner’s bio, the other teachers began to figure out who it was. As they did, there were smiles all around.

Killackey’s motto put in two words is “just believe.”

“Outside of becoming a parent, becoming a teacher is my single greatest accomplishment,” Killackey said. “Because my mother believed in me, I was able to achieve my dream of becoming a teacher. I want to provide my students with a chance to believe and have faith in themselves.”

During the Teacher of the Year introductions, Goin said with as all finalists the to-be-named candidate is deeply respected and admired by students, faculty and students.

Goin said the individual consistently advances cutting-edge teaching strategies and innovations that keep students highly engaged and in ways that elevate their skills of critical thinking. Goin said this professional is recognized as an authority in the use of technology, having made continuing education presentations to a variety of audiences.

“This remarkable individual has received the rare honor of being named a site teacher of the year by colleagues at two different schools and levels — and within a period of three years,” Goin said.

“Truly, the selected professional who will represent the best of the best Edmond Public Schools’ teachers, is an amazing educator who, over the course of only a decade, has demonstrated outstanding skills and noteworthy dedication to her effective, student-centered approach to teaching.”  

As part of the award, Killackey received a $1,000 check from Citizens Bank of Edmond.

Edmond Public Schools Associate Superintendent of Education Services Tara Fair said Killackey is a lifelong learner who consistently implements new and innovative teaching methods to keep her students highly engaged.

Killackey developed her career over the course of a decade working for three public Oklahoma school districts. She has achieved success and recognition for her involvement with high school debate programs, middle school multimedia programs and yearbook publishing. She was the Student Council sponsor of Memorial’s SWINE Week 2014, which raised more than $441,000 for clients served by City Rescue Mission.

Killackey is a member of the National Education Association, the Oklahoma Education Association, Edmond Association of Classroom Teachers, Oklahoma Scholastic Media and the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils.

The other finalists were:

• Rexi Phillips, a U.S. history and Oklahoma history teacher at Boulevard Academy;

• Teri Walls, an English and ACT review teacher at North High School;

• Chelsea Agee, a fourth grade teacher at Washington Irving Elementary;

• Tiffany Holden, a third-fifth grade special education teacher at West Field Elementary; and

• Darin Williams, a fifth grade teacher at Charles Haskell Elementary. | 341-2121, ext. 108