The Edmond Sun


July 24, 2012

Deskin named to Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame

EDMOND — Three educators and leaders in public schools, Career-Tech and higher education selected by the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame Board of Directors will be honored in August ceremonies in Oklahoma City, said Eugene Earsom, OEHF president.  

“We are pleased to announce that Freda D. Deskin of Edmond, Roy Peters Jr. of Tulsa and Dr. Bruce Petty of Stillwater will join 82 other exemplary Oklahomans who have been inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame since its inception in 1984,” Earsom said.

“Each of these educators deserves our gratitude for a lifetime of service preparing children and adults for their futures as productive citizens and innovative professionals. Collectively, we appreciate the magnitude of their efforts in helping move our state forward.”

Edmond resident Freda D. Deskin is a 41-year educator who has had numerous positions in public schools and higher education throughout the state. In 2000, Deskin founded the Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) School, which was the first public charter start-up in Oklahoma, and is its chief executive officer.  

The school must comply with state standards, accreditation and testing.

“Charter schools come under the same guidelines as public schools,” Deskin said.

The school is site-based management where the administrator is responsible for what is happening and teachers are evaluated on a business-based evaluation model developed by Deskin.

“At ASTEC we wanted to serve science, technology, engineering and mathematics  within a liberal arts curriculum,” Deskin said. “All students have technology every day. They are teaching us.”

In a model that is being adopted by more and more school districts, students at ASTEC go a longer school day so teachers can be dismissed early one day for peer teaching, Deskin said.

“Subject area teachers meet at this time to discuss curriculum and to discuss how to help children,” she added.

Nominator Lou Kerr said Deskin “is a dedicated leader who understands change” and who “has a deep passion for those she serves.”

Through visionary leadership and an organizational commitment to academic excellence, ASTEC schools have exceeded the state benchmarks for attendance, graduation rate and test scores.

“Although we have a high degree of poverty in our school, the majority of students go onto college,” Deskin said.

A National Teacher-in-Space Semifinalist in 1985, Deskin is published extensively and has presented more than a thousand teacher training workshops and seminars. Deskin founded the Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind student competition, the Oklahoma Aerospace Academy in 1987, the Team Quest Ropes and Leadership Course in 1989, and the International Aerospace Academy in 1993 — all of which continue  today.   

About 300 guests are expected for the formal dinner and ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 4 in the ballroom at the Quail Creek Golf and Country Club, 3501 Quail Creek Road, Oklahoma City. Registration and seating of guests will begin at 5 p.m. in the foyer on the second floor.

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