Deer Creek teacher named Boeing Scholar

Deer Creek High School teacher Gale Mueller has been named a Boeing Scholar and awarded a professional development scholarship. This scholarship is awarded through the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and will provide her with an all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta in March for professional development.

Deer Creek students named to 2009 National Merit list

Deer Creek senior students Leighton Dilbeck and Tegan Burkhard have been named 2009 National Merit Semi-Finalists.

Oklahoma scores high in teaching profession

Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report released on Jan. 14 ranks Oklahoma ninth in the “Teaching Profession.” The Quality Counts report ranks the nation’s education systems and the category “The Teaching Profession” is one section of the comprehensive report.

“I am very pleased, but not surprised at the current ranking,” said Ted Gillispie, executive director of the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP). Oklahoma has been in the top 10 states in the nation in this category for the past 12 years.

“Oklahoma has implemented numerous reforms to improve the teaching profession as a whole since 1995,” Gillispie said. “Our teachers are highly recruited by surrounding states, and I attribute that to the rigorous standards that teacher candidates must meet in order to be certified. I believe this ranking is the result of a lot of hard work by colleges of education, the state regents and the OCTP.”

OCTP is Oklahoma’s Independent Standards Board and is responsible for the implementation of a competency-based teacher accreditation, certification, assessment and professional development system. OCTP also provides the professional development for those going through the National Board process.


ArtzPlace Oklahoma to add home school choirs

ArtzPlace Oklahoma, near I-40 and Sooner Road, will add two home school  choirs to their ArtzPlace Music Academy program. The first choir, designed for students 6-9 years of age, will meet from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays. The second choir, for teens and pre-teens, is open to students age 10 and up and will meet from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Both choirs will be under the direction of Ashley Ray. Ray has been the piano and vocal teacher at ArtzPlace Oklahoma for the past two years. She is also a certified Kindermusik teacher. The program will be designed to introduce a variety of musical genres over the course of the semester. Both choirs will present a concert for family and friends on a bimonthly basis.

For more information on the home school choir program at ArtzPlace Oklahoma, go to or call 732-4Art (4278).

Nominations sought for outstanding public school foundation programs

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Program Awards for Local Education Foundations (LEFs).

Three to five innovative programs sponsored or administered by public school foundations in Oklahoma are recognized with the Outstanding Program Award. Each winning program receives a plaque and monetary award of $1,000.

Recognized programs may include but are not limited to: mentoring, arts integration, student leadership development, curriculum enhancement, student scholarships, professional development for teachers, public relations and fundraising. Nominations for recognition may come from any member of a community served by the foundation or from anyone knowledgeable about the foundation, including its board members. Nominators may recommend only one program for recognition.

Nomination forms and instructions, as well as descriptions of past recipients, are available online at Nominations must be postmarked on or before March 15 and mailed to the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 1420-W, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. The foundation’s LEF Outstanding Program Award Selection Committee will review nominations and notify winners by May.

For more information, contact Karen Rose, director of Local Education Foundation Outreach, at (918) 743-5533 or e-mail

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