Monday failed to live up to its gloomy, first-day-of-the-week reputation for four Deer Creek School District teachers, named 2005 site “Teacher of the Year” at their respective schools.

District representatives made the rounds to Deer Creek High School, Deer Creek Middle School, Prairie Vale Elementary School and Deer Creek Elementary School, spreading the good news.

Deer Creek Superintendent Becky Wilkinson said the honorees were the best of the best. Each teacher has unique gifts that help them excel in the classroom.

The honoree representing the high school is Mike Tucker, who is in his 24th year with the district. In addition to teaching government and Oklahoma history, Tucker has been the girls’ basketball head coach for 22 years.

Tucker said as a high school teacher, he is the final leg in the journey of students preparing to enter college.

Deer Creek Middle School’s “Teacher of the Year” is Marc Pense.

Pense said the teachers in the district are student-oriented and work well together. Their main focus is the students, he said.

Middle school Principal Toni Jones said she appreciates Pense’s strong work ethic, which he uses to touch lives in a positive way. Among other things, Pense heads up the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes program on his own time, Jones said.

Jennifer Simer, a fourth-grade teacher, is the Prairie Vale “Teacher of the Year.”

“Shocking, wonderful,” Simer said of the honor.

Simer said having her students be part of the surprise and cheer for her was special. She said she also is grateful for the honor and for the respect from her peers.

Deer Creek Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year” is Beth Ann Fint, a fourth-grade teacher. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma

This year, for the first time, district representatives visited the different sites, springing the surprise on the unsuspecting recipients in their classrooms. Balloons and banners added color to the event.

It was an effort to generate more excitement during the announcements, said Summer Gordon, a sixth-grade language arts teacher and middle school professional development representative.

Students at the sites helped their teachers celebrate the moment.


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