Superintendent Deborah A. Gist surprised five teachers at their schools on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to congratulate each for being named a finalist for the Tulsa Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year.
"These five teachers exemplify our core values of equity, character, excellence, team, and joy in their work with their colleagues, students, and families," said Superintendent Gist. "Tulsa teachers work tirelessly to prepare our children for success in college, careers, and life, and we really can't do enough to recognize and honor their commitment to Tulsa children and families."
The finalists are:
After an open nomination process in the fall, schools throughout the district named site-level Teachers of the Year in January 2017. These site-level winners each created a portfolio of work to be reviewed by a committee that included 2016 Teacher of the Year Robert Kaiser and Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association President Patti Ferguson-Palmer, as well as school and district leaders. The five finalists were selected following a portfolio review and an interview with the committee.
The Tulsa Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year will be announced in spring 2017.
Shaye Adams began her career in education as a paraprofessional and became a certified special education teacher with Tulsa Public Schools in 2014. At Hamilton Elementary School she has also served as faculty sponsor for the student newspaper and as the school's basketball coach. Shaye brings her coaching off the court as a team leader who provides hands-on professional development support for her colleagues. Shaye encourages her students to think beyond high school by working with "Career Buddies" who demonstrate the options available to college graduates. Shaye graduated from the University of Missouri and will earn her master's degree from John Hopkins University next May.
Sarah Bailey is a third grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School and has been with Tulsa Public Schools for four years. Sarah sits on the site leadership team at McKinley. She is also a member of both the Superintendent's Teacher Cabinet and the district's newly-formed Equity Ambassadors group. Sarah and the McKinley third grade team came together last summer for two weeks of intensive planning to create exceptional teaching and learning experiences for the 2016-2017 school year. Sarah graduated from Northeastern State University.
Susan Proctor is a special education teacher at Eliot Elementary School and joined the Tulsa Public Schools family in 1995. In addition to providing great learning experiences for her special education students, Susan has been a team leader for her colleagues, chair of the Eliot social committee, and member of the suspension review and advisory committees. Susan incorporates mindfulness into the classroom through "yoga breaks" that help students to re-center and relax during the school day. Susan graduated from the University of Texas and Oklahoma State University.
Kate Remington teaches English at Booker T. Washington High School and joined the Tulsa Public Schools team in 2013. Kate coordinates the school's food pantry, leading donation drives and ensuring that food insecure students have access to meals during evenings, weekends, and holidays. She also serves on the site safety team, student affairs committee, and district-level Equity Ambassadors group. Kate develops strong relationships with her students by using Friday "Highs and Lows" to share celebrations and empathy while building community. Kate graduated from Northeastern State University and Georgia State University.
Elizabeth Steinocher teaches second grade at Skelly Elementary School and has been with Tulsa Public Schools for nine years. Elizabeth served as Skelly's second grade team leader and as a summer faculty advisor with Teach For America. She was named as Skelly's Teacher of the Year in 2010. Elizabeth is committed to bright futures for Tulsa children and believes that "you don't plant trees, you plant seeds." Elizabeth graduated from Oklahoma State University.