This morning, the Oklahoma State Department of Education named Tulsa Public Schools 2021 Teacher of the Year Donna Ross as one of 12 finalists for the 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. In May, Tulsa Public Schools named Ross as the 2021 Teacher of the Year at a special event to celebrate the district’s Teachers of the Year from schools and sites throughout the district.
There is an ongoing nationwide conversation occurring around the use of mascots with Native American imagery and terms. From school districts to universities to professional sports teams there is active engagement to review the use of these mascots and to understand the concerns regarding cultural appropriation and the impacts of Native American mascots on our youth. Based on our commitment to Equity as a core value and along with the Board of Education and encouragement from our Indian Education Parent Committee we have opened this conversation with our own community.
Applications are now available for the Tulsa Teacher Corps mid-year cohort, a teacher preparation program developed by Tulsa Public Schools to train and place educators in district classrooms. Tulsa Teacher Corps launched in summer 2018 with a group of 75 teachers who participated in a rigorous summer training program and began leading their own classrooms in the fall of 2019. In 2020, the program received state approval to expand its certification pathways to include Special Education. This year, Tulsa Public Schools is excited to launch its first mid-year cohort for Tulsa Teacher Corps. Interested applicants can learn more and apply online at tulsaschools.org/tulsateachercorps.
We are excited to announce that Booker T. Washington quarterback Gentry Williams committed to play for the University of Oklahoma on Monday. Surrounded by family, coaches, and fellow students, Gentry announced his decision, and the S.E. Williams field immediately field filled with shouts of support.
Ten students from Booker T. Washington High School and one student from Edison Preparatory High School were named National Merit semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation aims to "recognize and honor academically talented students." National Merit semifinalists make up less than 1% of seniors across the country.
Back to School is in full swing and Elevate Our Kids is happy to reflect on 2021 progress after launching in the fall of 2020. With this reflection, we are excited to announce our first generous donation coming in from Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company based in Houston, Texas. With this generous donation, EOK was able to fund and supply 150 Chromebooks acquired from Omnipro.com to Tulsa Public Schools, along with T-Mobile Internet access and hotspots devices.
Throughout July, students participated in summer programming at every school in the district. From pre-K to 12th grade, these students had the opportunity to build relationships with their teachers, socialize with their peers, participate in hands-on learning, and engage in enrichment activities -- including field trips all around Tulsa.
Tulsa Public Schools today announced the ONE Gas Foundation will present a grant of $100,000 to Emerson Elementary for construction of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) lab.