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Michelle McCane named TRAICE High School Teacher of the Year

Michelle McCane is the 2023-2024 TRAICE High School Teacher of the Year!

Michelle has been part of Team Tulsa since 2010, first as a teacher assistant and now as a library media specialist and English teacher. In these roles, she helps students develop digital and media literacy, find books they are interested in, explore real world applications of classroom skills, and so much more.

"Since I was very little I wanted to be a teacher. I played school often with my older cousins who were greatly unimpressed with the seriousness of my lessons," said Michelle. "When I began working for TPS as a TA, I spent my first week covering for a teacher out on bereavement. A very experienced teacher told me I should be a teacher, and I enjoyed the work immensely. I changed my major that week and committed to becoming the type of teacher I most appreciated throughout my schooling. Education is one of the most vital foundations to human development and a quality education improves individual quality of life."

Michelle said she enjoys being able to work with students and families in the city and school district she, her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all grew up in.

"I see my students and their families on my way home, in the grocery store, or other places and it really highlights how as individuals we are part of a larger community. When I speak with families, we are able to share a bond that comes with being neighbors because we have the same interest in not only seeing their individual student do well but also in seeing the community do well. My students and I build a stronger rapport in part because we share community knowledge and experiences. I also love the diversity of our students, families, and staff because it enriches everyone to share space with people who have a variety of experiences and knowledge."

She wants people to know that even though students at TRAICE have been in trouble, it is not their whole story.

"They are bright and amazing children who deserve quality educational experiences like every other kid. We need volunteers and community engagement to help us provide that so we encourage people to reach out. We all have value and importance and it is imperative that we look out for one another."

Outside of the work, Michelle is taking her own community involvement to another level by running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.