Tulsa Public Schools and the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association are inviting all Tulsans to help identify the district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year by submitting nominations online at www.tulsaschools.org/2021toyseoy. The 2021 Teacher of the Year will be announced in spring 2021. The nomination form will be open until Sunday, Dec. 6.
“Even as we face the challenges of a global pandemic, our teachers have kept a relentless focus on ensuring that every child has the support that they need to be successful,” said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist.
Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association President Shawna Mott-Wright said: “Now, more than ever, we need to do our utmost to lift up our teachers. They give so much to our children and community every single day. It is a privilege to honor them.”
The Tulsa Public Schools Teacher of the Year represents Tulsa teachers locally as an education advocate and spokesperson and statewide as a candidate for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Nominees should be exceptional educators who ignite the joy of learning, facilitate success for every student, and exemplify our core values of equity, character, excellence, team, and joy.
Teacher of the Year nominees must meet other minimum requirements as established by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade classroom teachers with three or more years teaching experience are eligible for nomination. This year, Tulsa Virtual Academy teacher nominees will represent the district’s virtual school.
Monroe teacher Laura Grisham was named the 2020 Teacher of the Year in August. Laura was nominated for her work with 6th grade English Language Arts students. Her classes hosted events like an Author's Tea where students would read their work to members of the community.
"[Monroe students] are so hungry to learn. They want to do well. Their families want them to do well,” said Laura. “There is just a spirit of community and of camaraderie amongst our students that allows them when they’re empowered and pushed in the right direction to use that spirit of community and use that spirit of resilience to push themselves forward.”
Read more about her experience in the classroom here.
The finalists for the 2020 Teacher of Year were:
- Veronica Diaz-Rodriguez, Dual Language Academy;
- Sarah Ivie, Eliot Elementary;
- Akela Leach, Lanier Elementary; and
- Ashley Powell, Owen Elementary.
All the finalists were surprised at their homes by their team members.