Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Great Oklahoma teachers challenge, motivate, and inspire their students to do their best; they make learning exciting, engaging, and continuous; they are respected by their peers as well as local school officials, parents, and students; they are caring and creative, seeking to enrich the lives of their students and build a better future for us all.

Honor teachers at the local level by participating in the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program.

2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Peter L. Markes

Peter L. Markes | Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

  • 8th- through 12th-grade string orchestra and Advanced Placement music theory teacher

  • Edmond Public Schools

  • Edmond North High School

“Community, Passion, and Relevance: CPR is in order to revive what is so good about education in Oklahoma. Our community, especially our parents, must be engaged for the reinforcing support necessary to educate a child. We must instill in the students the same passion for learning that we have as teachers, with hopes that the students will go home and ignite that same passion in their parents. Finally, we must help the students understand that what they are learning is relevant to both their current world and the world that we are all planning for in our future.”


2014 Teacher of the Year Ceremony


Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program


Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year with the Teacher of the Year carThe Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program is coordinated through the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Janet Barresi. The program is in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year Program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the ING Foundation, and Target.

The Oklahoma State Fair Board established the Edward C. Joullian III $5,000 Scholarship to be awarded to a high school senior in the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district. The scholarship winner is announced at the Oklahoma State Fair. This scholarship was established to encourage students to continue their education, recognize the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district, and celebrate the contributions of Mr. Joullian to the lives of Oklahoma’s young people.

General Qualifications

All Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 classroom teachers in state-accredited schools are eligible for nomination. It is important that every teacher be given the opportunity to participate in this recognition process. No minimum years of teaching experience is required to be qualified for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Nominees should be exceptionally skillful and dedicated classroom teachers who are planning to continue in an active teaching status. According to the director of the National Teacher of the Year Program, a classroom teacher is one who teaches a group of students every day within the confines of the classroom and does not have administrative duties. Nominees should communicate effectively and demonstrate creative and imaginative teaching on a day-to-day basis. The nominee should have the ability to inspire the value of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and assure academic success. Nominations should be made without regard to age, sex, race, or religion.

Selection Process

At the local district level, the Teacher of the Year program is coordinated through the district superintendent. It is the responsibility of the district superintendent to make sure that every teacher is given the opportunity to participate in the recognition process. It is important to emphasize that the search is not for “the best teacher,” but for one who exemplifies the finest in the profession.

Local District Selection Process

The local school district determines the local selection process and announces the local Teacher of the Year.

Regional Selection Committees

There are six regional committees that meet in June to review all portfolios received and to select twelve finalists, two from each region. A list of counties by region is below. The twelve finalists are announced in July.

State Selection Committee

The state selection committee will follow procedures identified below for each of the twelve finalists in order to select the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year:

  • Conduct an interview;
  • View a DVD of classroom teaching. Each of the twelve regional finalists will be responsible for submitting a ten-minute DVD of classroom teaching in early September. If the local district does not have taping capabilities, assistance will be provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (each finalist may view previous Oklahoma Teacher of the Year videos upon request); and
  • Recommend the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year to the State Superintendent.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

In September, the State Superintendent announces the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year who will serve as the Oklahoma Ambassador of Teaching.

The State Superintendent presents the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year to the State Board of Education in September.

In November, the State Superintendent nominates the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year to the Council of Chief State School Officers National Teacher of the Year Program.

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Recognition

The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year serves as Oklahoma Ambassador of Teaching, representing Oklahoma in the national competition by sharing knowledge and resources with fellow educators around the state and encouraging education as a profession.

Edward C. Joullian III Scholarship

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a high school senior in the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s district.


Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program Regions

(Revised in 2009)
Region I Region II Region III Region IV Region V Region VI
  • Alfalfa County
  • Beaver County
  • Blaine County
  • Canadian County
  • Cimarron County
  • Custer County
  • Dewey County
  • Ellis County
  • Garfield County
  • Grant County
  • Harper County
  • Kay County
  • Kingfisher County
  • Logan County
  • Major County
  • Noble County
  • Roger Mills 
  • Payne County
  • Texas County
  • Woods County
  • Woodward 
  • Oklahoma 
  • Beckham County
  • Caddo County
  • Carter County
  • Cleveland County
  • Comanche County
  • Cotton County
  • Grady County
  • Greer County
  • Harmon County
  • Jackson County
  • Jefferson County
  • Kiowa County
  • Love County
  • McClain County
  • Stephens County
  • Tillman County
  • Washita County
  • Adair County
  • Cherokee County
  • Craig County
  • Creek County
  • Delaware County
  • Lincoln County
  • Mayes County
  • Muskogee County
  • Nowata County
  • Okfuskee County
  • Okmulgee County
  • Osage County
  • Ottawa County
  • Pawnee County
  • Rogers County
  • Wagoner County
  • Washington 
  • Tulsa
  • Atoka County
  • Bryan County
  • Choctaw County
  • Coal County
  • Garvin County
  • Haskell County
  • Hughes County
  • Johnston County
  • Latimer County
  • LeFlore County
  • Marshall County
  • McCurtain County
  • McIntosh County
  • Murray County
  • Pittsburg County
  • Pontotoc County
  • Pottawatomie 
  • Pushmataha 
  • Seminole County
  • Sequoyah County

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2014 Program Timeline

August 28, 2014 State Selection Committee meeting
Twelve finalists participate in two interviews and one round table panel at the State Capitol for selection of Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
September 16, 2014 Recognition Ceremony-State Fair-Oklahoma City
All nominees recognized.
Oklahoma Teacher of the Year announced.
September 2014 - August 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year serves as Oklahoma Ambassador of Teaching

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Former Oklahoma Teacher of the Year List

2013 Elaine Hutchison    
2012 Kristin Shelby, Hollis 1983 Nancy O’Donnell, Perry
2011 Elizabeth Smith, Byng 1982 Kathlyn Reynolds, Putnam City
2010 Brian Grimm, Tulsa 1981 Alice Gregg, Okay
2009 Heather Sparks, Oklahoma City 1980 Sherry Morgan, Sand Springs
2008 Stephanie Canada, Shawnee 1979 Frances Herron, Altus
2007 Linda-Hasler Reid, Muskogee 1978 Pat Kellogg Roller, Ada
2006 Robyn Hilger, Oklahoma City 1977 June Richardson, Duncan
2005 Susan Illgen, Grove 1976 Wilda Walker, Enid
2004 Cindy Ball, Muskogee 1975 Maralene Wesner, Idabel
2003 James Kerr, Union 1974 Valerie Carolina, Wewoka
2002 Mike Bynum, Sand Springs 1973 Frankie Minton, Lindsay
2001 Talita DeNegri, Oklahoma City 1972 Vernice Ware, Bartlesville
2000 Mitsuye Conover, Bartlesville 1971 Albert Clark, Enid
1999 Lynn Peacher, Jenks 1970 Ruby Browning, Grove
1998 Kay Long, Broken Arrow 1969 Trudy McFarland, Stillwater
1997 George Abshire, Jenks 1968 Edward Hennessee, Lawton
1996 Stephen Smallwood, Broken Bow 1967 Evelyn Findley Williamson, Oklahoma City
1995 Linda Kay Webb, Broken Arrow 1966 Helen Cosgrove, Norman
1994 Mary Jane Bassett, Woodward 1965 Sam Evans, Oklahoma College for Women
1993 Betsy Mabry, Enid 1964 Lawana Trout, Sand Springs
1992 Rhonda Harryman, Edmond 1963 Bona Gordey, Tulsa
1991 Marilyn King, Stillwater 1962 Flossie Beckett, Lindsay
1990 Eugene Earsom, Moore 1961 James Jenkins, Oklahoma City
1989 Mike Adkins, Moore 1960 Mary Gillentine, Ron School
1988 Dale Long, Oologah-Talala 1959 Edna Donley, Alva
1987 Geraldine Burns, Fairview 1958 Helen White, Duncan
1986 Jane Kennedy, Yukon 1957 A.B. Herring, Prague
1985 Barbara Smith, Miami 1956 Mary Lawrence, Claremore
1984 Gwen Pasby, Elk City 1955 Ethel Briggs, Barnsdall

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If you have any questions regarding the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year process, please contact:

Reagan Allen
Events Office
(405) 522-8767


Last updated on August 19, 2014