Superintendent Deborah A. Gist surprised five teachers at their schools to congratulate each for being named a finalist for the Tulsa Public Schools 2019 Teacher of the Year.
"Being a teacher is an extraordinarily challenging job, but it is also profoundly rewarding. Great teachers are not only the heart of excellent schools; they are the foundation from which our communities are able to grow and thrive," said Gist. "These five educators have demonstrated exemplary instructional practice, the ability to form meaningful and life-changing relationships with their students, and a relentless focus on ensuring that every child has the tools and supports that he or she needs to be successful."
The five finalists are:
- Erica Goodson, agricultural education teacher at Webster High School;
- Victoria Hall, social studies teacher at McLain High School;
- Jennie Lowther, English teacher at Rogers College Junior High School;
- Nicole Powell, multiage classroom teacher at Gilcrease Elementary School; and
- Rebecca Roselle, special education teacher at Whitman Elementary School.
After a community-wide nomination process in the fall, schools throughout the district named site-level Teachers of the Year in December 2018. These site-level winners each created a portfolio of work to be reviewed by a committee that included 2019 Teacher of the Year Shaniqua Ray and Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright, as well as school and district leaders. The five finalists were selected following a portfolio review and an interview with the committee.
The district's 2019 Teacher of the Year will be announced spring 2019.
You can learn more about the five finalists below.
Erica Goodson is an agricultural education instructor at Webster High School and has been an educator for six years. She is deeply committed to building quality relationships with each of her students so that they feel safe and supported in her classroom. Erica is the faculty advisor for the Webster chapter of Future Farmers of America, and under her guidance, the chapter has earn state and national recognition as a National 3 Star Gold Emblem Chapter and a Model of Excellence Top 10 Chapter for the State of Oklahoma. She holds bachelor’s degrees in animal science and agricultural education from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in school administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Victoria Hall has been a social studies teacher at McLain High School for four years. She works to encourage her students by providing support both in- and outside of the classroom by supporting the school’s Debate Club and Senior Class Board. She also serves as a member of the school’s instructional leadership team. Victoria has worked tirelessly to bring the Advanced Placement program back to McLain High School and has expanded the program to include seven course offerings. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in education from Wesley College.
Jennie Lowther teaches English language arts at Rogers College Junior High School and has been in the classroom for nine years. She is passionate about creating a true multicultural education as well as finding ways to help teachers share their individual expertise with their colleagues. She is a lead teacher for the “How I Know” Initiative, a second-year Equity Explorer, and a member of the district’s Curriculum Alignment Committee for advanced English. She is also a teaching Fellow for the Oklahoma State University Writing Project. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from OSU and will complete her master's degree in curriculum design and leadership and college teaching certificate from OSU-Tulsa in May 2019.
Nicole Powell has been a teacher at Gilcrease Elementary School for seven years and is part of the school’s leadership team. While she started her career as a special education teacher, two years ago Nicole and colleague Hanna Al-Jibouri founded a multi-age classroom where all students who walk through their door leave as strong readers who love learning. Nicole also supports her students outside of the classroom by coaching soccer and serving as faculty advisor for the Book Club, Reading Buddy program, and Student Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University.
Rebecca Roselle is in her fifth year as a special education teacher at Whitman Elementary School and leads the schools Exceptional Student Support Team. She is passionate about creating learning environments that foster confidence and compassion. Rebecca was proud to participate in the April 2018 March for Education from Tulsa to Oklahoma City and continues to be a tireless advocate for Oklahoma students and teachers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Creighton University and is working toward her masters in social work at the University of Oklahoma.