TPS Board Building (copy)

Overall proficiency among Tulsa Public Schools third-grade students declined slightly during the first semester of 2019-20, while attendance and chronic-absenteeism rates improved. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file

Tulsa Public Schools is seeking nominations for this year’s teacher of the year and support employee of the year.

TPS selects two high-performing team members to honor each spring.

Locally, the person selected as teacher of the year will represent Tulsa teachers as an advocate and spokesperson, according to a news release. Statewide, he or she will represent the district as a candidate for Oklahoma teacher of the year.

The release states nominees should be “exceptional educators who ignite the joy of learning in their classrooms, facilitate success for every student and exemplify our core values of equity, character, excellence, team and joy.”

The support employee of the year should be a noncertified team member who “embodies excellence and goes above and beyond every day in service of Tulsa teachers, children and families,” according to the release.

Nominations can be submitted online at The deadline for nominations is Dec. 6. In March, the district will announce five finalists each for the teacher of the year and support employee of the year awards. Winners will be announced later in the spring.

“We are excited to invite all of Tulsa to be part of the nomination process again this year,” Superintendent Deborah Gist said. “It is exciting to hear Tulsans talk about the amazing teachers and school staff who are making a difference for their children. This is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those team members, and I encourage everyone to take the time to submit a nomination.”

Teacher of the year nominees also must meet additional minimum requirements established by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. All prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers schools are eligible for nomination. No minimum years of teaching experience are required to qualify for Oklahoma teacher of the year.

Last year, Gilcrease Elementary teacher Nicole Powell — who now teaches at John Hope Franklin Elementary — was named TPS teacher of the year. Donna Garner, a paraprofessional at Mark Twain Elementary, was named the district’s support employee of the year.

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Kyle Hinchey


Twitter: @kylehinchey 


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