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Teacher Michael Kraus waves to students at Western Oaks Middle School. BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMANThe announcement left Kraus speechless. "I thought, ‘There must be some mistake,'” he said. Kraus taught Spanish at the middle school for nine years before moving to the high school this year, Putnam City School District spokesman Steve Lindley said. While there, Kraus said he did his best to engage students and make learning fun. To do this, he tried his best to connect to his students "It is through those personal connections that I think a teacher is effective,” he said. "You can't teach a kid until you have established a rapport with them.” Peggy Boyles, the district's former foreign language coordinator, nominated Kraus for his work. She said it was his dedication to his students that prompted her to nominate him. "Michael Kraus is an extraordinary teacher,” Boyles said. "He has the exquisite talent for being able to connect to kids at any level. He approaches teaching with enthusiasm and energy, and it's contagious.”
Award surprises teacher
BETHANY — When Michael Kraus heard his name called out in the Western Oaks Middle School gymnasium, he thought something had gone awry
Kraus, a Spanish teacher at Putnam City High School, returned this week to the school he taught at for nine years for an awards presentation for another teacher — at least, that's what he thought.Kraus was surprised Wednesday to learn the awards presentation was for him. Officials from the U.S. Education Department announced Kraus is the winner of the 2007 American Star of Teaching award.
Teacher Michael Kraus waves to students at Western Oaks Middle School. BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN
A committee of former teachers at the Education Department selects American Star of Teaching winners from a pool of more than 4,000 nominees, Lindley said. Only one from each state is selected to receive the award.This is the first time a Putnam City teacher has received the award, Lindley said. Kraus said many other teachers in the state could have easily won the award. He considers himself lucky. "I really am honored to have received this,” he said.
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