WASHINGTON — Susan Bumgarner was in a parent-teacher conference at Wilson Arts Integration Elementary School in Oklahoma City when her cellphone started ringing Friday.
Wanting to finish, the prekindergarten teacher ignored her phone. Then the phone on the wall started ringing. After she finished the conference, she found out the White House was calling to find experts on early education.
Bumgarner certainly qualifies. She has been teaching prekindergarten students for 20 years and has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma in early education. She was recently nominated for Oklahoma City public schools teacher of the year.
On Tuesday, Bumgarner was among the guests of first lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union speech at the Capitol.
She said she's not sure why the White House picked her, but she knows Oklahoma was selected for its leadership in early education. The state offers prekindergarten to all public school students and requires classes be taught by people with degrees and certifications in early childhood education.