Four metro-area educators are among 12 finalists for 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, the state Education Department announced Wednesday.
The four are Cynthia Brown (Piedmont Public Schools); Amber Elder (Putnam City Schools); Adam Forester (Bethany Public Schools); and Roger Clement (Noble Public Schools).
“Teaching allows me to unlock potential in individuals and inspire them to become lifelong learners,” said Elder, a first- and second-grade teacher at James L. Dennis Elementary School. “I think that’s what this is all about as we prepare students to be innovative leaders in our community and society.”
Brown, who teaches AP English at Piedmont High School, said she looks forward to sharing ideas with her students and debating and discussing “relative ideas and issues.”
“I get to teach them how to develop their own opinions and think for themselves,” she said. “These are skills they’re going to use forever and that’s why I think I have the best job.”
Local school districts select their best teachers, and the education department administers the statewide contest.
A panel of Oklahoma educators selected two finalists from each of the state’s six regions. An independent panel of educators and civic leaders will interview the finalists and select a winner, who will be named in September during the Oklahoma State Fair.