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Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalists named

A dozen finalists have been announced for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year competition.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: July 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm •  Published: July 11, 2013

Finalists for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year contest were announced Wednesday morning.

Local school districts select their best teachers, and the state Education Department administers the statewide contest. A statewide committee will interview the finalists and select a winner, who will be named in September during the Oklahoma State Fair.

The winner receives a hefty payout. Last year, winner Elaine Hutchison, of Fairview, received about $50,000 in prizes, including use of a car for the year and a weeklong trip to Space Camp.

The finalists are:

Barbara Bayless

James Griffith Intermediate School

Choctaw-Nicoma Park

Third-grade and reading specialist

Nine years experience

“My job is to empower students who feel powerless. I get to make the world better, one student at a time.”

Frank Cooper

Charles Page High School

Sand Springs

World history and religion

20 years experience

“Regardless of the activity, my primary objective is to shine light on others and make each individual feel valued. I am convinced that my mission is to touch lives and to empower my students to realize their significance.”

Jentri Guinn

Porter High School



Eight years experience

“It takes a fine balance in the classroom to meet all the mandates of the job while also meeting every student's needs. It is my choice to make a positive impact on students' lives, as well as meet the needs of every learner.”

Betina Jones-Parra

Noble High School


Algebra II and calculus

21 years experience

“A good teacher will happen upon the profession in many ways, but will always be identified by a profound passion for students and student opportunities to learn.”

Tera Landrum

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