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Oklahoma's Putnam City schools chooses an eager learner and educator as its top teacher

BY STEVE LINDLEY Published: March 14, 2013

In 2010 she was named “Technology-Using Teacher of the Year” by the Oklahoma Technology Association.

“I value my students as people. I take interest in the books, games and music they enjoy to give us common experiences to share. It is important that my students know I value their opinions, their efforts and talents, and that they are, each and every one, amazing, intelligent, talented contributors to our world,” she said.

Learning, sharing

James offers training to her colleagues at Central Elementary and teachers from other schools, helping them learn to integrate technology into their lessons.

Last year she began working with small business owners and professionals, teaching presentation software, photo and video editing, Web design and other technology to increase productivity and communication.

Barbara Crump, principal at Central Elementary, said James is an inspiration to students and colleagues.

“She's awesome. Her expertise as a teacher and her willingness to take risks makes her a phenomenal role model. It's awe-inspiring to see how eager her students are to learn. She's just a true, true educator who cares for kids,” Crump said.

Steve Lindley is communications director for Putnam City Schools.