EDMOND — Three teachers, one from each of the Edmond high schools, were given the Crystal Apple award by Edmond-area members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The awards were presented by the nominating students on April 27.
Students who attend Edmond high schools were asked to nominate teachers they felt exemplified an outstanding educator and person. The teacher with the most nominations from each school was given the crystal apple. Nominations were collected in the students’ seminary classes, a school-day Scripture class sponsored by the church.
•Memorial: David Koehn, orchestra teacher at Edmond Memorial High School, won the award for his school. Presenters Kayla Utsch and Lauren Pitts said they nominated him because he is generous with his time and always is helping students achieve their potential.
Koehn commented, “I wave my hands (to lead the orchestra), and they make my ideas reality. I see my students’ potential and want to help them realize their dreams.”
Also nominated from Memorial were Justin Bangert, Amanda Fairbairn, Kristina Stevenson, T.J. Dortch, Kevin McDonald and Patricia Pinto.
•Santa Fe: At Edmond Santa Fe, English teacher Susan Newman received the crystal apple. Student Spencer Harmon said of her, “She’s always in a good mood. You never see her down. In class, she’s always engaging and funny. She’s a great teacher.”
Newman drew a few laughs as she accepted the award, but became more serious when she expressed how grateful she is to wake up each morning to go to a job that she loves.
“The students are like my own kids. I just love them.”
Other nominees from Santa Fe were Beth Carlton, Stephanie Hanson, Joe Peeler, Gabe Robertson, Brandon Mayer, James Coplin, Christy Fine and Kristin Sackett.
•North: A first-year physics teacher at Edmond North High School, Ernest S. Sanchez won the crystal apple.
Student Evan Helsloot said of him, “He’s always willing to drop what he’s doing to help his students. He never puts a student down, and he gives us good advice to help us in our lives. And he makes physics interesting.”
Sanchez said teaching is even more rewarding than he thought it would be. In a recent class, he made a pickle glow orange to demonstrate the effect of an electric current on sodium.
Other Edmond North nominees were Greg Bloyd, Karl King, Maddi Swinehart, Martin Glendinning, Morgan McClanahan, Lacy Goodger, Pete Tucker, Jena Nelson, Mary Green, Brian Tidwell, Peter Markes and Tommy Nash.
What it means
Edmond schools Superintendent David Goin congratulated the recipients.
“Teacher of the year awards are given to outstanding teachers nominated by other teachers. But it seems even a higher honor to be chosen by those you teach every day, those who are sitting in your classrooms,” Goin said.
This is the first time the Crystal Apple Award has been presented in this area, but planners expect it will become an annual event and hope to expand into other Oklahoma school districts.
Beth Stephenson is assistant director of public affairs for the central Oklahoma area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.