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Each Yukon school selects candidate for district TOY

Eleven of Yukon’s best teachers were selected as candidates for the district’s Teacher of the Year award. One teacher from each school site was nominated by their peers. (Photo provided)

By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – The Yukon Professional Educators Association announced this week the candidates for the District Teacher of the Year contest.

Teachers from each school site were chosen by their peers.

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Desarae Witmer said the recognition is important to show support for an educator’s hard work.

“It gives us an opportunity to celebrate and spotlight excellence in our profession. It’s a good way for districts to bring attention to what teachers do for our students. We focus on doing our best for our students and these teachers keep that focus,” she said.

Yukon Professional Educators Association hosted the reception to introduce the TOY nominees.  It was held at Lakeview Elementary.

Hannah Dunnington, 8th grader from Yukon Middle School, sang the National Anthem and Rob Davis, current district teacher of the year, read a list of teacher’s accomplishments and their history of teaching.

The selection is part of the process to determine a district teacher of the year in March. The district teacher of the year is then submitted for consideration by the state, which determines the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in the fall.

Eleven teachers will be recognized both in their respective schools and during a reception at the November 6 school board meeting.

Shedeck Elementary Principal Diedre Bradley said she is pleased to see Britnee Jones receive the recognition from that school.

“I was really excited when she was selected as our teacher of the year. Her warm attitude, her willingness to do whatever needs to be done for her students, and her commitment to educating all students…she always leads with kindness and patience,” Bradley said.
Parkland Elementary Principal Lance Haggard said Dana Geis creates a positive environment for her students.

“Dana Geis is an amazing art teacher who has created a very positive environment for all students to explore the world of art. Her classroom is centered on positive encouragement and each student feels valued and part of the classroom community,” he said.
Teachers will enjoy a celebration among their respective school’s students and families. The winners are as follows:

Central Elementary 3rd grade teacher Megan Okot, Myers Elementary 1st grade teacher Jenny Loud, Parkland Elementary art teacher Dana Gies, Ranchwood art teacher Rebecca Oglesby, Shedeck Elementary kindergarten teacher Britnee Jones,
Skyview Elementary 2nd grade teacher Julie Lee, Surrey Hills Elementary 2nd grade teacher Taylor Martz.  Independence Elementary 5th grade social studies teacher Abbie Lunsford, Lakeview Elementary 4th grade math teacher Debra Dobrinski.
Yukon Middle School 7th grade geography teacher Clayton Cannon, and YHS biology teacher Emilie Shannon.