By Mindy Ragan Wood
For the second time in two years a Yukon teacher has been selected as a state finalist for the Teacher of the Year award.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister introduced the 12 finalists for Oklahoma’s next Teacher of the Year today in a ceremony at Norman North High School and named Rebecca Oglesby among them.
“When she was elected for the finalist as the district teacher of the year, I was absolutely convinced she would be a finalist this year. Her story, her personality, the way she interacts with kids, and just the job she does, there was no doubt I my mind. She is the second teacher in two years to be named a finalist,” Superintendent Jason Simeroth said.
Last year Yukon High School history teacher Rob Davis was a finalist. Oglesby is an art teacher for grades pre-K through third grade at Ranchwood Elementary. A second teacher in Canadian County, Piedmont Elementary teacher Catherine Adams, was also selected as a finalist.
Oglesby has been a teacher for seven years and survived the May 3 Moore tornado with her students at Plaza Tower Elementary in 2013. She is affectionately known as the “Batman Teacher” for her collection of the superhero memorabilia. Many pieces she has now she received from people across the country after they learned her collection was blown away by the twister.
Every year Oglesby submits artwork from her students in state and national competitions and helps each student find their artist side, she told the Yukon Progress in a previous interview.
Hofmeister recognized the hard work of each finalist.
“These 12 teachers represent some of Oklahoma’s finest educators who are making a difference in the lives of our students every day,” said Hofmeister. “We value their hard work, dedication to their craft and the commitment to excellence they demonstrate day in and day out. These men and women are doing important work to advance the development of our state through the growth and success of our children.”
All finalists are teachers of the year for their respective districts and were selected after their application packets were reviewed by a panel of educators, legislators and members of business and nonprofit organizations. The 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named Sept. 18 in a ceremony at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
If chosen, Oglesby would remain in the classroom for the 2018-19 school year.
Beginning July 1, 2019, the honoree will assume full time Teacher of the Year duties, which includes speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s teacher ambassador, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. The 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Donna Gradel of Broken Arrow, will continue to tour the state until July 2019.