Record crowd welcomes Yukon’s new teachers

Classes will ‘keep growing’, mayor tells honored guests

Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby endeavors to inspire Yukon’s new teachers, encouraging them to take advantage of the city’s amenities. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A record crowd – totaling 320 people – converged on Redstone Intermediate School this week for the annual New Teacher Luncheon.

New Redstone Intermediate School teachers attend the Aug. 8th luncheon: From left, Rhonda Thorson, fifth grade math and science; Abigail Miller, sixth grade special education; and Heather Hanzlik, fourth grade math and science. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

Yukon business and community leaders came out in force Aug. 8 to welcome nearly 190 new teachers and certified personnel to town.

“We’re one of the fastest-growing zip codes in the country, so your classes are going to keep on growing,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby told the group gathered inside Redstone’s impressive school cafeteria.

“So, we are so thankful that you are here. Welcome to our community and thank you for being in the best profession ever.”

Yukon cheerleaders and pom squad members greet new Yukon Public Schools’ teachers as they walk from a Miller school activity bus to the entrance of Redstone Intermediate School. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce has presented the New Teacher Luncheon since the early ‘90s, with the Yukon school district’s newest site serving as this year’s host. Redstone opened in fall 2020 at Britton and Mustang roads north of Yukon.

“I just want to tell you how lucky we are to have each and every one of you here,” Mayor Selby told the assemblage. “I also want to tell you how lucky you are to be here.

Yukon’s newly hired teachers receive a hero’s welcome from business and community leaders inside the Redstone foyer. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“One, because you’re in the most honorable profession. You will shape and mold the leaders of tomorrow. That little boy or girl that you have in pre-K may be our next president or police chief – so be sure and be kind.”

Selby, a child therapist, is a former school counselor and teacher. She spent 14 years of a 30-year education career in Yukon Schools.

Ranchwood Elementary School Principal Kristin Lipe (right) introduces her new teachers: From left, Shelby Jones, special education; Kendell Lowry, music; Courtney Dubiel, kindergarten; Tammy Stone, speech pathologist; and Amye Breazeale, second grade. Lipe, starting her 24th year at Ranchwood, is Yukon’s longest-serving site principal. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“You have chosen the best school district in the State of Oklahoma,” said Selby, her words eliciting cheers from the giddy audience. “This is the best. They will treat you better than any other district.”

Tuesday’s luncheon honored not just the 157 new teachers joining Yukon Public Schools – but 15 others at Southwest Covenant Schools and Canadian Valley Technology Center.

New teachers from St. John Nepomuk Catholic School and King’s Gate Christian School also were invited but could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Principals took turns introducing the new personnel at their school sites to the luncheon audience.

Applauding Yukon Public Schools’ newly hired educators as they walk toward the front door are: From left, Yukon Middle School Principal Karyn Garcia, Executive Director of Secondary Education Adam Jewell, Chief Operating Officer Mark Lebsack, and Chief Information & Technology Officer Jason McDaniel. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

All teachers who came Tuesday were each presented an embroidered canvas bag chock full of “swag” items and other treasured gifts donated by Yukon businesses and organizations.

Members of Yukon’s cheerleading and pom squads greeted the new YPS hires as they walked off Yukon Miller activity busses in front of Redstone School.

Inside the foyer, luncheon attendees gave all new teachers a true hero’s welcome with a copious quantity of cheers and hand claps.



After matriculating into the cafeteria, the large contingent of newly hired school personnel heard about just what a special place they’ve come to work.

Yukon’s mayor described an “amazing” community that is a “tight knit” group.

Pastor Tim Knox of Life Church-Yukon leads the opening prayer. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

“If you can’t tell already, this community supports our educators 100%,” Selby told the newbies. “You have the best community. We love and honor you, and we hold you in the best esteem.

“Yukon is some kind of wonderful!” she added, describing some amenities the city offers. “We invite you to get out and engage in our community. If you don’t live here already, you’re going to want to move here.”

Three Yukon principals prepare to welcome the district’s new teaching personnel: From left, Independence Intermediate Principal Amy Young, Myers Elementary Principal Shannon Dutton and Lakeview Intermediate Principal Sam Summers. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

Yukon Chamber Board President Jarrid Wright was emcee for the Aug. 8th New Teacher Luncheon.

Pastor Tim Knox of LifeChurch-Yukon presented the invocation, offering thanks to Yukon’s community leaders, the school district and all new teachers.

All attendees enjoyed a tasty meal of fettuccine and meatballs from Bob Bean Catering with tea from HTeaO.

Stitch Design and Cherie Logan-State Farm Insurance sponsored the new teacher bags while Floral 23 provided floral arrangements for the tables.