Teacher of the Year finalists announced

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OKLAHOMA CITY– Organizers say 12 great Oklahoma teachers are being recognized Wednesday as they were named finalists for the ‘2014 Teacher of the Year’ award.

Committees selected two finalists from each of the six regions of the state to be finalists for the honor.

“The happiest part of my job is being able to notify 12 very excited finalists that they have been nominated for the highest teaching honor in our state,”said State Superintendent Janet Barresi said. “These teachers have demonstrated their superior devotion to children in their classrooms and a great deal of talent in giving their students the knowledge and thinking skills that will help them succeed both in and beyond the school environment.”

The finalists are as follows:

  • Barbara Bayless:  has spent five years as a 3rd-grade teacher at James Griffith Intermediate School in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District. In the coming school year, she will be a reading specialist.
  • Frank V. Cooper:  is a 10th, 11th and 12th-grade world history and comparative religions teacher at Charles Page High School in the Sand Springs School District. He has 20 years of teaching experience.
  • Jentri Guinn: is a 10th, 11th and 12th-grade English teacher at Porter High School in the Porter Consolidated School District. She has eight years of experience.
  • Betina Jones-Parra:  is a 10th through 12th-grade Advanced Placement calculus, pre-Advanced Placement calculus and Algebra II teacher at Noble High School in the Noble School District. She brings 21 years of experience to the district.
  • Tera Landrum:  is a 5th-grade teacher Oak Crest Elementary School in the Broken Arrow School District.
  • Peter L. Markes: is an 8th through 12th-grade string orchestra and Advanced Placement music theory teacher at Edmond North High School in the Edmond School District. He has 12 years of experience.
  • Dana Moore: is a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Hills Elementary School in the Lawton School District. She has 19 years of teaching experience.
  • Therese D. Rawlinson: is a 5th-grade teacher at Jane Phillips Elementary School in the Bartlesville School District. She has nine years of experience.
  • Mara Richards: is an 8th-grade science and pre-Advanced Placement physical science teacher at Durant Middle School in the Durant School District. She has 15 years of teaching experience.
  • Susan Rindal: is a pre-kindergarten teacher at Vanoss Elementary School in the Vanoss School District. She has 15 years of experience.
  • Chelsea Roberts: is an 8th-grade American history teacher at Woodward Middle School in the Woodward School District.
  • Eddie Lou Strimple: is a pre-kindergarten through 5th-grade music teacher at McKinley Elementary School in the Enid School District. He has 42 years of experience.

The winner will be announced during the Oklahoma State Fair in September.

He or she will receive more than $50,000 in cash and prizes and will represent the Sooner State in the national ‘Teacher of the Year’ competition.

See the slideshow of these deserving educators: