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A look back on Thankful 4 Teachers

It's a partnership between News 4 and Air Comfort Solutions.

All summer, we asked you to nominate Oklahoma teachers worthy of a $5,000 cash prize. For months, nominations poured in from around the state.

We honored 10 teachers in two weeks.

  • News 4's Ali Meyer kicks off our coverage in Del City with our inaugural winner.

Mrs. Kristy Cooper is a math teacher; she also runs the leadership program. She's spent 14 years in the classroom at Del City High.

When asked what she might do with her $5000, Mrs. Cooper said "I have no clue. None."

  • Next, Kent Ogle went to Konawa High School to honor Patty Wilson

She was nominated for KFOR's 'Thankful 4 Teachers' campaign by her daughter, Megan Davenport, who is also a teacher.

When she received the $5,000 check she said, "Thank you very much, this is for my kids. You guys are all my kids."

  • Heather Holman surprised Heather Anderson at Stillwater Junior High.

"Out of all the people that I've ever had teach me, she has every excuse not to put in 100 percent. She has a small child, she just finished her master's degree, and yet she still goes above and beyond. As well as that, she really invests herself where her students crave learning. They never know what she's going to do next. One day she came to school dressed as Edgar Allen Poe, which is kind of crazy. We didn't even recognize her," said Claire Grace, former student and nominator of Anderson.

Anderson says she plans to put the $5,000 toward her 3-year-old son's college fund.

  • Joleen Chaney honored Mrs. Misty Henry for her work at Putnam Heights.

"I think everybody needs people who pour life and love into them and encouragement," Mrs. Henry told us.

"I have student loans that are due right now, and this is really going to help pay that off."

  • Kerry Ingersoll, teacher at Bethel Acres, was our next honoree.

"I love teaching and I love my students and I love seeing them light up when they learn something new and they finally grasp a concept. It just makes it all worth while," Ingersoll said.

This amazing woman not only dedicates every day to her school kids, but she has also adopted four children and is fostering two others.

  • News 4's Kevin Ogle visited Katrina Dolezal at Putnam North High School.

When we surprised her in her classroom, an emotional Dolezal asked if she could use the money for her classroom.

  • Apache Middle and High School was ecstatic to see Mr. Seth Grabeal honored.

Apache is a small town with a population of about 2,000 - but Mr. Grabeal's student robotics team has placed in multiple national competitions and then gone on to compete in the World Robotics Competition.

"All you've got to do is give them a chance. I'm not really that special, I just give them a place to work," Mr. Grabeal said.

  • A special check for a special ed teacher was given to Mr. McMillan of Deer Creek High School.

"He is the bestest teacher I'll ever know," said Deer Creek Junior Aric Roberson. "He taught me everything about after high school and getting ready for life."

McMillan continues to work, teach and give all he has even as his wife, Dawna McMillan has been fighting breast cancer.

  • Audrey Rucker, a 4th grade teacher at Broadmoore Elementary, was honored as well.

Audrey worked with a student over the summer free of charge to help her not only with her school work.

"My daughter wants to go to England with the sophomores,” Audrey told us. “I think this will pay her way.”

  • Our final teacher for this round of Thankful 4 Teachers was Mr. Lawson Thompson in small-town Carney.

Carney's FFA is one of the top chapters in the country – in the top 10, in fact.

"You can do anything you set your mind to. The difference is you have to choose to do it. If you want to be successful and find that later success that's bigger than this town, then go out and get involved,” said Thompson.

Jason White of Air Comfort Solutions reminded us all why we want to honor our teachers.

"I have been affected by a teacher that's changed my life," White said. "Everyone in this room will have that same opportunity. We want to give back to those teachers."

We are thankful 4 you.

'Thankful 4 Teachers' is sponsored by Air Comfort Solutions.