OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and Oklahoma City Public Schools have announced nine finalists for 2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year.

According to OKCPS, nine finalists have been chosen from the district’s teachers of the year from each school site.

The 2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year finalists include:

  • Christopher Lance Cudjoe, Star Spencer Mid-High School
  • Sherry Dew, Southeast High School
  • Carrie Helm, Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School
  • Judith Huerta, Taft Middle School
  • Felix Linden, FD Moon Middle School
  • Faisal Madni, Shidler Elementary School
  • Carsen Moon, Classen SAS High School at Northeast
  • Emily Riley, Kaiser Elementary School
  • Lisa Ummel-Ingram, Wheeler Middle School

“Congratulations to our nine OKCPS Teacher of the Year finalists,” said Superintendent Sean McDaniel. “I also want to say ‘thank you’. Thank you for making us proud and being part of #TeamOKCPS. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our students and the difference you make in the lives of our young people every single day. You are seen and you are appreciated more than words can express.”

OKCPS says the selection process began in the fall when each school site chose a Teacher of the Year candidate. Each site Teacher of the Year then had the opportunity to submit a nomination packet to be considered for OKCPS Teacher of the Year.

An OKCPS committee then anonymously assessed each submission, which secured the nine finalists through specific criteria. The committee will soon sift through video filmed in their classroom as well as conduct personal interviews before determining a winner.

According to OKCPS, the finalists will be recognized at the annual Stars of Education event, where the 2023 OKCPS Teacher of the Year will be announced. The in-person event is May 4 at the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services.

Officials say each finalist will receive a cash reward and various prizes donated by community partners. The winner will later serve as the district’s candidate for Oklahoma’s State Teacher of the Year.

“The Stars of Education ceremony is one of my favorite days of the year because we get to celebrate our amazing teachers, principals, support staff and volunteers,” said Mary Mélon-Tully, Foundation President/CEO of Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. “OKCPS has such incredible and dedicated teachers. It is truly our honor to recognize them for the life changing work they do and for the difference they are making in the lives of our students every day.”