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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Public Schools Teacher of the Year finalists have been announced.

The nine finalists, as selected by The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools, are as follows:

  • Dana Chambers, Quail Creek Elementary School, Physical Education Teacher 
  • Rachel Farmer, Arthur Elementary School, 1st Grade Teacher
  • Sally Hoch, Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, 7th & 8th Grade Math Exploration Teacher
  • McKenzie Hodge, Wheeler Middle School, 5th Grade Science Teacher
  • Alicia Hunt, Cleveland Elementary School, 4th Grade Teacher
  • Cynthia Johnson, Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary School, Special Education Teacher
  • Chara Patterson, Douglass High School, English Language Arts Teacher
  • Donald Stephens, Southeast High School, Career Technology Education Teacher
  • Kendra Whitman, John Marshall Enterprise High School, Social Studies Teacher
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“I often say that OKCPS has the best teachers in the state, and I appreciate every opportunity we have to celebrate them and recognize their hard work. It goes without saying that this year has been a unique experience, but our teachers have been up to the challenge. They have adapted and excelled and, as always, put their students first,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “I am honored to recognize these nine outstanding teachers and their achievements. Congratulations!”

The finalists will be honored during the Stars of Education celebration on May 6.

The district’s Teacher of the Year will be announced during the ceremony, during which, a combined $7,500 in cash awards will be given to the finalists. The winner will receive $1,500 and the eight runners up will each receive $750, according to an OKCPS news release.

Each school site selected a Teacher of the Year candidate last fall. The candidates from each site were eligible to submit a nomination packet for Teacher of the Year consideration.

A committee of OKCPS educators and administrators used specific rating criteria to anonymously evaluate all candidates and narrow the field down to nine finalists, according to the news release.

The selection committee will review video filmed in each teacher’s classroom and will also conduct personal interviews to determine the winner, the news release states.

The OKCPS Teacher of the Year winner will be the district’s candidate for Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.

The Stars of Education ceremony will also feature the presentation of cash awards to honorees for exceptional support staff and Volunteers, as well as for three categories of Community Partner of the Year.

Two outstanding OKCPS principals – one from an elementary school and one from a secondary school – will receive The Sam and Charolet Shirley Outstanding Principal Awards and cash awards during the ceremony.