The Norman Transcript


July 6, 2014

Teachers attend OERB retreat

NORMAN — Eighty-one teachers from across Oklahoma spent June 18-20 touring, participating in and learning about the state’s oil and natural gas industry during the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board’s (OERB) Educators’ Retreat in Ardmore.

Two teachers from Norman were selected to attend the retreat: Johnnie Keel, who teaches third- through fifth-grade gifted education at Truman Elementary; and Vanna Owens, who teaches fifth grade at Little Axe Elementary.

“The goal of the retreat is to get teachers more familiar with the oil and natural gas industry, which helps them more effectively teach our curricula in their classrooms,” said Carla Schaeperkoetter, OERB education director. “Many Oklahoma students have family members who work in the industry, or they may live near oil and natural gas activity. So it’s important that they learn about the industry and how it affects their daily lives.”

The retreat offered two days of hands-on industry experience to teachers, including a fossil dig, oil refinery tour, rig tour, production site tour and two museum tours. Teachers were provided food, lodging, all events and activities and 16 hours of professional development credits for free.

To attend, teachers had to apply, show interest in the industry and tell how they were using OERB’s materials and curricula in their classrooms. The final 81 participants were hand-selected from a pool of 200 applicants.

The OERB offers eight free curricula for kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers to use in their classrooms. By attending an OERB workshop, teachers receive all materials worth up to $1,200 and a free field trip for their students.

OERB’s activities are funded by Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry, through a voluntary one-tenth of 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners.

To learn more about the OERB and its education programs, visit To learn about other OERB programs, visit

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