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February 27, 2013

Norman finalists named

NORMAN — Norman Public Schools announced its 2013 district teacher of the year finalists Tuesday.

The finalists are:

· Amy Young, Cleveland Elementary, fifth grade

· Brooke Brown, Roosevelt Elementary, third grade

· Suzanne Price, Truman Primary, counselor

· Calypso Gilstrap, Norman High, library media specialist

· Donna Queen, Norman North, anatomy and physiology

Each finalist was notified through special surprise celebrations at their respective school sites Tuesday morning, courtesy of the schools’ principals and NPS Staff Development Committee.

Each teacher’s selection as a finalist is reflective of their outstanding written portfolios, videos and interviews with committee members, according to a district press release.

From these five teachers, the committee will select the NPS 2013 teacher of the year, announced at the annual NPS Celebration of Excellence banquet April 16.

The district’s teacher of the year also will compete in the state program, which is sponsored by the state superintendent of public instruction in affiliation with the national teacher of the year program, sponsored by the national Council of Chief State School Officers.

Beth Spears, NPS director of Professional Development and Student Assessment, said the district’s teacher of the year program focuses on selecting teachers who exemplify the finest in the teaching profession and who can communicate the importance of teaching to other educators and the community.

“Our district and site teachers of the year perform an important role,” Spears said. “Norman Public Schools strives to promote excellence. These teachers inspire that in their daily work at their individual sites.”

NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said that, once again, he is inspired by the caliber of the finalists.

“Even before they were announced (as) finalists, I was aware of these five educators and the huge impact they make on student achievement at their individual schools,” he said. “Fortunately, I have no part in the selection of the finalists or the teacher of the year and am thankful for that.

“Each one of these educators would be an excellent NPS teacher of the year and, in my opinion, Oklahoma teacher of the year.”

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