By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Stacy Ford, Kennedy Elementary librarian, was named 2014 Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year at the district’s annual Celebration of Excellence banquet Tuesday evening at the National Center for Employee Development.
The other finalists contending for NPS Teacher of the Year were Amy Carruth of Truman Primary, Macey Morgan of Washington Elementary and Bo Maynes of Norman High. They were chosen from the 2013-2014 Site Teachers of the Year.
Ford became the district’s top teacher after a competitive process involving a written portfolio, video and individual interviews with the selection committee, which is a diverse group and does not include Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano.
Ford has been Kennedy’s librarian for the last four years and has 10 years of experience in education. He received his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Oklahoma and earned his Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Oklahoma State University.
In addition to his service at NPS, he also has worked for Oklahoma City Public Schools and for one of its charter schools, ASTEC.
In accepting the district’s top teaching honor, Ford reiterated what he stressed in the portfolio he submitted for the competition: “Education is a game changer in many students’ and families’ lives.”
While at Kennedy, Ford has sought and been awarded several grants to enhance instruction and opportunities for students, including a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation to diversify Kennedy’s library collection. He also has initiated programs and strategies to engage the whole family in each Kennedy student’s education.
“Thank God for giving me the gifts to be able to teach. The people that I work with, we make a difference in these kids’ lives and work every day to build a community of readers,” Ford said while accepting his award.
Twenty-four teachers, including Ford and the other three finalists, were recognized at the banquet as 2013-2014 site teachers of the year.
“These teachers are representative of what it means to work in NPS schools. The parents I know appreciate you teachers. You’re teaching from the inside ... teaching calls to you,” said Linda Sexton, board of education president.
The 2013-2014 site teachers of the year included Beth York, Adams Elementary, librarian; Cari Horton, Cleveland Elementary, fifth grade; Angie Estes, Eisenhower Elementary, second grade; Jenny Pratt, Jackson Elementary, kindergarten; Catherine Miller, Jefferson Elementary, reading interventionist; Stacy Ford, Kennedy Elementary, media specialist; Martha Williams, Lakeview Elementary, second grade; Danielle Eikel, Lincoln Elementary, reading interventionist; Zuki Flores, Madison Elementary, fourth grade; Kathy Rutherford, McKinley Elementary, kindergarten; Carla Kampert, Monroe Elementary, speech language pathologist; Stephanie Lowery, Reagan Elementary, first grade; Michelle Parker, Roosevelt Elementary, second grade; Lindsay Alca, Truman Elementary, fifth grade; Amy Carruth, Truman Primary, kindergarten; Macey Morgan, Washington Elementary, second grade; Kim Anders, Wilson Elementary, first grade; Jon Robinson, Alcott Middle School, foreign language; Shawn McGlone, Irving Middle School, eighth-grade social studies; Beth Huddleston, Longfellow Middle School, sixth-grade language arts; Adrienne Hall, Whittier Middle School, resource teacher; Scott Olsen, Dimensions Academy, fourth- and fifth-grade alternative education; Bo Maynes, Norman High School, Oklahoma history, AVID and head wrestling; and Robert King, Norman North High School, mathematics.
“Relationships make the difference between pedagogy of teaching and the art of teaching. Tonight we celebrate you as artists,” Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said during the banquet.
Additionally, 36 retirements were acknowledged at the banquet, including Patricia Baxter, Alcott Middle School, records clerk; Yolanda Beckenhauer, Monroe Elementary, teacher; Bob Byers, Reagan Elementary, teacher; Lorraine Carlton, Norman North High School, teacher; John Clinton, Professional Development Center, director elementary bands; Paula Cook, Truman Elementary, teacher; Ann Crocker, Norman High School, teacher; Maxine Cunningham, Alcott Middle School, teacher; Peggy Davis, Irving Middle School, resource teacher; Catherine Dobbs, Special Services, resource teacher; Dana Domstead, Lakeview Elementary, teacher; Carol Fain, Washington Elementary, teacher; Jody Gipson, Jackson Elementary, secretary; Tony Gonzalex, Norman North High School, choir director; Sandy Hightower, Dimensions South, teacher; Kathy Hillis, Truman Primary, teacher assistant; Sheryl Hoggatt, Alcott Middle School, remedial specialist; Peggy James, Madison Elementary, counselor; Bonnie Knippenberg, Alcott Middle School, teacher; Lona Lyon, Norman North High School, registrar; Susan Maloney, Adams Elementary, teacher; Vicki Marvel, Alcott Middle School, counselor; Teresa McCormick, Roosevelt Elementary, teacher; Ann Miller, Eisenhower Elementary, media specialist; Joye Oakley, Norman High School, teacher; Virginia Parks, Norman North High School, teacher; Michael Ramsey, Norman North High School, technician; Karen Ross, Norman North High School, teacher; Diana Schlueter, Lincoln Elementary, teacher; Mark Stahl, Longfellow Middle School, teacher; Edward Swank, Warehous, freight, stock and mat handler; Frank Thompson, Administrative Services Center, athletic director; Jenise Turner, McKinley Elementary, teacher assistant; Janey Winfrey, Kennedy Elementary, speech pathologist; Terry White, Instructional Services Center, maintenance; and Carolyn Yates, Longfellow Middle School, counselor.
“There are not quality structures built without a quality foundation. Our retirees represent that foundation,” Siano said. “They made our district what it is, and those of us returning have a responsibility to keep building and make it better while we’re here.”
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