NORMAN — Roosevelt Elementary third grade teacher Brooke Brown is the Norman Public Schools 2013 Teacher of the Year as of an announcement at the annual Celebration of Excellence Tuesday evening.
Currently in her ninth year of teaching, Brown is a National Board certified teacher and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.
“To be chosen among people that see you day in and day out, know your good and bad days and who still love and lift you up is so incredible. I wouldn’t be the teacher that I am without the teachers of Roosevelt. Thank you so much,” Brown said upon receiving the award.
Selected from five finalists after a competitive process involving a written portfolio, video and interviews, Brown will now be the NPS representative in the state teacher of the year program.
“Brooke will be an excellent representative of the Norman Public Schools and we congratulate her on this much-deserved honor,” NPS Superintendent Joe Siano said. “As I do every year, I feel very fortunate that I have no part in the selection of the finalists or the teacher of the year. Selecting just one among a pool of so many great teachers is not an enviable task.”
Brown’s fellow finalists were Calypso Gilstrap, a library media specialist at Norman High; Suzanne Price, a counselor at Truman Primary; Donna Queen, an anatomy/physiology teacher from Norman North and Amy Young, a Cleveland Elementary fifth grade teacher.
Brown’s portfolio included an essay on her teaching philosophy, in which she remarked, “Although I've taught in two schools with widely varying needs, my philosophy has remained the same with regard to ‘how I want to be remembered’ by my students. It is my hope that by teaching the essentials of love, life and learning, I am shaping the next generation of young leaders and learners.”
Each of the district’s school site teachers of the year (nominated by their colleagues) were individually honored at the event, as well as NPS staff who will be retiring this year and teachers and staff who received higher certification or exterior recognition.
“While we celebrate excellence in teaching and the accomplishments of our staff, what we’re really celebrating is the impact that their talent has on our kids every day,” Siano said. “We don’t do this by ourselves, we do this together as a community that values its kids and their education.”