NORMAN — Noble Public Schools held its ninth annual awards and recognition banquet, Thursday. A crowd of approximately 200 people attended the ceremony at Curtis Inge Middle School where awards were given for longevity and outstanding performance as well as District Teacher of the Year. Betina Jones-Parra, math teacher at Noble High School, was named District Teacher of the Year, sponsored by First State Bank.
“I’m incredibly proud. This is an awesome school district and I’m happy to represent our teachers,” Jones-Parra said. “My mom and dad would have loved this,” she added, referring to her deceased parents.
Jones-Parra is passionate about her students. She told the story of a student, Beth, a pseudonym, who is a “unique, strong, individual.” During a parent teacher conference, Jones-Parra suggested to Beth’s parent that an additional math class would benefit Beth as she enrolled in college. Beth’s parent said Beth wasn’t college bound. Jones-Parra said she went home and cried for her student who had so much potential, but whose parent didn’t think so.
“We all need our Beths to nurture them and send them on their own individual paths to greatness,” Jones-Parra said. Passion for students and the work they do doesn’t end with Jones-Parra. Many other NPS employees share it.
Cecilia Peterson, custodian, and Dot Lee, registrar, both won Support Person of the Year awards. Peterson expressed her excitement.
“It’s very exciting,” Peterson said. “I got tricked into going to the banquet. It’s a really good feeling that people think of me that way. I love the kids.”
Lee echoed Peterson’s sentiment.
“I’m very humbled. I was very shocked. I just know so many other support personnel in the district that work hard all the time and are pulled in so many different directions. There’s just so many people in the district who work so hard,” Lee said, adding that the reality of it “just hasn’t soaked in.”