Judy Schwarz is the Site Teacher of the Year for Westmoore High School. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and was a 2008 Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence Scholarship Recipient.

Schwarz received her bachelor of science degree in math and education in 1994 from Oklahoma State University. She received her master's in education in 1998 from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Her husband, Dan, is senior principal at Moore High School. They have a son, Justin, 11, a fifth-grader at Wayland Bonds Elementary, and daughter Katy, 9, a third-grader, also at Wayland Bonds.

Schwarz has taught at Westmoore since 1994. In the past 16 years, she has taught algebra I, geometry, algebra II, math analysis, pre-AP math analysis and computer education. She has spent time as both cheer and pom sponsor, junior class sponsor and multicultural club sponsor.

"I believe the best teachers are the ones who are still students themselves," Schwarz said. "I enjoy attending workshops and trainings to learn new things, whether it is a hobby or a new approach to a concept I have taught for years."

"Being able to take difficult math objectives and break them down to a level where students can make connections and have a deeper understanding is a daily challenge, but one I look forward to every day," she said. "I also love watching my students as they come to the end of their K-12 education and transition to the amazing world that awaits them. They are my inspiration and my motivation to come to work every day and give 110 percent so they will have the attitude, skills and knowledge to face the many challenges that lie ahead."

Schwarz also served on the Wayland Bonds PTA as Fall Festival chairperson and jog-a-thon chairperson.

"I enjoy spending my free time spending time with my family, watching my kids participate in their activities, reading, exercising and having coffee with my friends," Schwarz said.

Tara Cargal has spent 16 of her 21 years as an educator, teaching second grade at Kingsgate Elementary School.

"I am thrilled to be their 36th Teacher of the Year," she said.

Her caring approach to having each classroom individual achieve personal success is her daily goal, her fellow teachers said.

"Over the years, programs such as Reflections, Reading Sufficiency and visual arts education have been enhanced from her leadership," they said.

Cargal and her husband, John, are advocates for art education and have given many workshops to students and teachers at the local and state level including presenting at the upcoming 2010 State Superintendent's Social Studies and Fine Arts Centennial Conference.

Outside the realm of teaching, you will find Cargal actively involved with the Southmoore drama department designing and making costumes. Her community service ranges from years of being a Sunday school teacher, to volunteering her time to community theaters, their academies and scholarship organizations.

The Cargals have one daughter, Brighton, and they are her biggest fans as she performs in Southmoore's production of "Oklahoma!" and is a semi-finalist in the Oklahoma City Star competition.

As a life long resident of Moore, Cargal says she feels fortunate to be an active and influential part of the upcoming and growing youth of our community.

"My favorite reward, as a teacher, is when past students, some actually having children of their own, come to me and recall their second grade memories of my classroom," she said. "Often they state a learning "trick" or activity they remember. It makes me smile to hear that I was their favorite teacher. I am then reminded, that as a teacher, I make a difference."

Ambur Bell has taught elementary school for seven years and is the 2009-2010 Bryant Elementary School Site Teacher of the Year.

Four years were spent teaching in Texas. The remaining three years have been teaching kindergarten at Bryant. Bell is a graduate from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, where she received her bachelor's and a master's degree in curriculum development.

A native of Oklahoma, Bell attended Oklahoma City Public Schools from kindergarten to fourth grade. Her family moved to Moore at the beginning of her fifth grade year and was graduated from Moore High School.

"Since I became a product of Moore Public Schools, it has always been a dream of mine to teach in the school district I love so much."

Bell is an active member of Capitol Hill Assembly of God Church where she sings with the Frontline Ministries praise team and the choir. She also is actively involved in the Women's Ministries as special events coordinator.

"I love teaching kindergarten," Bell said. "For some of my students, my class is the first experience that they will have had with school. I want that experience to be a positive one that they will carry throughout their lives. It is so important for students to know that their teacher believes in them. I want them to have fun, be creative in their learning and enjoy the process."

"I believe the job of a teacher is not just a job," Bell said. "Teaching is a ministry where we try to make a positive impact on the young lives that pass through our hallways each day. I can't imagine doing anything else where I can make a more positive impact in the world."

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