Two Texoma Teachers Up For Teacher of the Year Award - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Two Texoma Teachers Up For Teacher of the Year Award

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OKLAHOMA-- Two teachers that teach some of your kids or maybe even taught you, are up for quite an honor, Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Meredith Saldana has more on this story.

Only 12 finalists statewide are picked each year.     

Parents should be proud that two of those teachers will be representing Texoma, Tuesday, in Oklahoma City when the winner is announced.     

Being nominated for teacher of the year in your school district is quite an honor, but being one of 12 finalists across the state of Oklahoma for teacher of the year, is even bigger.     

Karen Lewis has been teaching for 35-years, 30 of those years she's spent at Plainvew Schools in Ardmore teaching English.  

Student Nikki Faulkner says,"I'm always pumped for Mrs. Lewis' class, like I'm always looking forward to coming into this class. When I come in I hear the music playing and I'm just ready to get started on learning." 

"Absolutely, I love coming in and learning new things each day and just looking forward to what she has to teach," says student Hannah Greathouse.     

So, it's no surprise this is the third time Mrs. Lewis has been nominated.      

"Well, you know, I think that one of the things that I really believe is important is that we keep all of the children engaged, keep them actively engaged and I always want to make learning fun," says Karen Lewis.     

She credits her career to her biggest role models.     

"I think my parents, of course, were my first role models. They weren't school teachers but they were my first teachers. They just always encouraged us to, you know, to get a good education and  teaching was what I wanted to do."     

Elizabeth Smith, a reading teacher from Byng Public Schools in Ada, is also one of the 12-finalists.     

Smith says it came as a surprise to her students as well, "I was shocked and yes they were very surprised. I never in my wildest imagination dreamed of being a finalist."     

She's been teaching for 18-years most of those at Byng.     

She comes from a family of educators, something she credits to her career as well.     

"My mother was an English teacher for years and years so I always loved reading, had a passion for that subject."    

Both teachers say while it's an honor, it's not about the recognition or awards, it's about the lives they touch on a daily basis.     

Smith's student Kendall Fike says, "We get to- we interact with each other which makes it more fun to learn."    

Her classmate Hallie Williams agrees, "Well, I think of her kinda like my best friend slash mother person because she told me if I ever need any help, I can just come to her any day for anything."     

The award will be announced Tuesday morning at The State Fair of Oklahoma.

-Meredith Saldana, KTEN News