The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 10, 2013

Local educators state Teacher of the Year finalists

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— An Enid music teacher and a Woodward history teacher are among 12 finalists in contention to be named 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in September.

Eddie Lou Strimple is music teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Enid. She has taught with Enid Public Schools all 42 of her years as a teacher.

Chelsea Roberts, with two years experience, is an eighth-grade American history teacher at Woodward Middle School in the Woodward school district.

The two were selected from among district teachers of the year in Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine, Canadian, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major, Noble, Roger Mills, Payne, Texas, Woods and Woodward counties.

“She (Strimple) is a fabulous teacher who does amazing things with students,” said Shawn Hime, EPS superintendent. “She is well-deserving, and I think her talents will shine through as she goes through the process of making the video and trying to become state teacher of the year.”

State finalists were announced by State Superintendent Janet Barresi during the Oklahoma Department of Education’s annual Vision 2020 conference Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

“The happiest part of my job is being able to notify 12 very excited finalists that they have been nominated for the highest teaching honor in our state,” Barresi said.

Math teacher Elaine Hutchison in the Fairview School District  is the state’s teacher of the year for 2013. She teaches at Fairview High School and Chamberlain Middle School, and is a National Board Certified Teacher with 19 years of classroom experience.

Committees made up of teachers, parents and community members selected two finalists from each of the state’s six regions.

A state committee comprised of education, business and civic leaders will select the winner, to be announced during ceremonies at the Oklahoma State Fair.

The state winner will move up to national Teacher of the Year competition, be given more than $50,000 in cash and prizes and serve as Oklahoma’s “Ambassador of Teaching.”