AFA Helps Honor State Teachers

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Wayne Ryan Peter Markes Kacey Boothe

Yesterday I was lucky enough to represent American Fidelity at the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year announcement.

Ultimately, Peter Markes from Edmond North High School was selected from among the 12 outstanding finalists to represent our state as the 2014 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Markes teaches string orchestra and AP music theory. His dedication to students is truly inspiring.

Mr. Markes and the other 11 finalists were given the opportunity to address the crowd, and they each talked about what led them to teaching. All told stories illustrating how they felt called to the profession and the rewards found in mentoring children.

In his speech, Mr. Markes quoted Japanese musician Shinichi Suzuki, who said, “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” Markes said the statement can apply to any subject.

Other 2014 Teacher of the Year finalists are:

  • Chelsea Roberts, Woodward Middle School
  • Eddie Lou Strimple, McKinley Elementary (Enid)
  • Barbara Bayless, James Griffith Intermediate (Choctaw-Nicoma Park)
  • Dana Moore, Woodland Hills Elementary (Lawton)
  • Betina Jones-Parra, Noble High School
  • Therese Rawlinson, Jane Phillips Elementary (Bartlesville)
  • Jentri Guinn, Porter High School (Porter Consolidated)
  • Frank Cooper, Charles Page High School (Sand Springs)
  • Tera Landrum, Oak Crest Elementary (Broken Arrow)
  • Mara Richards, Durant Middle School
  • Susan Rindal, Vanoss Elementary

As part of American Fidelity’s support of the Teacher of the Year recognition program, we have partnered with the Oklahoma City Thunder and each of these teachers, along with other Teacher of the Year candidates from around the state, will be honored as Teachers of the Game in the upcoming season.

Tell us about the educators who most inspired you!

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