One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to represent American Fidelity during events that honor educators. This week, I got to head to the state fairgrounds where a dozen of the state’s best and brightest teachers were honored for their contributions to the classroom. Ultimately, math teacher Shawn Sheehan from Norman High School took the top honor as the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. After accepting prizes from more than half a dozen organizations including American Fidelity, Sheehan thanked his parents, his wife and his fellow school teachers. He said his parents took a chance and adopted him from the Philippines, and he has appreciated the opportunities he’s had as a result. He tries to show his students that they can accomplish more than they imagined if they work hard. He also encourages other educators and those who are interested in the profession through his Teach Like Me organization. Broken Arrow teacher Amanda Bowser was recognized as the runner-up in what state superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced was an extremely close competition among stellar candidates. Other state finalists are Cindy Butler, Mid-Del Schools; Jenniffer Callaway, Jenks; Tony Flores, Putnam City; Lori Hartin, Madill; Lisa Kerns, Hilldale; Sharon Morgan, Piedmont; Kimberly Paxson, Shawnee; Jack Reavis, Muskogee; Ryan Walters, McAlester; and Susan Weaver, Stillwater. All 12 finalists will be guests of American Fidelity at an upcoming Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game. They will be recognized on court as a Teacher of the Game. I’m proud to work for a Company that values education and recognizes the contributions of great educators like Shawn Sheehan. Thanks to all of these teachers – and thousands more across the nation – our children have a bright future!