Eight Pottawatomie County educators and two school sites will be honored at the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Excellence in Education Merit Awards Banquet, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., April 13 at the Petroleum Club in downtown Oklahoma City.


Eight Pottawatomie County educators and two school sites will be honored at the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Excellence in Education Merit Awards Banquet, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., April 13 at the Petroleum Club in downtown Oklahoma City. Grove teacher Kellie D. Young, Bethel teacher Emily Carpenter, North Rock Creek teacher Kristin Marie Grimes, North Rock Creek secretary Julie Morgan and Tecumseh teachers Murna Lack, Karen Lenaburg and Jana Phelps will be among almost four dozen educators who have demonstrated outstanding performance and leadership in the classroom. Young, Carpenter, Lack and Phelps were nominated in the Elementary Educator award category, Grimes was nominated in the Junior High Educator award category, Lenaburg was nominated in the High School Educator award category and Morgan was nominated in the Non-Certified/Support Professional award category.

Macomb teacher Sharon Spikes has been nominated by her peers for the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Teacher Character Award, honoring teachers who demonstrate exceptional qualities of character and who strive to instill good character in their students. Bethel Middle School and North Rock Creek Elementary were nominated for the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation School Character Award.

Forty-five educators and four school sites will be presented with recognition. In all, there are six merit award categories: elementary, middle school/junior high, high school, special education, non-certified staff (secretaries, aides, bus drivers and other staff) and administrator, and two character award categories: teacher and school, Ginger Tinney, executive director of the Foundation and the affiliated association of teachers, Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE), said.

One winner from each of the eight categories will be announced at the banquet. Each merit award winner receives a $500 cash award, free POE membership for one school year, a legislative citation honoring achievements in education, a bouquet of flowers and a personalized award. Character award winners receive a $2,500 cash award and the other items given to merit award winners (minus the free membership for the school site winner). Video footage of the finalists in their classrooms (or other workspaces) will be shown, and all finalists are presented with plaques. Educators are nominated for these prestigious awards by their peers.

Oklahoma News Channel 4 anchor Kevin Ogle will emcee the special event. The POE Foundation provides an opportunity for business and community leaders to join with educators to celebrate and encourage excellence in Oklahoma education. Sponsorships for the attendance of teachers and others are available at a variety of levels.

Donor levels for the event range from $500 to $2,500. Sponsoring an individual teacher costs $100. Individual tickets can be purchased for $65 per person. Those interested in attending or sponsoring the event should respond by Tuesday, April 10. Complete information can be obtained from Emily Wilkins at the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation by telephone 405-321-3175, fax 405-321-8897 or toll free 888-331-2763.

The email address is Events@ProfessionalOklahomaEducators.org.