Oklahoma Baptist University alumni from the Division of Teacher Education often are recognized for their excellent teaching in the classroom, and this year was no different.


Oklahoma Baptist University alumni from the Division of Teacher Education often are recognized for their excellent teaching in the classroom, and this year was no different.
Of the 12 finalists for the 2011 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award, two nominees were OBU graduates.
The OBU alumni who were finalists included Kristi Lovett who teaches art and studio art at Crescent Public Schools. She graduated from OBU in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in art education, K-12. Lovett has 12 years of teaching experience, and she is National Board Certified. She said it was her desire to emulate the professionals who inspired her to become a teacher.
Finalist Kari Steele teaches pre-advanced literature and composition at Deer Creek Public School. Steele graduated from OBU in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She also is National Board certified. Steele has 20 years of teaching experience. She said it wasn’t until she began working with children that she realized God had given her the talent for teaching.
The winner, Elizabeth Smith of Byng Public Schools, was named Sept. 26 during the state fair in Oklahoma City. The other nine finalists in the state competition included Brandi Dickson, Tecumseh Public Schools; Terri Foughty, Newcastle Public Schools; Karen Watson Lewis, Plainview Public Schools; Lynette Miller, Jenks Public Schools; Fran Stellman, Stillwater Public Schools; Leesa Dickson, Claremore Public Schools; Carol Hunsperger, Grove Public Schools; Kendra Roulet, Sand Springs Public Schools; and Meredith Wronowski, Oklahoma City Public Schools.
On the local level, OBU alum Teresa Askin has won her school’s teacher of the year honors twice while teaching at Pleasant Grove Elementary. Askin graduated from OBU in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in management-marketing.
The winner represents Oklahoma in the National Teacher of the Year competition, receives more than $50,000 in cash and prizes, and serves as the Ambassador of Teaching, presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.