The K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Electric Cooperatives (OEC) have chosen Cassie Flora, Haley Michael, Brandy Swinford, and Katie Thompson, Pre-K and kindergarten teachers at the Shawnee Early Childhood Center, as the 2019 SKIE Award recipients for the Southeast Oklahoma region. The annual award, made possible by a $90,000 endowment from OEC, recognizes teachers or groups of educators from six regions across the state who use technology to transform their classroom instruction. The teachers, with 25 years of combined experience, receives a $500 cash award that accompanies the honor. They also become eligible to be named the statewide SKIE Award winner, which carries an additional $1500 cash award along with a $1000 award for the Shawnee Early Childhood Center.

“This terrific team of teachers was chosen from a pool of highly-qualified applicants,” said Sharon Dean, Associate Director of Leadership at the K20 Center. “They exhibit the commitment to students and innovative learning that the K20 Center and OEC hopes to honor and encourage with these awards.” Dean added that the 2019 statewide SKIE winner will be announced at K20’s Innovative Learning Institute (ILI) on November 21st in Norman.

Thanks to these dedicated teachers, pre-K and kindergarten students at the Shawnee Early Childhood Center experience coding through the daily integration of technology. “Classroom Smartboards and iPads allow the four walls of our classroom to be extended into the real world,” the group noted. “Students explore and interact with our planet through Google Earth, virtual field trips, and apps that engage students in their personal interests.” The team believes technology is a tool that keeps ideas fresh and innovative while teaching young children to value one another’s ideas and collaborate for an even richer educational experience. “The encounters that our students are having on a regular basis create authentic learning by connecting them to real-world situations and allowing them to see potential for their future.”

Begun in 2009, the SKIE (Supporting K20 Innovative Educators) Award is celebrating its 11th year. OEC is a proud sponsor of this award as a part of its commitment to community and Oklahoma’s youth. To be considered for the honor, educators must have a proven record of integrating K20s IDEALS (Inquiry, Discourse, Equity, Authenticity, Leadership, and Service) and demonstrate excellence in teaching and technology use as well as instruction that is both engaging and effective.

The K20 Center for Community and Education Renewal, located on the University of Oklahoma Research Campus, is a statewide education research and development center which promotes innovative learning through school-university-community collaboration. For more information, visit