skip to Main Content

20 Under 2: 2020 Teacher Honorees

Educators have a lot to think about these days. We don’t know exactly what school will look like as Covid-19 news changes each day. School start dates and formats are still in flux.

But here’s what we do know: Excellent Oklahoma educators deserve to be recognized.

“Now more than ever we need to celebrate excellent educators. As the coronavirus changes the way we live, work, and learn, teachers are guiding students and families through these challenging times.” said TLI Executive Director Jo Lein.

Join us in celebrating 20 Under 2’s list of emerging teacher leaders, high performers, and novice educators who make Oklahoma’s future look bright.

Access the full press release here or see individual teacher photos here.

 

Meet the Newest 20 Under 2 Honorees

The Teaching & Leading Initiative of Oklahoma (TLI) has honored twenty of the top novice teachers in the state in the second annual 20 Under 2 list, a list of promising new Oklahoma teachers. This list celebrates emerging teacher leaders, high performers, and novice educators who make Oklahoma’s future look bright.

Across the state, principals, veteran teachers, and district leaders submitted their top novice teachers for consideration. Each nomination from principals and colleagues was reviewed and scored by a panel of education professionals. The list below celebrates the top twenty nominees for outstanding classroom culture, academic results, and contributions to Oklahoma’s public schools.

The full honoree list includes the following: 

Alyson WilliamsStillwater Public Schools
Amber SmithMid-Del Public Schools
Ana BarrosTulsa School of Arts and Sciences
Bailee SayeEl Reno Public Schools
Brittany MillerClinton Public Schools
Candace MortonCleveland Public Schools
Christianna LozaTulsa Public Schools 
Eric ParkerOklahoma City Public Schools
Faith Marie PhillipsStilwell Public Schools
Jessi HeadrickVerdigris Public Schools
Jett ChavezSanta Fe South Schools
Kenya Guidry-SturmHarding Fine Arts
Kyla ZapataBristow Public Schools
Lindsay BoneGlenpool Public Schools
Melani FordMid-Del Public Schools
Nick VincentEdmond Public Schools
Nina RochaOklahoma City Public Schools
Sarah SheldonPositive Tomorrows 
Shaniece RandleGreenwood Leadership Academy
Tess McAnallyBethany Public Schools

Access the group photo here or read the full press release

20 Under 2 Calls For Top Oklahoma Teacher Nominations

Every year, 1 out of every 5 new Oklahoma teachers leave the profession. By year 5, only about half remain in the classroom. While it’s easy to decry the loss of teachers, the persistent classroom vacancies, and the worrisome number of emergency certificates issued this year, there are also plenty of bright spots. We think it’s time to step up and celebrate some of the brightest novice teachers in the state. 

20 Under 2 is a list of new Oklahoma teachers who represent the best our state has to offer. Like Forbes’ 30 under 30 collection of honorees, this list celebrates emerging teacher leaders, high performers, and teachers who make Oklahoma’s future look bright. 

This year, nominations are open from March 1-15, 2020. All full-time public school teachers in their first or second year of teaching are eligible. See eligibility requirements here or start a nomination today.  

As Chief of Staff Marissa King pointed out, “Novice Oklahoma teachers need support and encouragement to learn to teach, an especially hard job in underfunded and overburdened systems. Regardless of certification, whether a new college graduate or mid-life career changer, each new Oklahoma teacher is filling a critical public role.”

Have a question or want to see last year’s honorees? Give us a shout!

20 Under 2: Celebrating Oklahoma’s Novice Teachers

A teacher’s first years in the classroom can be long and lonely. Learning to teach is a big, important job and yet the experience is also punctuated with unnecessary hurdles like low pay, large class sizes, and underfunded systems. 

It’s not surprising that so many novice teachers leave before they feel fully competent. In Oklahoma, one out of every five new teachers leaves after their first year. After five years, only about half remain in the classroom. 

Here at the Teaching & Leading Initiative, we’re obsessed with ways to support new teachers. Usually, that means concrete support like weekly coaching, practice-based professional development, or training leaders to work with new teachers. 

This year, we rolled out another way to support teachers: a big, public round of applause for top-achieving teachers. Meet the 20 Under 2 campaign, a list of twenty of the top novice teachers in Oklahoma and an ode to high-achieving novice teachers everywhere. 
Across the state, principals, veteran teachers, and district leaders submitted their top novice teachers for consideration. Each nomination was reviewed and scored by a panel of education professionals. The list below celebrates the top twenty nominees for outstanding classroom culture, academic results, and contributions to Oklahoma’s public schools. Find out more information about each honoree on our website.

  • Jeremy Britt | Tulsa Public Schools | McClure Elementary
  • Katie Burgess | McAlester Public Schools | McAlester High School
  • Christina Cook | Santa Fe South | Pathways Middle College
  • Brooke Copeland | Fort Gibson Public Schools | Fort Gibson Intermediate Elementary
  • Katherin (Kat) Evans | Deer Creek Public Schools | Grove Valley Elementary
  • Hannah Folks | Stilwell Public Schools | Stilwell High School
  • Kyle Foster | Jenks Public Schools | Jenks High School
  • Rachel Henderson | Kiefer Public Schools | Kiefer Upper Elementary
  • Kelsey Hicks | Broken Arrow Public Schools | Timber Ridge Elementary
  • Benjamin Imlay | Tulsa Public Schools | Collegiate Hall
  • BJ Jiles | Edmond Public Schools | Central Middle School
  • Lindsay Judd | Mid-Del Public Schools | Pleasant Hill Elementary
  • Kimberly Morgan | Pryor Public Schools | Lincoln Elementary
  • Sarah Muzny | Muskogee Public Schools | Muskogee High School
  • Sara Mote |Springer Public Schools | Springer Elementary
  • Audra Peterson | Anadarko Public Schools | Mission Elementary School
  • Olivia Wehmuller | Jennings Public Schools | Jennings Elementary
  • Jennifer Winchester | Bridge Creek Public Schools | Bridge Creek Middle School
  • Garrett Weir | Glenpool Public Schools | Glenpool High School
  • Austin Wood | Paoli Public Schools | Paoli Elementary School
Back To Top