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Kelly BullardLakehoma Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, Kelly Bullard, loved kids growing up, but they weren’t the reason she decided to become a teacher. She learned in her introduction to elementary school that it was an unpleasant place. She had an undiagnosed vision problem and first grade was a nightmare. The thought of going to school filled her with an uncommon dread. 

Ms. Sheppard, her second grade teacher at Dill City Public Schools, changed everything, Bullard’s outlook, her belief in herself and ultimately, the course of her life. 

Bullard started the second grade sitting at the back of the class, terrified of the days when Ms. Sheppard would put a poem on the board for the students to copy.

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Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Diana McElroyDiana McElroy, Horizon Intermediate’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year, was supposed to be an architect. She loved math and entered projects in any kind of engineering fair in school. By the time she graduated from Mustang High School, she had a full-ride scholarship to any school in Oklahoma to pursue engineering. After getting through one year of basic courses, she chose UCO’s architecture program. She was doing well - from five hour calculus classes to physics classes with labs - but a service project requirement changed everything. 

“During one of my service projects, I had to volunteer at a school. I ended up volunteering at Mustang Elementary for their reading program. I enjoyed working with those students, helping them to read and reach their potential,” she said. “I always taught Sunday School and children’s church and was going to do that on the side.” 

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Posted Friday, April 13, 2018

Tracy JamesTracy James has come full circle. The former special ed teacher’s assistant who was encouraged to get her teaching degree was named Prairie View Elementary’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. James teaches mild/moderate special needs students in kindergarten and second grade, providing extra help in reading and math. 

When James was announced as Teacher of the Year, she was shocked. 

“I had no idea,” she said. “I was very humbled because it is my second year here and any teacher here could have been named Teacher of the Year. We have such an outstanding staff.”

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Posted Friday, April 6, 2018

Lisa StaceyLisa Stacey, Mustang Middle School’s Teacher of the Year, was named the Mustang Public Schools District 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year. Stacey told the banquet crowd it was an honor to be selected and acknowledged the other 13 site Teachers of the Year. 

“I don’t even know where to start. We do everything as a team,” she said of her math department. “Every decision we make, we make as a team. My administrative team, the support you guys provide is phenomenal. I feel privileged to be part of Mustang, and to be home.” 

The 1999 graduate of Mustang High School returned to be a Bronco again in 2015. Her desire to be a teacher started in the halls of Mustang Middle School when she was in Leslie Reynolds’ math class. 

“I loved her. I loved her class. I loved the subject,” Stacey said.”Anytime I think of why I became a teacher, I distinctly have an image of her doing her thing. I always loved math in general. I love the cleanness of it. There’s a process and you know if your answer is correct or incorrect. It’s very black and white until you get into upper level math.” 

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Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sohailah StoutSohailah Stout may have been gifted in music, but she was determined to design and build things. If Oral Roberts University had a degree in architecture, she would have enrolled, but she settled for civil engineering. Stout was on track to graduate early when her heart forced a career change. The would-be engineer turned choir teacher was named the Teacher of the Year for Canyon Ridge Intermediate for 2017-2018.

“I love science and math and in the eighth grade, they (teachers) said ‘You do so well in science and math, you should be an engineer.’ Music was just something I did. I thought, ‘Everybody does music.’” 

Midway through her sophomore year of college, doubts about her career choice rose to the surface. She’s an energetic, commanding presence with a raucous, infectious laugh. 

“I was looking at the rest of the people who were engineers and they were super quiet and super studious,” she said. “I wasn’t sure this was for me.” 

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Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018
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