By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater Middle School art teacher Crista McCann was named the district’s teacher of the year during a reception Monday at Meditations.
Each of the 10 site teachers of the year were recognized, including finalists Beth Helm of Stillwater Junior High and Jamie Bellah of Richmond Elementary School.
McCann will represent Stillwater at the Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year competition in September.
McCann received a plaque that will be displayed at the Middle School. She also received free use of a vehicle for the next 12 months, courtesy of Barry Sanders Honda. She also received $500 from the Larry Gish Memorial Fund that is administered by the Stillwater Public Education Foundation.
McCann is in her ninth year in education, including the last four years in the Stillwater district. She has taught in four Stillwater elementary schools and now the middle school.
“I never in a million years thought that I would want to work with middle school kids,” McCann said. “The drama is a little higher than I’m accustomed to. But I love it. It is truly what I am meant to be.”
Helm and Bellah each received $100 from the foundation for being named finalists.
Site teachers of the year were Kelly Johnson (Highland Park Elementary School), Carleen Zacher (Sangre Ridge Elementary School), Carey Henderson (Skyline Elementary School), Laura Flesner (Westwood Elementary School), Melanie Bradley (Will Rogers Elementary School), Kevin Zamborsky (Stillwater High School) and Carla Harnly (Lincoln Alternative Academy). Teachers recognized at each of their schools received $50 from the foundation.
Stillwater Superintendent Ann Caine said each site teacher of the year is a “superstar” educator.
“I really don’t know how the teachers made their decisions,” Caine said. “Each teacher gets one vote for the district teacher of the year, and when you look at those 10 recognized tonight, they are all superstars.”