Culture

Teacher Apizziation Award Winners Announced!

Teacher Apizziation Award Winners Announced!

May. 03, 2016

Teachers. They are some of the most important and influential people in our lives. Their dedication, creativity and energy are seemingly endless. We’ve read well over 500 nomination forms this week, and been moved by story after story of teachers who treat their students as their own children, deliver exceptional lessons day after day, clean up, organize activities, attend athletic games and plays and recitals, lead by example, point out life lessons, and inspire thousands of Oklahoman students, parents and colleagues, often while balancing a home life and challenges of their own.

No reward seems big enough to match the love and respect that we all have for these incredible people. We just hope that a year’s supply of free pizza will serve as a small token of our gratitude, and maybe give them a brief moment of well-deserved relaxation!

In no particular order, here are the ten winning teachers of our Hideaway Teacher Apizziation Awards, along with their nominator and story!

1.) Diane Crepeau, from Cleveland Elementary in Oklahoma City. Nominated by Lynde Nash, parent of a former student.

“Diane has been the Special Education teacher at Cleveland since 1994. She has always been dedicated to her students in a very special way. Besides working with the students in the classroom she also has an after school program called "Homework Central" where kids get extra help and tutoring. Every Spring she has a campout/cookout at her property. Current and former students and parents pitch tents and make s'mores. The next morning the kids play kickball, football, and have a wonderful meal. Everyone brings food but she has basically been funding this herself for years. On a personal note, she taught my son to read when he was having extreme difficulty doing so. He is now in the International Baccalaureate program at Classen SAS and is excelling. I will always feel that we owe much of his success to her.”

2.) Jackie Amaya, from Cimarron Middle School in Edmond. Nominated by Nancy Gerding, colleague.

“Mrs. Amaya truly exemplifies qualities every parent dreams of for their student. Mrs. Amaya goes to work early and stays late to offer assistance to those students who might need a little more ‘one on one’ instruction. She opens up her classroom during lunch. You will find her sitting on the floor alongside her students as they share the days’ events. She uses creative ways of instruction to help those who might learn differently. She attends her students after-school activities. She offers motivation, encouragement and confidence building. She sees a child with a need and finds a way to meet that need. These students not only learn but they know they are loved.”

3.) Christine Hrubik, from Longfellow Middle School in Norman. Nominated by Leigh DeFreitas, parent of a student.

“It is said that students who are loved at home go to school to learn and the others go to be loved. Christine has the patience and wisdom to engage those students who want to learn and compassion and heart to love and educate all of them. She is the perfect balance of educator, guide, and soft place to land, to work with students in the middle school age group.”

4.) Adam Peterson, from Jenks High School. Nominated by student Taggert Getchell.

“As a student who has always hated science, Mr. Peterson has really showed me the way to loving science! My freshman year my grade in science was a C. One year later my grade jumped to a 98%! That's a two letter grade difference. Plus, he's a scrawny guy - he needs some pizza.”

5.) Lori Watson, from Lakeview Elementary in Yukon. Nominated by daughter and former student Sara Gentry.

“Mrs. Watson has been teaching for about 20 years. She dedicates her whole life to teaching. She treats each child as if they are her own. She feeds those who don't have money to eat that day. If she notices a child’s clothes are too big or too small she goes and buys them clothes. She gives rides home to those whose parents forget, don't show up or can't pick them up that day. I remember being in elementary during the morning. It was testing week so we had a lot of pressure on us. Next thing, we hear music start and the gym doors open and there is my mom rollerblading and singing around the gym just to get us to laugh and let loose. She doesn't stop teaching when the school year ends. She continues to direct G.E. in the summer, a program that helps other teachers to be more creative in the classroom. She works 3 jobs (all involve education) to support 5 of us kids. She really deserves a break. And I think this would be just the thing.”

6.) Terri Coburn, from Herald Elementary in Collinsville. Nominated by Cathy Downard, parent of a student.

“Mrs. Coburn has been a fabulous, caring, kind-hearted teacher for years. Blessed that my son has been able to experience her as a teacher this year. Survivor of breast cancer and yet never skipped a beat teaching her students, except for time off for surgery and chemo treatment. God bless Mrs. Coburn and her love for teaching our kids.”

7.) Stacia Bowden, from Bixby Middle School. Nominated by Keighly Sallee, colleague.

“Stacia is an amazing person and teacher! She has been teaching for 14 years in Oklahoma. During that time, she has received many awards and grants that benefit the science department at Bixby Middle School. Balancing her two young children, husband, and career has been quite a challenging. She is incredibly strong and inspires all of her co-workers, including myself, to work their hardest when times get rough. I would love to see this blessing given to Stacia!! There is no more deserving teacher.”

8.) Tiffany Bolding, from Union 6th/7th Grade Center in Tulsa. Nominated by Cora Spatz, current student.

“Have you ever had a teacher that changed your life forever? Well I have. Mrs. Bolding is one of the most deserving teachers I've ever had. Not only does she make learning engineering fun and exciting everyday, but she goes above and beyond what is required of a teacher. She sponsors two before-school clubs (volunteer time with no pay) and attends many student events after school, just to support us. I am a member of her Go Girl Engineering club that encourages girls to become engineers. This year, not only have I learned how to code, but I wrote an app and recently had it published on the app store. If that's not enough, we just started our own business!! Yes, an in-class real live business. Her guidance, support, encouragement and just plain love for us shows every day without fail. I'm not sure what path I would have taken before I met her, but I am so blessed that I stepped into her engineering class.”

9.) Krystal Haley, from Country Lane Primary in Broken Arrow. Nominated by Amanda Tornello, parent of a student.

“Krystal goes WAY above and beyond her responsibilities as a teacher. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, but she truly loves each one of her students. Even being a working mother of 2, she takes time out for her ‘kids’ (school kids) to tutor them, come watch ball games, attend birthday parties, whatever it takes to make them feel loved."

10.) Kelli Bryant, from Hoover Elementary in Bartlesville. Nominated by Beth Dorsey, parent of a student.

“Kelli has excelled at being a 3rd grade teacher this year. She took on her class with nothing less than pride and excitement for the new year. Also, she loves each of her students equally, one of those being my son, who she has molded into a completely different child than when he entered her class at the beginning of the year. She is a wonderful asset to Hoover Elementary and I'm proud to know her.”