Story provided by Stillwater Public Schools
Stillwater Public Schools announced three teachers on Tuesday, March 1 as finalists for the district Teacher of the Year – Sally Buss, Theresa Campbell, and Abby Grantham.
An Oklahoma State University graduate, Mathematics Teacher Sally Buss student taught at Stillwater Middle School and following graduation, accepted a job at Lincoln Academy, where she is currently in her fifth year teaching.
“Teaching at Lincoln Academy is my pride and joy,” says Buss. “At Lincoln we work with students that, for a variety of reasons, struggle in a traditional classroom. Helping students have positive learning experiences in math is incredibly important to me. My favorite thing about teaching at Lincoln is the ‘graduation walk’. Watching students in their caps and gowns, passing their peers as the counselor sings ‘The Graduation March,’ I can’t help but get tears in my eyes every time.”
Pre-K Teacher Theresa Campbell, an East Central University graduate, spent one year teaching elsewhere before joining the SPS team at Highland Park, where she has happily stayed for twenty years.
“Teaching is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” says Campbell. “Seeing a child’s face light up when something finally clicks, former students stopping by to share some exciting news, a parent relieved that their child is doing well in school are just a few of my favorite things about this profession.”
Reading Interventionist Abby Grantham graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. After twelve years in the field, she continued her education, becoming a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) and has spent the last three years at Sangre Ridge Elementary School as the reading interventionist.
“Working as the reading interventionist at Sangre Ridge has been the most rewarding job,” says Abby Grantham. “Seeing students grow in their confidence and love for learning is exciting! My goal is to give students hope, help them discover they can learn, and that they have purpose in life.”
The three finalists were selected by a group of their peers from the eleven SPS school site Teachers of the Year. Nominees for the title completed a portfolio that was used to determine each school’s honored educator and then, subsequently, the district’s finalists. These finalists will submit a second, more detailed portfolio and be voted for by their peers to help determine the district Teacher of the Year.
Other SPS school site Teachers of the Year are:
- Sarah Pittman – 3rd grade at Richmond
- Casey Hansen – 1st grade at Skyline
- Karen Spencer – Collaborative Intervention at Will Rogers
- Nicole Jarvis – Kindergarten at Westwood
- Lynn Franzmann – Science at Stillwater Middle School
- Heaven Meeks – Special Education at Stillwater Junior High
- Traci Richardson – Science at Stillwater High School
- Carmen Ryan – 3rd-5th grade at Stillwater Pioneer Virtual Academy
“I absolutely adored surprising these teachers to announce them as finalists,” says Superintendent Gay Washington. “It’s a wonderful chance to see them interacting with the children in their classrooms. The cheers and excitement I witnessed from their students makes it clear why these educators are loved by the children they teach and respected by their colleagues. Congratulations to all the finalists and good luck on the next step.”
The district winner will be announced this April and go on to compete with teachers from across the state for the honor of being Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.