Morning Bell: 'That's why we're teachers, ... what we do matters'
Good Wednesday morning! Oklahoma City Public Schools have a new teacher of the year - it's Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School teacher Anthony Chancellor.
Chancellor teaches leadership to seventh- and eighth-graders. The former band and orchestra teacher paid tribute to the educators who influenced him, including his fifth-grade science teacher, who was seated at his table.
"When I teach what I teach now I get to teach students about life ... about being good citizens," he said. "That's why we're teachers, is because what we do matters."
Chancellor received a check for $1,500 and a watch. He will be considered for state Teacher of the Year honors. You can read more about yesterday's OKCPS Teacher of the Year event here.
Oklahoma's current Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell was one of 50 state teachers of the year to meet with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday, and he told her, “We have a problem where public money is siphoned off from the public schools and given to children who are going to charter and private schools,” reports the Washington Post.
DeVos’s response shocked him, he said.
“She immediately answered that it was her goal to redefine what education is and that she wants to call all of it public education,” said Hazell, a high school science teacher.
Why textbooks are a symbol of teacher frustration
Last week, Oklahoma Watch's Jennifer Palmer took a closer look at Oklahoma textbook funding. Overall spending on textbooks dropped significantly in 2016-17, the latest year for which school spending data is available, from $38 million to $22.7 million. But prior to that year, schools received a dedicated $33 million a year to purchase new textbooks and instructional materials. So how can textbooks in the state be in such poor shape?
Divide $33 million by the nearly 695,000 public school students in Oklahoma, and it’s an average of $47.50 per student. Textbook costs vary, but most are in the $90 to $100 range. So $33 million is about one new textbook for every other student.
State FFA convention underway
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky spoke to Oklahoma high school FFA members Tuesday in Oklahoma City as part of the the 92nd annual Oklahoma FFA Association Convention at the Cox Convention Center. The convention runs through Wednesday.
"You are the leaders, the future leaders of American agriculture," Censky told students.
About 10,000 Oklahoma FFA members from 360 high school chapters statewide are in Oklahoma City for the convention.
"Agriculture needs you. The USDA needs you. Humanity needs you," Censky said.
Glenpool educator selected as Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year
Kimberly Coody, principal at Glenpool High School, has been named the 2018 Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP).
"Kim Coody serves her school members with an extraordinary mix of ingenuity and compassion,” said William Parker, OASSP executive director. “With a diverse and growing student population, Glenpool’s graduation rate has consistently been at 95% for several years. The academic, extracurricular, career, and college-prep options available at her school are a testament to her leadership. She is a role model for administrators throughout the State of Oklahoma."
Teen STDs increase in Oklahoma
Teen STDs are on the rise in Oklahoma, reports KJRH. Twenty million sexually transmitted diseases are reported every year in the U.S. and teens make up about half. That number continues to climb and Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 of the highest STD rates.
Casey Price, program manager for the Oklahoma Department of Health’s Disease Intervention Services said, “Over the last five years, among the teenage population, we’ve had about a 17 percent increase of chlamydia and about a 36 percent increase of gonorrhea.”
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