Thompson Honored at State Teacher of the Year Ceremony
Katie Thompson, Shawnee's District Teacher of the Year, was honored as one of 12 finalists for the 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year at a recent ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair Park.
"We are incredibly proud of Katie and how she represented not only the district, but our state, our profession, and our community," Dr. April Grace, Shawnee superintendent, said following the ceremony. "Katie is a true educational champion, and we are blessed to have her as our Shawnee Public Schools Teacher of the Year!"
During the ceremony, each finalist was given the chance to speak about her vision for education, and Thompson took the opportunity to advocate for teachers to stay in Oklahoma. She noted the decline in enrollment in teacher education programs statewide and the difficulties that many school districts experience with recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.
Donned in a red dress, Thompson explained that she chose to wear something "the color of our red dirt as a symbol of my dedication to teaching on Oklahoma soil."
"I hope you will join me in supporting our schools in putting kids first," she told the audience, "and encouraging others to find...their passion in teaching and to use their gift of teaching right here on red dirt with me."
Jena Nelson, a teacher from Deer Creek Middle School, was named the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year winner.