State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced the 12 finalists for Oklahoma’s next Teacher of the Year.
Ball is a third grade teacher at Cotteral Elementary and was selected as Guthrie Public School’s District Teacher of the Year this past February. Related article and video: Watch: Melanie Ball named GPS District Teacher of the Year
She said, “It is a tremendous honor to have our amazing town and district recognized. We have wonderful administrators, teachers, parents and students in Guthrie Public Schools.”
“These tremendous 12 finalists reflect the best of Oklahoma’s classroom teachers,” said Hofmeister. “Not only do these teachers use innovative instructional strategies, but they also place great emphasis on creating meaningful relationships with students and families. All have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the success of each of their students and are highly deserving of this honor.”
Guthrie Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson says Ball is a gifted educator.
“I couldn’t be happier for Mrs. Ball and our district. She is truly a gifted educator,” Simpson said in a release. “The honor also speaks to how we have grown our Teacher of the Year program in this district and the dedicated educators we have working with our children every day.”
All finalists were named teachers of the year for their respective districts and selected after their application packets were reviewed by a panel of educators, legislators and members of business and nonprofit organizations.
Ball said she has always wanted to meet the needs of school children.
“I have always wanted to be that source of hope and security for a child. Some of our students have very difficult situations happening in their lives. At all costs, I need to help them meet their basic needs as well as teach them the curriculum. After years of teaching, I still feel that is the most important role I have.”
The 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named in February. Beginning July 1, the honoree will assume full-time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s ambassador for teachers, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. The 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Jena Nelson of Deer Creek Public Schools, will continue to tour the state until July.