2011-12 Teachers of the Game

During every Thunder Home Game of the 2011-12 season, American Fidelity Assurance Company will honor 33 different school districts' Teacher of the Year winners from all over the state of Oklahoma as the Teacher of the Game. Each of the teachers will receive a special in-game recognition, a gift bag from American Fidelity with a gift card for classroom supplies, and VIP seating at the game. During the last game of the season, Thunder fans will be able to join American Fidelity Assurance Company in honoring the 2011 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.




Jill Steeley - Central Elementary
Thunder vs Magic
December 25, 2011


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Teaching is all I ever wanted to do. Even as a teen I enjoyed working with children and helping them understand things.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 41st year of teaching and my 6th year at Central Elementary in Coweta.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Dr. Clarence G. Oliver, my former superintendent and later the Dean of the College of Education at Oral Roberts University when I taught there, remains my friend and mentor. A man of utmost integrity, graciousness, and wisdom, Dr. Oliver is an excellent educator, citizen, and man of faith. He is still an active writer and speaker in the education world and stays involved with local charities even in his eighties.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Establish a goal of personal excellence as you strive to give your best effort and to learn all you can from every class and every experience.
  • Kathy Plunk - MacArthur Middle School
    Thunder vs Mavericks
    December 29, 2011


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My love of children and my love for learning led me to a career in education.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching for 22 years. This is my 10th year at MacArthur Middle School in Lawton, Oklahoma.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My students have had a great influence on my personal teaching career. I love teaching because my students challenge me to be my best. The rapport I have with my students makes everyday fun and challenging.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant is my favorite Thunder player.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Dream big! With a good education, you can be anything you want to be!
  • Shawna Tanner - McKinley High School
    Thunder vs Suns
    December 31, 2011


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? While in Mrs. Schroeder's 1st grade class, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. As a student, school was my happiest place. I wanted to become an educator so I could help children the way my teachers helped me.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? My teaching career began in Enid Public Schools in 1998, and I became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2006. This is my seventh year to teach 2nd grade at McKinley.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Enid Public Schools has been a part of my life since I was a kindergartener, and I have been blessed to have many wonderful teachers along the way. I had professors at Phillips University who challenged me and inspired me, and I have taught with many amazing educators. They have each influenced me in big and small ways everyday and helped me become the teacher I am today.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant is my favorite Thunder Player, and I am SO excited to get to see a live Thunder game!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? My advice to young Thunder Fans would be to never give up on your dreams. If you believe in yourself and work hard, there is no obstacle too large! Stay focused on your goals and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Lyndal Westmoreland - Okarche High School
    Thunder vs Blazers
    January 3, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? The school environment was a place where I experienced success and found recognition. I think the rewards I got from being in an academic environment drew me to teaching and are keeping me there.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? How long have you been teaching at your current school? For the first seven years of my thirty-year career, I taught at Felt Public School in the Oklahoma Panhandle. In 1989, I accepted a position at Okarche High School, and I have taught there for the past twenty-three years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My high school English teacher Mrs. Virginia King is the educator I most admire. She had extremely high standards for us, and she was the personification of the word professional.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I would have to say Kevin Durant. Not only is he an incredibly talented athlete, but also he has been a high-profile sports star since college, and he has handled this celebrity quite well.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? An education will not guarantee success, but it will certainly make the path a lot easier. Also, in order for someone to teach you, you must be willing to learn, so take an active part in your education.
  • Amy Braun - Northmoor Elementary
    Thunder vs Rockets
    January 6, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I choose to become an educator because I love to learn and want to make school a fun and engaging place for children. I believe that all children have the potential to succeed in life and will do everything in my power to provide my students with the academic building blocks to experience success in school.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching in early childhood education for nine years both in private and public schools. This is my seventh year teaching first grade students at Northmoor Elementary in Moore Public Schools
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? There are many people who have been influential in my career including former teachers, professors, colleagues, students, and even parents. I try to learn lessons from every situation I am in and store those experiences to aid in future interactions and expand upon teachable moments.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I admire both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant not only for their exceptional athletic abilities, but for continuing their academic education by pursuing their college degrees during the summer months. An athletic career can be gone in an instant, but an education lasts for a lifetime.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? My advice to young Thunder Fans is to stay in school and get your degree no matter how many obstacles get thrown your way. As Harriet Tubman once said, “Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
  • Paula Hess - Newcastle Middle School
    Thunder vs Spurs
    January 8, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to become an educator when I became a single mom with 3 small children. It gave me the opportunity to be with them throughout the year and share in their activities, friends and immediate needs.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? After spending 6 years in a rural school in Colorado as a secretary and bus driver, we moved to Oklahoma in 1988 and I earned my Bachelor/Master Degrees at UCO and began teaching at Newcastle Middle School in the Fall of 1991. Same school-1991-present: I currently teaching World Geography, 12th year as Yearbook Editor, drive a school bus and teach Driver’s Education in the summer.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My parents and my kids. Born into a preacher’s home I observed first hand the dedication, commitment and love my parents demonstrated everyday toward everyone they came into contact with. My kids were with me every step of the way. Cheering, encouraging and assisting me. My oldest son, Paul actually earned his Master’s Degree before I did, therefore, setting an example. My youngest son, Jeremy, a member of the OU Championship 2000 team; a very hard fought, well-earned accomplishment.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant because of his involvement with the public, community and fans (especially the kids); and the way he treats his mom.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? “One ship sails East, and another West, by the self-same winds that blow, “Tis the set of the sails and not the gales, That tells the way we go.” Stay in school. Set your sails. Be successful. Do unto others, as you would have them do to you. Be a friend.
  • Judy Sisson - Weatherford PS
    Thunder vs Knicks
    January 14, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I was influenced by a wonderful first grade teacher that always encouraged me to do my best. My goal in life has been to make children as excited about school as I have always been and for them to make learning an important part of their lives.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This year is my 35th year to be an elementary teacher. I have always taught at Weatherford Public Schools and have taught second grade, first grade, and I am presently a Title I Reading Specialist at Burcham Elementary.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? It was my late husband, Bob. He encouraged me to go to college when my children started school and let me have the study time needed while he did household chores and helped with our children. He never cared when I spent our money on things that I needed for school.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? It is Kevin Durant. I am impressed that he would go to OSU and play with those students. He seems to be genuine about caring for everyone.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? An education is a necessity for anything that you choose to do with your life. It pains me when children won’t do their work and won’t try to better themselves. I think everyone should continue to learn every day of their life and one day children will understand why an education is so important.
  • Terri Welborn - Whittier Middle School
    Thunder vs Pistons
    January 23, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became an educator in order to guide and support students in the learning the value of education and the importance of being a person of character.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been and educator for 20 years now and am currently serving my eighth year as a counselor at Whittier Middle School in Norman.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My family is the most influential force in my life, my grandparents; who taught me to value education and made sure I had the opportunity to go to college, my parents; who always taught me to work hard and to give back to others, and my son; who is brilliant and inspirational young man and reminds me daily why we, as educators, do what we do.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I think all the Thunder players are great, but my favorite Thunder player is Kevin Durant. I think he has great work ethic, a positive attitude, and I love his charity work especially for single mothers.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Students need to understand that Education is their Opportunity and with hard work and persistence they will hold the keys to unlock endless possibilities for their future.
  • DeeAnn Meziere - Yukon Middle School
    Thunder vs Hornets
    January 25, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I originally was an Accounting Major but after my first year decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had an amazing math teacher in high school that was very creative in the way she approached her lessons. She sparked an idea of becoming a math teacher. I want to show kids that math can be fun and interesting. More importantly, I want to show them they need it in their everyday lives and in their future careers.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have taught middle school math for 17 years. I have been teaching in Yukon for 11 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career is probably my daughter. Becoming a mother has changed the way I teach. I teach my students how I want my daughter to be taught and treated. Teaching goes well beyond what they learn in books. Teaching is also about fostering positive relationships so the student feels valued.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? My favorite Thunder Player is Kevin Durant. I am an OSU alumni and had respect for Kevin when he played for Texas. But I totally fell in love with the story how he went to play a flag football game at OSU this past fall. He is a role model that is worthy of my students admiration.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? “Knowledge is POWER!”
  • Angela Green - Pauls Valley Jr. High
    Thunder vs Grizzlies
    February 3, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I always dreamed of being a teacher, even as a young child. As an adult, I enjoy being a part of my students’ lives and helping them learn.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 14 years. I have taught for seven years in my current school district.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mother is the most influential person for me because I watched her work very hard to earn her teaching degree as she was busy raising me and my two siblings. The joy of receiving her degree and beginning her teaching career was contagious!
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? That is a tough question because I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Thunder play as a team last year. If I had to choose, I would say Russell Westbrook because of the spark he gives to the team.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the key to opportunities. It will open doors that would not have been possible otherwise.
  • Joetta Gatliff - Mustang Education Center
    Thunder vs Jazz
    February 14, 2012


    Teresa Birney - Cross Timbers Elementary
    Thunder vs Warriors
    February 17, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? When I was 10 years old my brother was diagnosed with Autism. It was then that I decided to become a teacher to help individuals with disabilities.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have worked as an educator for 20 years, but have only been teaching for the past 7 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I would have to say my brother influenced me the most. He taught me at a young age how to modify and how to make adaptations to make learning easier for him.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Really? You want only one? I would have to say James Harden, I love the way he is able to make things happen out on the court.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Do not ever give up. Education is one of the few things you can call your own.
  • Erica Carey - Crescent High School
    Thunder vs Nuggets
    February 19, 2012


    Shelly Campbell - John Marshall High School
    Thunder vs Hornets
    February 20, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? As the child of teaching parents, School was integrated into our home life with regular occurrences such as my dad grading papers at my sporting events, mom crying over a troubled student, or raising money for a student who lost their home to a fire. I understood the hard work, selflessness, and emotion involved in this profession. I was up for the challenge!
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? John Marshall was my first teaching job, and this will be my 18th class to see graduate as a bear.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Chad, my husband, has influenced my teaching career by allowing me freedom and assistance. He is always willing to help me with a project, pick up an extra chore when my grading starts to pile up, and allow me to spend the time I need at the school to do a good job without making me feel guilty for spending time away from him and the kids.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? James Harden- There is something about that beard!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Nothing in this world offers as many opportunities as education. It can change a mind, a heart, or a country. Harness its power to your benefit.
  • Sallie Hill - Deer Creek Middle School
    Thunder vs Celtics
    February 22, 2012


    Ebony Harris - Seminole High School
    Thunder vs Lakers
    February 23, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I was raised and positively influenced by educators my entire life. My mother and four of her sisters are educators.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 14 years. This is my 11th year at Seminole Public Schools (Seminole High School)
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career is my mother, Carolyn Winrow, a special education teacher.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Mr. Kevin Durant!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is extremely important. One does not ever cease to learn new ideas and concepts. Education gives you the ability to develop opinions, self-esteem, self-advocacy and employment skills, and a network of resources to enhance and promote growth, when applied to daily living
  • Lori Sosenko - James Griffith Intermediate
    Thunder vs Mavericks
    March 5, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My parents were teachers and I grew up around school my whole life. I knew from an early age playing school with my friends and learning from my mom and dad that teaching was my calling.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I am currently in my 19th year of teaching. I have been teaching at JGI for 6 years now.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My first grade teacher was the most influential person in my teaching career. She took a child who struggled with reading, gave her confidence, and created a love for school, learning, and a desire to become a teacher.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite player on the Thunder. It’s divided in my house between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. I was a point in basketball and my daughter is a post, go figure!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? My word of advice for young Thunder Fans is to always do your very best in school. Education will take you where you want to go, so reach for the stars!!!!!
  • Kimberly Barrett - Guthrie High School
    Thunder vs Suns
    March 7, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I began my career as a corporate trainer where I quickly learned it is much better to teach a child than train an adult.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I started my teaching career in 2004 at Guthrie Junior High School. The next year I began teaching at Guthrie High School and have been a BlueJay ever since.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Jan Chadwick, former principal at GHS is the most influential person in my professional life. She had a special knack for being firm yet caring and earning the respect of the students and staff at GHS.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Thabo Sefolosha
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? A good education and a great teacher can open many doors for you. Learn life skills, above and beyond what you find in your text books, learn how to interact with others. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things.
  • Linda Edwards - Helen Paul Learning Center
    Thunder vs Cavaliers
    March 9, 2012


    Betty Henderson - Bartlesville High School
    Thunder vs Bobcats
    March 10, 2012


    Anthony Rose - Edmond Memorial High School
    Thunder vs Rockets
    March 13, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to be an educator because I know that all children can succeed in our society. This profession allows me to empower students to believe in their own abilities and think for themselves.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school?- I have been an educator for five years. I just moved to Memorial High School from Cheyenne Middle School, so this is my first year at my current school.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Roy Diehl – Roy is a mentor of mine who I taught with for four years at Cheyenne Middle School. He taught me the proper way to teach science through student inquiry and self discovery.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant because he always has his backpack and supplies ready for class.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Use education to help you achieve your goals in life and NEVER give up.
  • Mark Thomas - Stillwater High School
    Thunder vs Spurs
    March 16, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became an educator because it is my goal to invest in the lives of people.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my fifth year at Stillwater High School. It is my seventeenth year overall.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career has been my Dad. He was my high school math teacher and helped me understand the importance of the rigors within mathematics.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant is a very special player. Not only is he phenomenal on the court, but the way he carries himself off the court is impressive. He has not lost his Christian heritage that he diligently works to maintain. He also showed real character by coming to play a game of flag football – just because.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education opens doors. In life you never know which doors you will need. Don’t be too eager to throw away the keys.
  • Delana McManus - Brassfield 5th and 6th Grade Center
    Thunder vs Blazers
    March 18, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I love being with kids and feel an obligation to help within my community.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 19 years. I have been teaching at my current school for 10 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career was a college professor at OSU. His name was Dr. McKinny. He always told me anything was possible.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Nick Collison.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Stay in school! Education will get you further in life. Stay focused and always set goals for yourself.
  • Frances Williams - Middle School of Piedmont
    Thunder vs Clippers
    March 21, 2012


    Stefani Bartholomew - Eliot Elementary
    Thunder vs Timberwolves
    March 23, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I always wanted to be a teacher. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than working with children daily to prepare them for the future.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been a teacher for 14 years. I have been teaching at Eliot Elementary, in Tulsa, for six years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mom was the most influential person in my career. She just retired from being a teacher after 35 years.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? I recommend that young Thunder Fans learn to work with others and have fun while learning. Learning should be a lifelong process and would be very difficult without a good attitude and a “can-do” spirit!!
  • David Isenbart - Will Rogers Jr. High
    Thunder vs Heat
    March 25, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? When I was a young adult and I started to think about what to do with my life. My dad sat me down and gave me some great advice: “If you do something that makes you rich you will have money, but if you do something that makes you happy you will always be happy.” As I started thinking of the things that I enjoyed, working with my hands and shop class always came to mind. I enrolled in education classes with a goal of becoming a teacher. Teaching makes me happy and I am fortunate enough to teach Technology Engineering to junior high students. Teaching allows me to make a difference in the lives of my students.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 18 years, 11 of those years in my current position at Will Rogers Jr. High in Claremore.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My wife has been the most influential person in my career. She has encouraged me when times were tough and cheered for me in the good times. Most of all she has taken care of my kids and my house while I put in many late nights working at school. She stayed at home with my young kids while I left for 2 weeks every summer taking students to national competition. While many people think education is an 8-3 job my wife can tell you otherwise.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? My advice is simple. Education is the key to your success no matter what path you choose. Set goals for yourself, stay focused on your goals, and NEVER give up. Always remember with hard work and dedication, IT CAN BE DONE!
  • Shelli Temple - Jenks High School
    Thunder vs Bulls
    April 1, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became a teacher because I love learning. I enjoy exploring my creative side as I create new lessons to reach my students. I love helping students make connections between what they already know and what they are currently learning. Each day in the classroom is a new opportunity to grow as a learner and as a professional.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching since the Fall 1998. I have been at Jenks High School since the 2000-2001 school year.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mother is the most influential person in my career. No matter what, she always encouraged me to pursue my education and to be the best I could be. She remains my biggest cheerleader to this day.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? For me, the key piece of advice would be to “Never give up!” As a first generation college student, there were times that it was tough to keep going, to find the funds to continue my education, but I never gave up. If you have the drive and determination to achieve your educational dreams, you will find a way to make it happen.
  • Valerie Bradshaw - Shawnee High School
    Thunder vs Grizzlies
    April 2, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to become an educator because I have a dream of changing the world. Gandhi once stated, “Become the change you wish to see in the world.” I knew I wanted to instill positive change in the world that would help students to pursue their passion, and become leaders in their chosen field, in the community, and in environmental stewardship.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I am currently in my fifth year of teaching for Shawnee Public Schools as a high school science educator.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Without a doubt, Mr. Gregory Mayberry is the most influential person in my career. He is a colleague, mentor and dear friend. He has helped me throughout my first four years of teaching and has played a major role in helping me to become the teacher I am today. I am extremely grateful for all he has done and continues to do.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Nick Collison is my favorite Thunder player because of his work ethic when on the court and the way he contributes to the team consistently.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? As Lord Chesterfield said, “If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give no shade when we are old.” Education is vital to the youth of this country and the future as well. Education helps people make informed decisions that could change the world.
  • Kristin Shelby - Hollis Elementary
    Thunder vs Raptors
    April 8, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be the first person to start the applause and encourage others to be their best. Teachers inspire, encourage, and affect each child they teach. That’s why I am a teacher!
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 16 years at Moore Public Schools, Altus Public Schools, and my current position Hollis Public Schools for 12 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential people in my career have been my parents. They instilled in me the desire to have passion for what I do. If your job is just a job, then that is all it will ever be. If your job is your passion, you will look for ways to improve your students, yourself, and your profession.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I love all the Thunder players, but I ABSOLUTELY love Rumble the Bison. He keeps the whole state “THUNDERED UP!”
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? In your life let reason and passion, not memorization and repetition, be your guide. Education can take you a long way—how far do you choose to go?
  • Elizabeth Richardson - Southwest Elementary
    Thunder vs Clippers
    April 11, 2012


    Dawn Poyndexter - Cedar Ridge Elementary
    Thunder vs Kings
    April 13, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I disliked school as a child and wanted to change that for children. I want every child in my class to love to come to school every day.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 23 years. This is my 12th year to teach at Cedar Ridge Elementary in Union Public Schools. Class 6-A State Football Champions!!!!
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My first principal, Jane Barnes, was the most influential person in my career. She made me want to be the best teacher I could possibly be for all children—no matter their background or station in life. I began to teach children to never, ever, give up no matter how hard things get.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? My favorite Thunder Player is Kevin Durant.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? There is so much to learn in the world today that a teacher cannot possibly teach you all of the information you need, but they can teach you how to think, collaborate, and find your own answers. A wonderful teacher can teach you how to… Dream the Impossible Dream!
  • Kari Herring - Virginia Smith Elementary
    Thunder vs Kings
    April 24, 2012


    Mary Styers - Monroney Middle School
    Thunder vs Nuggets
    April 25, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? One of the most important reasons that I became an educator is that I LOVE to learn myself. I want to share this passion for lifelong learning with everyone I meet, especially the children with which I share my community.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching professionally for 10 years and I have been in my current position at Monroney Middle School for the past 5 years. However, I have been perfecting my teaching techniques on my own children for the past 19 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My parents…My mom was a professional teacher and my father, a TV repair man, turned every task he ever did into a lesson about mechanics, nature, or life. I was raised to be a “lifelong learner” before the term ever existed, and that is the influence I am trying to pass on to my students.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Although he is great on the court, I like Kevin Durant best for the things that he does off the court. I was most impressed with him traveling to Stillwater in his “free time” to play flag football with members of the community.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? The more education you have, the more options you have to choose from in deciding your future. Keep in mind that what you want to do with your life at 14 is different than what you will want out of life at 34, so be prepared for your future by getting as much education as you can get your hands on!


    • TeamWLGB
       Trail Blazers 23 7 0.0
       Thunder 13 16 9.5
       Nuggets 12 17 10.5
       Jazz 9 20 13.5
       Timberwolves 5 22 16.5