2012-13 Teachers of the Game

During every Thunder Home Game of the 2012-13 season, American Fidelity Assurance Company will honor 41 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 2012 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.




Cindy Bailey - Altus High School
Thunder vs. Trail Blazers
November 2, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Our nation has a generation of young adults who have a difficult time believing in themselves; they need mentors who recognize their individual potentials and want to help them reach it. Through teaching, I get to share my love of math and encourage students to realize their own potential.
  • How long have you been an educator? I have been teaching for 14 years, 12 at Altus High School.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I began life as a shy, farm girl from the Oklahoma panhandle. My mother encouraged me over the years to step out of my comfort zone to believe in myself and achieve more. She drove behind the bus to get me to be willing to try new things. As an educator I want to help students be all they can be by driving behind the bus.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? James Harden is my favorite because he is not a starter but he always plays like one. Attitude is everything!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? I teach my students that attitude is everything. I believe this makes a huge difference in everything we do. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Education is power. Positive attitude and an education are a winning combination.
  • Bridgette Smith - Bartlesville Mid-High School
    Thunder vs. Hawks
    November 4, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? When I was in high school, I had an English teacher that made every day a good day with her positive attitude. She was a beacon in a time when students are trying to find out who they are. I wanted to have that same impact on others. Teaching is not just my job; it is my calling.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This year is my sixth year in education. I have been at Bartlesville Mid-High School for the last five of those years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career and in my life has always been my mother. My mother was a single mother who always taught me what dedication, hard work, and commitment to success really meant. She is an inspiration to me and an inspiration to others.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Russell Westbrook
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? To anyone and everyone that will listen, education is the one thing that is completely yours. No one can take it from you. When you are educated you become the possessor of something that is greater than yourself. The knowledge you gain will be with you forever and you can do anything you want with it.
  • Tammy Themer - Kingfisher Heritage Elementary
    Thunder vs. Raptors
    November 6, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to become an educator because of the impact former teachers left on my life. I desired to tap into the hopes and talents of children and help them realize their dreams.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching in Kingfisher Public Schools for 17 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career is my husband. He understands that my career is much more than a job, but a calling that takes time and hard work.
  • 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? Education is something magical that stays with you forever, it is like a ticket to your dreams!
  • Sherry Girard - Bixby Middle School
    Thunder vs. Pistons
    November 9, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I like working with teenagers.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching 20 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mom – she was a wonderful teacher and mother.
  • 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? The more education you have, the more opportunites you have.
  • Brenda Turner - East Elementary
    Thunder vs. Cavaliers
    November 11, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My parents were influential in my decision to become a teacher. Both of my parents were unable to complete more than an eighth grade education. As a result they placed a high value on education. They were determined that my sister and I attain university degrees and worked sacrificially to that end. When both of us chose to be educators it was a great source of joy and pride for my parents who revered teachers as highly as their local doctor.

    As a teacher I give my students the gift of knowledge and enable them to think beyond family, community, and country by providing them with the tools to achieve their dreams.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have taught fourth grade at Jenks East Elementary for 13 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My elementary school teachers encouraged my love of reading and writing which helped fulfill my dream of becoming both a teacher and published author. My book, Cimarron Sunrise, is used in classrooms across the state.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Each and every Thunder Player is my favorite! I am totally impressed by their commitment to the community. The Thunder Book Bus is a tremendous program and each of these players should be commended for their commitment to encourage literacy among our Oklahoma students.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Never give up on your dreams! Just as a ticket can get you a seat into the arena, education is your ticket to achieving your dreams.
  • Kimberly Landers - Deer Creek High School
    Thunder vs. Grizzlies
    November 14, 2012


  • Brandon Chitty - Centennial Middle School
    Thunder vs. Warriors
    November 18, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to be an educator to make a difference each and every day. My goal each day is to encourage and educate young people.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? 6 Years and 6 Years
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? A close friend, that is also an educator, made such a difference in my life I wanted to do the same for others.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Russell Westbrook
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the power of success. You can be and do anything possible with the right tools. Your education is where you get those tools.
  • Angela McKenna - Sequoyah Middle School
    Thunder vs. Clippers
    November 21, 2012


  • Andrea Brock - Moore West Junior high
    Thunder vs. Bobcats
    November 26, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I felt like teaching chose me; I do what I do for the impact that I may have on one or more students. It only takes one teacher to make a difference; it took one teacher to instill my love for reading, one to encourage me to enroll in Advanced Placement classes, and one professor to ignite a passion for teaching mathematics.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching for 9 years and this is my fourth year at Moore West Junior High.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I know that God called me to be a teacher, and I know that He carefully chooses the students who are in my class, the school that I am placed, and my co-workers that I daily encounter. God blessed me with creativity, passion for students, and the desire to teach math.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? My favorite player is Kevin Durant.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? You are not just kids; you are our future leaders; you are tomorrow. One of you will find the cure for cancer, one of you will be the first female president, and one of you will be the first family member to graduate high school or college so dream big; the sky is the limit!
  • Jason Burkhart - Del City High School
    Thunder vs. Rockets
    November 28, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? As a student I discovered how much my teachers/mentors influenced my life, I wanted to be able to have the same positive impact.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I’ve been an educator for nine years. I’ve been at Del City High School for six years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career is my wife Amanda.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? TOUGH QUESTION! Favorite players are Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Nick Collison, and Serge Ibaka
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? An education is priceless. Stay in school, work hard, and you will always find success!
  • Sheri Mathis - James Griffith Intermediate School
    Thunder vs. Jazz
    November 30, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Becoming a teacher was a life-long calling for me. Even as a child, I knew I would become a teacher and it’s a profession that makes my life complete.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 15 years. I am currently in my third year at James Griffith Intermediate.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I have been blessed with having many influential people in my career. I would say the most influential people in my life have been my parents who instilled in me the love and importance of learning.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I have to name just one? Kevin Durant.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Never give up on your dreams. You CAN do anything by setting your mind to it. Just do it!
  • Carol Brinsfield - Checotah Intermediate School
    Thunder vs. Lakers
    December 7, 2012


  • Brenda Roberts - Homer Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Pacers
    December 9, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became an educator because I love working with kids and finding new ways to present ideas to them. There is never a dull moment!!
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I am starting my 14th year of teaching. I have been in the Byng School District at Homer Elementary School for all my years of teaching.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career has to be my husband Robbie. He has always supported, motivated, and continually $financed$ my classroom challenges
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant because he knows the importance of family and education!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Sports can take you far in learning leadership skills, but education can make leadership and all other traits that are necessary in life possible!
  • Sara Leader - Adams Elementary
    Thunder vs. Hornets
    December 12, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Children tell the truth and find joy in the smallest thing. I want to be around that all day. And I can’t lie, the hugs are great.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 21st year of teaching for Norman Public Schools. This is my second year at Adams Elementary.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My father is an attorney. He has taught me how to teach and persuade with powerful stories, memorable metaphors, and airtight analogies. My mother is a poet. She gave me the gift of speaking truth to power and seeing the beauty in what others deem ordinary.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Why would you make me choose?! You know teachers don’t play favorites.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Know that the harder you work, the smarter you get. Intelligence is like a muscle...you more you work it, the more it works for you.
  • Steve Horner- Cherokee Elementary
    Thunder vs. Kings
    December 14, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My father grew up during the Great Depression. He said he remembered the teachers always having a job and a roof over their heads. This drew him to encourage me to be a teacher. Personally, when I was growing up, I was always the big kid at the family reunion who’d organize the little guys and play. Enjoying that is what I still do today. I try to make learning as much fun as possible.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I began teaching in 1975. Since then, I’ve taught a total of 29 years, with the past 15 years spent as elementary gifted/talented teacher in Catoosa Public Schools at Catoosa, Oklahoma.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Jesus Christ. I have tried to let the light of His love shine to children. Often I have stated that I don’t work for money or even children, but to the greater glory of God. I try to show kindness even to the least of them.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Nick Collison is my favorite player. He takes more charges and sacrifices his body for the team more than any other player. He's a credit to the game, and proof that a team needs more than a group of one-name superstars in order to win consistently.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Approach your education with as much enthusiasm and fervor as you approached the Thunder’s run during the playoffs last year. Learning is a cooperative venture. It takes team work.
  • Steve Garcia - Mustang Mid High
    Thunder vs. Spurs
    December 17, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I had really good teachers and appreciated what they did for me as I was growing up.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I’ve been teaching for 11 years and in Mustang for 9 of those.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mentor teacher Neil Barnhart in New Mexico taught me how to approach each day as a happy individual and it affects the kids exponentially.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Serge Ibaka because of his fearless approach on defense!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? The more education you have the further you will go.
  • Elaine Hutchinson - Fairview High and Chamberlain Middle Schools
    Thunder vs. Mavericks
    December 27, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Teachers have an incredible, purpose-driven mission that shapes the future in ways impossible to other professions. I am blessed to have the opportunity every day to help students learn and work to achieve their goals.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 20th year as an educator. I have taught at Fairview Public Schools for 14 years, and have taught at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center for 4 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I was raised in a very small community where school was another form of family. My parents, my former teachers and coaches, and my husband (who is also a teacher) have influenced and inspired me to be the best educator I can be every day.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant is my favorite Thunder Player, because he is such an amazing role model for young people.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is an investment you make in yourself that will pay incredible dividends in the future. Work hard and have patience!
  • Amy Willhoite - Bethany High School
    Thunder vs. Suns
    December 31, 2012


  • Kyle Cooper - Central Elementary
    Thunder vs. Nets
    January 2, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to be an educator so I could make an impact in children’s lives. I feel that we all have gifts that we can use to make the lives of those around us better. As an educator, I am able to influence the lives of many children in so many ways.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for 9 years and have taught at Central Elementary in Coweta for all of those years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The most influential people in my career are my students. They are the reason I am here and it is my job to give them the best educational experience possible.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? That is a hard choice to make because the Thunder has such an awesome group of players, but I really appreciate the determination and perseverance of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. These types of lifelong character traits are admirable and something that I try to instill in my students. One of our class motto’s is “Cooper’s Cubs never give up!”
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Knowledge is something no one can take away from you. Try your very best every day and see what doors will open in your future.
  • Denise Kimblern - Claremore High School
    Thunder vs. 76ers
    January 4, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Actually, education is a second career for me. I found the love for teaching after becoming a trainer while working for a large oil company as an accountant.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 9th year in teaching, and it’s my 7th year at Claremore High School.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I have two people to give credit to – my mentor teacher and my supervising principal my first year of teaching. Both were a tremendous help to me and have shaped the teacher I am today.
  • 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? No matter your circumstance in life, an education is the one thing that can never be taken away from you. Your education is your ticket to a better future.
  • Kristi Sierra - Webster Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Timberwolves
    January 9, 2012


    Daniel Buckmaster - Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School
    Thunder vs. Nuggets
    January 16, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My life was changed by the teachers in my life. They gave me hope for a better life and provided me with the encouragement and the tools to reach my dreams. I hope to do the same for the students in my class.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? 8 years. 4 years at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School (current school)
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My high school biology teacher: Mr. Peck
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Russell Westbrook
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the key to opening up opportunities for a better life. School is there to inspire and prepare you to make a better future for yourself and the people around you.
  • Joy Ruiz - Piedmont Middle School
    Thunder vs. Grizzlies
    January 31, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Teaching affords me the opportunity to channel my talents and creativity to positively impact my community. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of shaping students into successful young adults.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching for 15 years, all of which have been in the Piedmont School system.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My students are the most influential people in my career. They are the reason I am here. Their love for learning inspires me to keep improving and do my best. They keep my job fun and exciting.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Rumble the Bison! He does a great job keeping the fans pumped up to support our Thunder players.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the foundation of every dream or goal that you have. Every Thunder player, cheerleader or coach started out as a student. Their education helped them reach their goals and achieve their dreams. It can do the same for you.
  • Bethany Lorenz - Putnam City North High School
    Thunder vs. Mavericks
    February 4, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I enjoy helping others, and teaching students is a passion of mine. I played “teacher” as a child, and I knew in college that teaching was the career for me after observing several teachers in action at the local high school.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I just completed my eleventh year as a teacher, and have served all eleven years at Putnam City North high school.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I have been fortunate to have created a vast support network of mentors and colleagues while teaching. A few of them include: Dr. Jason Brunk, Mr. Bob Melton, Mrs. Sheri Taggart, and Ms. Pam King.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I love to watch Kevin Durant be a leader on the team. He seems to be a positive leader for the team, both on the court and on the sidelines. Being a leader is a tough job, and Kevin always seems to handle the pressure in a classy way.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the key to success; when the road gets tough, the tough go to tutoring.
  • Crystal Griggs - Stillwater High School
    Thunder vs. Warriors
    February 6, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I wanted to provide my students with fun, engaging science learning experiences about the Earth and the universe we live in so they may cherish and preserve our planet, understand the natural forces that affect people's daily lives around the world, and as citizens shape, explore and envision the future of our planet and the universe that surrounds us.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator for eight years. This is the 5th year I will have been a science teacher at Stillwater High School.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My grandmother, Nina Williams. From fourth to eighth grade on school breaks and at the end of the school year, I would excitedly head to Westerville, Ohio and help my grandmother teach her second grade class. She encouraged my love of teaching and supported my passion to become as member of the teaching profession.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Kevin Durant—I believe he is a great role model for our youth, not only a great basketball player!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the key to fulfill all your dreams!
  • Alyssa Plummer - McKinley Elementary
    Thunder vs. Suns
    February 8, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? My mom has been an educator for 40 years and having her as my teacher as well as other amazing teachers made my decision to go into education.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 12th year of teaching. Prairie View is a brand new elementary opened August 2012 in Enid Public Schools and it is an honor to teach here.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My mom, it was watching her show kindness and patience towards her students. Those are the same traits I strive to model for my students.
  • 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? Education is an amazing gift and it can take you many places! So be a hard worker, do your best and be nice to your teacher.
  • Barbara Sovereign - Barnard Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Heat
    February 14, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I was inspired by a teacher that I had in high school. She believed everyone could succeed.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I am finishing my 23rd. year. I have been at Tecumseh for 16 years this May.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career?Mary Ellen Lazenby was my high school hHome Economics teacher.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I have just learned that I like basketball during the playoffs last year. I am very impressed with the character of the entire team. I am mostly impressed with the coach. That is where the foundation comes from. He does such good interviews. Kevin Durant is also a favorite.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? With a good education you will be prepared to follow your dreams and influence others. A solid foundation can take you to the top of the mountain. Fom there you can see the world.
  • Laurie McDonel - Glenpool High School
    Thunder vs. Timberwolves
    February 22, 2012


  • Karla Webb - Sallie Gillentine Elementary
    Thunder vs. Bulls
    February 24, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became an educator because I have a passion for helping students be the best they can be.
  • 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. I have been teaching in the Hollis School District for 19 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I had MANY great teachers but the teacher who I remember the most was my 5th grade teacher, Wilma Beanland. The things I loved about her most was she made learning fun and she read out loud to us everyday.
  • 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? To achieve great things in life, you must work very hard and get an education. Do the hard things now and the later things in life will be easier.
  • Melanie Ball - Guthrie Upper Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Hornets
    February 27, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I wanted to have a positive impact in a child’s life.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been teaching for 17 years. This is my fourteenth year in Guthrie Public Schools.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The person I admired growing up was my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Brenda Wolfley.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I love Kevin Durant!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Never give up on your education; it can take you anywhere you want to go!
  • Kristyne Salley - Briarglen Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Lakers
    March 5, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I have always wanted to be an educator, but I had some wonderful teachers in my life who were a big inspiration to me.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have taught for five years, all at Briarglen Elementary in Union Public Schools.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I had an amazing mentor and Principal, Tamra Bird, who really allowed me to grow into the teaching profession and become a leader in our building.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I have to pick ONE?! That’s Impossible! Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka are my top picks.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the most important investment you can make in your life. It’s something no one can take away from you.
  • Christina Walters - Sallisaw High School
    Thunder vs. Celtics
    March 10, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? Honestly….It was a secondary thought after I married a high school basketball coach. But, I am where I belong!
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? 22 years total, 19 at current school
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Edith Smith, my high school math teacher and Liz Moffett, another high school teacher.
  • 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? A good high school education will help prepare you for college… Being a college graduate doesn’t make you a better person, it just gives you better options for the future!
  • Sabre Dixon - Shawnee Middle School
    Thunder vs. Jazz
    March 13, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? When I was in sixth grade an amazing teacher believed in me. She pulled me aside and told me that I was able to choose whether or not I was successful in my life. That conversation changed my life and showed me the importance of quality teachers in public schools.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been a teacher for fourteen years. I have taught sixth grade math at Shawnee Middle for the entire fourteen years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? Annetta Hackler is one of my co-workers. She is a true inspiration for making connections with students, and always striving to find better methods to teach critical math skills.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? I have great respect for the entire Thunder team. I admire how humble each individual player is in regards to playing as a team and winning as a team. If I had to pick just one favorite, it would be James Harden because I FEAR THE BEARD!
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education is the foundation for everything in life. Education teaches you more than facts and skills. The process of getting an education teaches responsibility, perseverance, and character especially in tough situations.
  • Lisa Lamont - Irving Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Magic
    March 15, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I chose to be a teacher because I fell in love with the constant problem solving, open sense of wonderment, and seeing the sparkle in the eyes of young children as they discover the world around them.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have been an educator at Irving Elementary School in Muskogee for 13 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I am inspired by the amazing educators that I work with everyday. I am blessed to be a part of an amazing team.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? James Harden
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Education can open any door and can make your dreams a reality.
  • Lane Matheson - Memorial High School and Engineering Academy
    Thunder vs. Nuggets
    March 19, 2012


  • Tiffani Cooper - Owasso Mid-High School
    Thunder vs. Trail Blazers
    March 24, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I saw a need for someone, in addition to parents, to care about and try to be a positive influence in young people’s lives. I wanted to be a part of helping fill that need.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I am in my sixth year of teaching, all of which have been at Owasso Mid-High.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I would have to say my mom, who was also a teacher, has influenced me the most in the area of education.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? James Harden.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? When life gets busy it’s sometimes easy to start taking education for granted, but education is truly one of the keys to unlocking a successful future. Take responsibility for your own education and strive to do everything with excellence.
  • Shelli Bradbeary - Tuttle High School
    Thunder vs. Wizards
    March 27, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I became an educator to help students realize that hard work and persistence was a bigger contributor to success than luck. I want to help students achieve their long-term educational, professional, and emotional goals.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? This is my 11th year in the teaching profession. I have been with Tuttle Public Schools for 9 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? My 7th grade math teacher, Mrs. Kennedy.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Serge Ibaka
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Learning is not a skill you master for an hour, or a week, or a year. It is a life-long process. Your public education is preparing you for the skills you will need the rest of your life.
  • Lee Stone - Woodward Early Childhood Center
    Thunder vs. Spurs
    April 4, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I have always loved being with children, so teaching seemed like a good place for me to be.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I have taught a total of 21 years, this is my 22nd year teaching. This is my 20th year as a Kindergarten teacher in Woodward.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? I would have to say that there isn’t one particular person, but many many teachers who have I have been associated with, that have led me to be the teacher I am today.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? Hello – It has to be Kevin Durant. I was fortunate enough to see him play his freshman year at Texas when they played OU and believe it or not, I knew then he was destined for greatness.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Learning is such an important gift. Try hard, have fun, and fill your brain to the brink.
  • Shanna Means - Liberty Elementary
    Thunder vs. Knicks
    April 7, 2012


  • Kathy Huskey - Russell Babb Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Kings
    April 15, 2012


  • Why did you choose to become an educator? I have wanted to be a music teacher since high school. There is no other job that allows you sing, dance and play instruments every day.
  • How long have you been an educator? How long have you been teaching at your current school? I graduated college in the winter of 2003 when I was 39, and began teaching in 2004-2005. I have been teaching at Russell Babb Elementary 6 years.
  • Who was/is the most influential person in your career? The person that is my professional idol is John Platt. I liked him because he took great interest in all his students and encouraged us to do our best. He cared for us like we were his own children.
  • Who is your favorite Thunder player? That is a very hard question, but I think I like Kevin Durant. Besides being able to score many points for the Thunder, he betrays optimism, humility and sportsmanlike conduct. I believe he is a wonderful person to represent Oklahoma City.
  • What word of advice would you give to young Thunder Fans in regards to the importance of education? Students sometimes think if they have never done something that they can’t do it. I always tell students in my music class to try their best. Always attempt all activities. Then if things are hard for you- try harder. Don’t give up. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
  • Cecilia Morelli - Pratt Elementary School
    Thunder vs. Bucks
    April 17, 2012