Jason Scott Proctor, 35, a Tahlequah high school math teacher, has been named the 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi made the announcement today during a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair.
Jason Scott Proctor, 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and Superintendent Janet Barresi“Congratulations to Mr. Proctor. I can tell he knows how to truly connect with his students. I know he will provide keen insights with his fellow Oklahoma educators over the next year,” Superintendent Barresi said.
“Mr. Proctor was chosen from a group of 12 inspiring, talented and motivated teachers from every corner of our state. Choosing a single person for this title is something I could never do, but I’m thankful to the judges who did. All of our finalists are the best of the best, and I look forward to seeing their great successes.”
Proctor teaches Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Advanced Placement Calculus at Tahlequah High School in Tahlequah Public Schools. He also coaches track at the school.
He is a National Board Certified Teacher, holding his current position for eight years and teaching for a total of 12 years. He attended Ferris State University in Michigan for his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry Education. He also earned a master’s degree in “Art of Teaching” from Marygrove College, also in Michigan.
In a portfolio he submitted to be considered for the state title, Proctor wrote about the importance of building honest relationships with students.
“Years ago I learned that the results I witnessed from students directly correlated to the relationships I built with those students,” he said. “Developing a foundation of trust and genuine concern has been my goal with any and all students who are open.”
Proctor is Oklahoma’s 60th Teacher of the Year and the first from Tahlequah. He will represent Oklahoma in the National Teacher of the Year competition next spring.
All 12 finalists were also named Teachers of the Year in their respective school districts.
“They represent some of our state’s best and brightest educators. It’s been a pleasure meeting every one of them, and I know they will continue to be incredible leaders of their students,” Barresi said.
She also thanked 2014 Teacher of the Year Peter Markes, director of orchestras at Edmond North High School in Edmond.
“I’ve heard so many positive reviews of Mr. Markes’ appearances from educators all across Oklahoma. He’s put a lot of miles on the Teacher of the Year car, and I know he’s excited to be back in front of his orchestra at Edmond North High School.”
Committees of teachers, parents and community members from across Oklahoma selected the finalists from portfolios submitted to the competition. A state panel comprised of education, business and civic leaders chose the winner after interviewing all the candidates and viewing their submitted videos.
All of those videos have posted by OSDE here: http://vimeo.com/osde/videos
The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year program is organized by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in conjunction with the national competition.
Several sponsors helped support the title this year and reward the finalists. The gold sponsors are:
The Oklahoma State Fair, in conjunction with John Vance Auto Group, will provide Proctor with a new vehicle to drive to his appearances for the next year at no cost. The State Fair also awarded Proctor with an acrylic apple and State Fair Medallion.
The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma awarded Proctor and his district with $5,000 each, and gave the finalists $1,000 each.
American Fidelity Assurance Company presented Proctor with a $1,000 gift card; a $2,500 credit toward graduate classes, certification or professional development; $500 for a classroom makeover; two tickets to an Oklahoma City Thunder home game where he will be recognized; a personalized Thunder jersey; and a print from Oklahoma artist Greg Burns. American Fidelity also presented $100 gift cards to the finalists and two tickets each to a Thunder game where they will be recognized.
SMART Technologies, Inc. gave Proctor a SMART LightRaise interactive projector; a free Notebook Advantage classroom software management plan; and access to two education technology workshops he can take alongside fellow state Teachers of the Year. The finalists will also receive SMART Notebook Advantage and SMART Notebook Classroom licenses.
Many other companies and organizations — too many to be listed here — donated rewards for Proctor, the finalists and all the district teachers of the year in the state.