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July 23, 2018 - Oklahoma Educators Immersed in History at Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute

by OFE | 2018-07-24 16:21:46

OKLAHOMA CITY – Thirty-six Oklahoma teachers will be returning to their classrooms this fall with a renewed passion for early American history and a variety of new interactive lessons plans after attending the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia.

While in Colonial Williamsburg – the world’s largest living history museum – Oklahoma teachers met character interpreters of 18th-century people – from Powhatan Indians and plantation slaves to British loyalists and Founding Fathers. Educators were immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and reenactments of historical events. This marks the 26th year that Oklahoma teachers have attended the institute through a fellowship program coordinated by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a statewide nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in public schools.

The institute celebrated a milestone this summer with the graduation of its 1,000th Oklahoma educator – Ana Chavez of Jenks East Intermediate Elementary School. Oklahoma ranks second in the nation, following California, in the number of teacher institute participants, with 1,007 Oklahoma graduates to date. Of that total, 854 were selected through the Foundation for Excellence to receive donor-funded fellowships and stipends for classroom materials.

 “The Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute has filled in the gaps that text books and resources either missed or limited,” said Chavez, who was lauded with a banner in recognition of being the 1,000th Oklahoma teacher institute fellow. “This experience helped me reflect on what areas I can enrich for my students by providing primary sources or hands-on activities to help them relive the past.”

This summer’s Oklahoma participants included 28 fifth-grade teachers and eight eighth-grade educators. Fifth-grade teacher participants, listed by school district, are Sunny Stephens, ALLEN; Melia Wheeler, ARNETT; Julie Randol, BEGGS, Jennifer Winchester, BRIDGE CREEK; Kimberly Medrick, BROKEN ARROW; Courtney Tennell, BUTNER; Lauryn Capsey, CATOOSA; Cindy Turner, CHICKASHA; Glory Hoover, DEPEW; Gena Schuck, EDMOND; Mitzi Ridinger, GORE; Ana Chavez, JENKS; Carolyn Dock, MANGUM; Sarah Morehead, MIDWEST CITY-DEL CITY; Luann Gilbert, MOORE; Annalea Stevenson, MUSKOGEE; Becky Stanton, NEWKIRK; Amber Smith and Janet Trotter, NORMAN; Selena Espinoza and Angela Fang, OKLAHOMA CITY; Emily Quint, OSAGE; Ronda Boston, PUTNAM CITY; Regina Mabray, STUART; Olivia StandingBear, TULSA; Jennifer Addison and Sarah Rhodes, UNION; and Sarah Francois, VANOSS.  Vanna Owens, a CLAREMORE teacher, was selected by the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute to serve as peer facilitator for the fifth-grade Oklahoma delegation. She met daily with teachers to discuss interactive teaching techniques and help develop creative lesson plans based on their experiences.

Eighth-grade teacher participants, listed by school district, are Traci Smith, CLAREMORE; Jill Hill and Dalton Savage, EDMOND; Denise Aguilar, LAWTON; Matthew Mitchell, MUSTANG; Nancy Brewer, OKLAHOMA CITY; Patrick Terry, PUTNAM CITY; and Julie Pierson, SEQUOYAH.

The Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute provides participants with interactive teaching techniques and skills to become mentor teachers who can assist other educators to develop active learning classrooms and make history exciting for their students. Participants share strategies to improve instruction, raise literacy levels and enhance thinking skills.

“Although we are half way across the country from Colonial Williamsburg, the videos, pictures, primary sources and new lesson ideas gathered from this institute will be used to bring this important place and time in history to my students in a more magical and real way,” said Denise Aguilar of Central Middle School in Lawton. “This experience has deepened my passion for American history, and my hope is to ignite a spark of passion in my students for American history where they will not only learn about it but preserve it for future generations.” 

Oklahoma’s teacher institute program was founded and supported through the fundraising efforts of the late Oklahoma City businessman Edward C. Joullian III.  A trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and former board member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Joullian died in 2006. Graduates of the institute now receive lapel pins and certificates designating them as Edward C. Joullian Oklahoma Scholars. Joullian’s family, along with a group of loyal donors, continues to support the program, which has transformed the way many Oklahoma educators teach early American history.

           

Oklahoma’s Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute participants are listed below by hometown and the cities in which they teach.

 

ADA – Sarah Francois teaches fifth-grade social studies at Vanoss Elementary School in Vanoss Public Schools, Ada.

ALLEN – Sunny Stephens teaches fourth- and fifth-grade social studies at Allen Middle School. She is a resident of Sasakwa.

AMBER – Cindy Turner, a resident of Amber, is a fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Chickasha.

ARNETT – Melia Wheeler is a fifth-grade teacher at Arnett Elementary School.

BEGGS – Julie Randol teaches fifth-grade science and history at Beggs Middle School.

BLANCHARD – Jennifer Winchester teaches social studies at Bridge Creek Intermediate School in Blanchard.

BROKEN ARROW – Jennifer Addison, a resident of Broken Arrow, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Robert B. Grove Elementary School in Union Public Schools, Tulsa.
     Kimberly Medrick is a fifth-grade teacher at Oak Crest Elementary in Broken Arrow. She is a Tulsa resident.
     Julie Pierson, a resident of Broken Arrow, teaches eighth-grade history at Sequoyah Middle School in Claremore.

CATOOSA – Lauryn Capsey teaches social studies at Cherokee Elementary School in Catoosa. She is a resident of Tulsa.

CHICKASHA – Cindy Turner is a fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Chickasha. She is a resident of Amber.

CLAREMORE – Vanna Owens, a teacher at Sequoyah Elementary School, served as peer facilitator for the fifth-grade delegation at Colonial Williamsburg. She is a 2011 alumna of the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute and has been a curriculum writer and Master Teacher for Colonial Williamsburg. She has served four times as Oklahoma’s peer facilitator for the summer institute.Julie Pierson teaches eighth-grade history at Sequoyah Middle School in Sequoyah Public Schools, Claremore. She is a resident of Broken Arrow.
      Traci Smith teaches eighth-grade history at Will Rogers Junior High School in Claremore.

CROMWELL – Courtney Tennell teaches fifth-grade at Butner Elementary in Cromwell. She is a resident of Okemah.

DEPEW – Glory Hoover is a fifth-grade teacher at Depew Elementary School.

EDMOND – Jill Hill teaches eighth-grade history at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond.
     Dalton Savage, formerly of Piedmont Middle school, will be teaching history this fall at Edmond Memorial High School.
     Gena Schuck teaches fifth-grade social studies at Heritage Elementary in Edmond.

GORE – Mitzi Ridinger teaches fourth- and fifth-grade history at Gore Elementary School in Gore. Ridinger is a resident of Sallisaw.

JENKS – Ana Chavez teaches fifth-grade social studies at Jenks East Intermediate Elementary School. She is a resident of Tulsa.

LAWTON – Denise Aguilar teaches eighth-grade social studies at Central Middle School in Lawton.

MANGUM – Carolyn Dock teaches fifth-grade social studies at Mangum Middle School.

MIDWEST CITY -- Sarah Morehead teaches fifth-grade social studies at Tinker Elementary School in Mid-Del Public Schools. She is a resident of Moore.

MOORE – Angela Fang, a resident of Moore, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Oklahoma City.
      Luann Gilbert teaches fifth-grade social studies at Earlywine Elementary School in Moore Public Schools. She is a resident of Oklahoma City.
      Sarah Morehead, a resident of Moore, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Tinker Elementary School in Mid-Del Public Schools.
      Amber Smith, a resident of Moore, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Monroe Elementary School in Norman.

MUSKOGEE – Annalea Stevenson teaches fifth-grade at Sadler Arts Academy in Muskogee.

MUSTANG – Matthew Mitchell teaches eighth-grade history at Mustang North Middle School. He is a resident of Yukon.

NEWKIRK – Becky Stanton teaches fifth-grade at Newkirk Elementary School in Newkirk. She is a resident of Ponca City.

NORMAN – Janet Trotter teaches fifth-grade social studies at Madison Elementary School in Norman.
       Amber Smith teaches fifth-grade social studies at Monroe Elementary School in Norman. Smith is a resident of Moore.

OKEMAH – Courtney Tennell, a resident of Okemah, is a fifth-grade teacher at Butner Elementary in Cromwell.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Ronda Boston teaches fifth-grade social studies at Coronado Heights Elementary School in Putnam City Public Schools, Oklahoma City.
      Nancy Brewer teaches eighth-grade social studies at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in Oklahoma City. She is a resident of Piedmont.
      Selena Espinoza is a fifth-grade teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Oklahoma City.
      Angela Fang teaches fifth-grade social studies at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Oklahoma City. She is a resident of Moore.
      Luann Gilbert, an Oklahoma City resident, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Earlywine Elementary School in Moore Public Schools.
      Sarah Morehead teaches fifth-grade social studies at Tinker Elementary School in Mid-Del Public Schools. She is a resident of Moore.
      Patrick Terry teaches eighth-grade history at Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Putnam City Public Schools, Oklahoma City.

PIEDMONT – Nancy Brewer, a Piedmont resident, teaches eighth-grade social studies at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in Oklahoma City.           

PONCA CITY – Becky Stanton, a resident of Ponca City, teaches fifth-grade at Newkirk Elementary School in Newkirk.

PRYOR – Emily Quint teaches fifth-grade social studies at Osage Elementary School in Pryor.

SALLISAW – Mitzi Ridinger, a resident of Sallisaw, teaches fourth- and fifth-grade history at Gore Elementary School.

STUART – Regina Mabray teaches fifth-grade social studies at Stuart Elementary School.

TULSA – Jennifer Addison teaches fifth-grade social studies at Robert B. Grove Elementary School in Union Public Schools, Tulsa. She is a resident of Broken Arrow.
      Lauryn Capsey, a Tulsa resident, teaches social studies at Cherokee Elementary School in Catoosa. 
      Ana Chavez, a resident of Tulsa, teaches fifth-grade social studies at Jenks East Intermediate Elementary School.
      Kimberly Medrick, a Tulsa resident, is a fifth-grade teacher at Oak Crest Elementary in Broken Arrow.
      Olivia StandingBear teaches fifth-grade social studies in Spanish at Eisenhower International Elementary School.
      Sarah Rhodes is a fifth-grade teacher at Robert B. Grove Elementary School in Union Public Schools, Tulsa.

YUKON – Matthew Mitchell, a Yukon resident, teaches eighth-grade history at Mustang North Middle School.