Alumni Named Teachers of the Year

Two Oklahoma Baptist University alums from the Class of 2005 received "Teacher of the Year" honors for the last academic year at the schools where they teach. Melody Wynn received the honors at Shawnee Middle School in Shawnee, Okla., and Jason Stephenson was recognized at Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Okla. Both alums said the knowledge they received from OBU helps them educate the next generation day by day.

Teachers receive the honor after being nominated by colleagues and the submission of an application. Fellow teachers then cast their ballots, and the majority vote wins.

Wynn is in her fifth year of teaching seventh grade math and honors math at Shawnee Middle School. She said her time at OBU equipped her to face the challenges in the workforce.

Melody Wynn (right) receives a $500 award from Superintendent Marilyn Bradford after being named Shawnee Schools Teacher of the Year for 2009.

"After getting to student teach at the middle school, I realized how much I had fallen in love with this age group of kids," she said. "OBU gave me an education that helped me become a well-rounded individual and a better teacher because of it."

Stephenson said he also found the student teaching program at OBU beneficial.

"OBU laid the foundation for me to be named ‘Teacher of the Year' at Deer Creek," Stephenson said. "I constantly juggled activities and events while at OBU, and I have continued to handle multiple responsibilities in my job as a teacher."

He currently teaches pre-AP English II and creative writing. He sponsors the Student Council and said he constantly looks for new ways to engage students in the classroom, allowing them to have some control in the learning process.

"My students need a safe environment where they can explore reading and writing," Stephenson said. "My classroom functions as a workshop where students provide feedback for one another's writing pieces."

Stephenson's classroom evolved from a teacher-centered to a student-centered environment with the idea that allowing choice encourages lifelong literacy.