2018 SKIE Award Regional Winners Announced
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Oklahoma and K20 Center honor innovative technology use in the classroom
Rob Davis, Northwest Region
Rob Davis embodies the role of community servant and encourages his students to assist with projects ranging from building a community park and cleaning up after a tornado to spending time with nursing home residents. Davis explains that “many lessons can capture their attention, but only service can capture their hearts.” Davis is beginning his 17th year as an educator. He recently completed his fourth year teaching ninth grade Oklahoma history at Yukon High School and began a new role as assistant principal at Norman High School this fall. In his past experience, he has also served as an athletic director and high school football and basketball coach.
Shanna Mellott, Southwest Region
Shanna Mellott applies meaning from Robert Frost’s poetry to her teaching and encourages her students to choose “The Road Not Taken” in their educational careers. She describes her desire for students to focus on a path that considers their own unique career choices and talents. Mellott is entering her 28th year of teaching and her 26th teaching 9th and 12th grade English at Cache High School. At the beginning of each school year, Mellott’s students each select a “big idea,” which they use as a foundation for essays, speeches, and a final project. “Students choose their own ideas and put these ideas into action so that other students can learn something new.”
Milton Bowens, Central Region
Though Milton Bowens has spent nine years in the classroom teaching government and politics at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, he considers his experience in the education field to have begun several years earlier, while he was still a high school student. Bowens tutored and mentored at-risk students when he was a high school senior, and he began helping adults who were pursuing a GED while he was in college. He cites these experiences as helping to form his philosophy of education: “When we empower students to own and take some responsibility for their education with us, I’ve found that instead of feeling overworked synergy is created.”
Rosa Denton, Northeast Region
With a classroom motto of “go big or go home!” Rosa Denton is beginning her fifth year of teaching and her second year of teaching fourth and fifth grade math and science at Vian Elementary School. Denton demonstrates a deep love for her chosen profession and expressed her satisfaction for seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand a new concept or when they are excited about a classroom activity. One of the highlights of the school year is a STEM fair in which students choose a research question that they find meaningful and attempt to answer the question by experimentation.
Brandi White, Tulsa Region
Brandi White is passionate about reading and loves to share that passion with her students. She is entering her 11th year of teaching and her eighth year at Glenpool High School where she teaches junior and senior English as well as a reading elective. In one project, White’s students are asked to make real-world connections to classic literature. As they engage to discuss current social issues through the lens of Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal, students gain a deeper understanding of what is happening in their school and community and consider their own role in the issues.
Brandy Johnson, Stacey Huggins, Summer McGuire, Tanya Stout, Southeast Region
Brandy Johnson, Stacey Huggins, Summer McGuire, and Tanya Stout are a team of teachers who collaborate daily to bring engaging STEM activities into their first-grade classrooms. The four teachers from Stigler Grade School work together to plan lessons that challenge their students to take a hands-on approach to learning. They initiated their new STEM curriculum last year and are proud of how their students grew to have confidence that allowed them to be creative and explore. The teachers agree that when students think independently, great things can happen. Most lessons start with a storybook that connects with a STEM activity. For example, after reading the book Iggy Peck, Architect students build structures using materials like marshmallows, toothpicks, and popsicle sticks.