edmond teacher at supreme court

Edmond educators are among the best in the nation and this summer several of the district’s teachers were recognized for their contributions in the classroom or given opportunities to enrich their talents with prestigious professional development opportunities.

Central Middle School 8th-grade science teacher Carrie Akins was named a state finalist for the 2022 and 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

PAEMST is the highest recognition a K-12 mathematics or science teacher can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. 

Akins’ teaching philosophy involves using real-world phenomena as the starting point for learning. “I can give my students opportunities to make sense of the science behind the phenomenon. I hope to help students develop the skills they need to make sense of science on their own when they have moved on from my classroom,” said Akins. 

Meanwhile, Akins’ colleague, Central Middle School 8th-grade science teacher Celise Curry was named the 2023 Middle School Science Teacher of the Year by the Oklahoma Science Teaching Association. 

Meanwhile, Torie York, AP Government teacher, and Social Studies Department Chair at Edmond Santa Fe High School, was among 60 teachers nationwide selected to participate in the prestigious Supreme Court Summer Institute this summer. 

York got the opportunity to meet and hear from Chief Justice John Roberts and listened to attorneys who have argued cases in front of the court participate in a simulated court experience. 

“We had many resource experts from different areas of the judicial branch that took time out of their extremely busy schedules to come work with the participants of the institute,” York said. I was provided endless resources and activities that I can bring back to my students and fellow educators.” 

Santa Fe High School Media Specialist Hailey Wansick is also looking forward to sharing more of what she learned on a grant-funded summer trip with students. Wansick was one of hundreds of exemplary educators from across the U.S. to receive a Fund for Teachers grant for experiential learning. The grant funded a trip to England, Germany, and France where she explored the culture, landscape, and history of fairy tales and folklore.  “My goal is to create a deeper understanding of their origins and importance and promote excitement for and interest in reading about them,” Wansick said.