OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirteen Oklahoma teachers have received Fund for Teachers fellowships, which will provide them the opportunity to pursue self-designed professional development over the summer.

The educators selected for these fellowships are Tammy Acuff, Fort Gibson High School; Amanda Austin, Edmond North High School; Kim Dammann, Jenks West Elementary School; Charlotte Freeman, Kennedy Elementary School (Norman); Monica Graves, Tulsa Boys’ Home (Sand Springs); Amy Hardesty, Kennedy Elementary School (Norman); Kirsten Harrison, Fort Gibson High School; Taylor Hoffer, Claremore High School; Callie Mercer, Claremore High School; Alesa Murrow, Washington Elementary School (Alva); Pamela Reynolds, Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School; Emily Roiger, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences; and Lisa Wright, Charles Page High School (Sand Springs).

Oklahoma’s grants are made possible through a partnership between Fund for Teachers, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and the Tulsa Community Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be a part of bringing these incredible opportunities to Oklahoma teachers,” said Elizabeth Inbody, executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “Each year, we are inspired by the hard work and creativity these educators show in developing professional development fellowships that will enrich their teaching practices and support student success.”

The grants are available to teachers in the state who teach pre-K through 12th grade. Individual teachers may apply for up to $5,000, while teacher teams may apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds.

To be eligible, teachers must spend at least 50% of their time directly providing instruction to students, must be returning to the classroom in the consecutive school year, and must have at least three years’ experience teaching pre-K through 12th grade at the end of the current school year.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.

Oklahoma’s 2024 Fund for Teachers Fellows

Tammy Acuff, language arts teacher, and Kirsten Harrison, library media specialist/teacher, Fort Gibson High School

Acuff, of Warner, and Harrison, of Fort Gibson, will explore sites in England and Scotland associated with literary figures and historical events to improve students’ ability to visualize and appreciate British literature and literary movements, understand the significance of place in literature, and inspire an interest in reading the classics.

Amanda Austin, English/journalism/language arts teacher, Edmond North High School

Austin, an Edmond resident, will experience the South African setting of Trevor Noah’s biography “Born a Crime” to deepen personal knowledge of South African history of apartheid and enhance a world literature curriculum with more authors of color.

Kim Dammann, STEM facilitator/teacher, Jenks West Elementary School

Dammann, a Jenks resident, will research the lives and work of Charles Perrault, Gabrielle Suzanne de Villeneuve, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Victor Hugo and Walt Disney while exploring the history, culture and development of storytelling over time to create a multi-year storytelling unit for second, third and fourth grade classes visiting the STEM Lab.

Charlotte Freeman, teacher/librarian, and Amy Hardesty, gifted resource coordinator, Kennedy Elementary School (Norman Public Schools)

Freeman, a Moore resident, and Hardesty, a Norman resident, will visit Rome, Florence and Milan to explore the connection between art and science found in Renaissance art, ancient architecture and the scientific discoveries of Italy’s great thinkers to integrate art into the curriculum and build a STEAM-centered classroom.

Monica Graves, geometry teacher, Tulsa Boys’ Home (Sand Springs Public Schools) and Lisa Wright, math teacher, Charles Page High School (Sand Springs Public Schools)

Graves and Wright, both of Sand Springs, will explore ancient Greek wonders including Olympia, Epidaurus and the Parthenon to integrate student passions in athletics, performing arts and engineering with real-world applications at the birthplace of geometry and then tailor these connections to student interests to make math both relevant and enjoyable.

Taylor Hoffer and Callie Mercer, art teachers, Claremore High School

Hoffer and Mercer, both of Claremore, plan to participate in a two-week portrait painting workshop with world-class artists in Rome to develop skills, historical context and contemporary approaches to painting that will allow to them maximize opportunities for students through a recently funded oil painting unit.

Alesa Murrow, physical education teacher at Washington Elementary School (Alva Public Schools)

Murrow, who is a resident of Hardtner, Kansas, will attend the Summer 2024 Olympics in Paris to research healthy lifestyles within different cultures and grassroots sports and activities for children to explore and enjoy beyond the norm in Oklahoma.

Pamela Reynolds, teacher at Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School

Reynolds, a Norman resident, will complete a business internship in San Jose, Costa Rica, while improving Spanish proficiency to better communicate with Spanish-speaking families and gain efficiency and efficacy in advancing students’ language levels.

Emily Roiger, English teacher at Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences (Tulsa Public Schools)

Roiger, a Tulsa resident, will participate in The Creativity Workshop in Prague to develop tangible ways of stimulating creativity and creative thinking that will prepare students to become global citizens.

Among the Oklahoma educators receiving 2024 Fund for Teachers fellowships are (back row from left) Monica Graves, Lisa Wright, Emily Rogier, Kim Dammann, Kirsten Harrison and Tammy Acuff, along with (front row from left), Callie Mercer and Taylor Hoffer.
Among the educators receiving 2024 Fund for Teachers fellowships are Pamela Reynolds, Charlotte Freeman, Amy Hardesty, Amanda Austin and Alesa Murrow.