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Teacher Feature - Jade Benson

Jade Benson is a 6th through 8th grade Science and STEM teacher at Tennehill Public Schools in McAlester, OK. Not only has she attended seven workshops since 2002, but she has also attended an OERB mini Virtual Workshop and has participated in both our field trip and Petro Pros programs. Thank you, Jade, for you support of the OERB education programs! 

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

Born and raised in Holdenville, OK. I went all 13 years to Moss Schools and graduated in 1997. I receivedf my Bachelors of Science from East Central University in 2002. My first teaching job was at Byng Public Schools teaching 5th grade science and later went on to the high school teaching Biology, Zoology, and Pre-AP Biology. I taught there 5 1/2 years till my husband and I had our first child. Stayed home for the next 12 years raising children. While at home, we had the opportunity to homeschool and I taught Biology, Forensic Science, Zoology, middle school science, and elementary science for Arrow Christian Academy in Ada, OK. This past year, we put our children back into public school and I am now teaching again! This time around, I am teaching middle school science and STEM. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

I have always loved science. If I can pass that love onto a student of mine then I have succeeded.

Where did you attend college?

East Central University, Ada, OK

How many years have you been teaching?

11 1/2 years

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

Middle school science

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies

I love God/Jesus, running, and working in my garden/flower bed. 

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

Fossils to Fuel 1 & 2

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach? 

Building the Oil Derricks out of straws

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom? 

Labtime with Leo!!!!!!!!! I absolutely love him and so do the students. 

Share a favoritye moment during your teaching career? 

I don't know if I have a favorite moment. I just so enjoy all the lessons, that I get excited knowing that today is the day that I teach OERB. I think that I get more excited than my students. 

Teacher Feature - Charles Dutton

Charles Dutton is a 6th grade Math and Science teacher at Kelley Elementary School in Moore, OK. Not only has he attended four workshops since 2015, but he has also attended an OERB mini Virtual Workshop! Thank you, Charles, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Augusta, Kansas, just outside of Wichita. When I graduated from Augusta High School, I decided to attend our Church Bible College in Oklahoma City. I majored in Bible and Elementary Education graduating in 1991. After a short stint substitute teaching, I was employed with Moore Public Schools. I met my wife, Jeni, at Mid-Ameria and we stayed in Moore. Our two children, Zachary and Lydia, both graduated from Southmoore High School. Zachary attended Moore Norman and graduated with a degree in Welding. He is a pipeline welder. My daughter, Lydia, is attending the University of Oklahoma.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I have always had a heart for working with children and when the opportunity came up for me to get my education degree, I jumped on it. I wouldn't want to do anything else. 

Where did you attend college?

Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City, OK (B.S. in Elementary Education)

University of Texas, Arlington, TX (Masters in Reading, ELL, Curriculum)

How many years have you been teaching?

28 years

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

6th grade Math and Science

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

Reading, Stained Glass, Scouting, Hiking, Camping

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

The OERB curriculum is set up for easy use and allows the students to experience key concepts with great hands-on activities. Any teacher can pick up a lesson and teach it with minimum preparation.

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

If I had to choose one lesson, it would be Pulleys-A Weighty Problem. They like the challenge of constructing the activity. 

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

The videos that go with each lesson are very helpful and add a different format for the students to review the lessons.

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

I can't narrow it down to one. Every year has something special. Each group of students brings their own strengths and weaknesses to the class. Helping them to work with their own strengths and through their weaknesses is what I feel makes the children grow the most. They can then become more productive in their education career and hopefully make them better citizens in the process. 

Teacher Feature - Darius Todd

Darius Todd is a high school science teacher at Sapulpa Junior High School in Sapulpa, OK. Not only has he attended our workshops in the past, but he is also one of our Core Science Master Teachers! Thank you, Darius, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little but about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

Dallas, TX native, Darius moved to Oklahoma to major in Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Darius met his wife, DeShawna. DeShawna was adamant about staying in Oklahoma, so they settled in Oklahoma City. Darius worked in sales in various locations all over Oklahoma.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

In the midst of a successful career, Darius felt unfulfilled. Darius has always had a passion for helping children and so he started the process in 2012 to become an alternatively certified teacher. 

Where did you attend college?

The University of Oklahoma

How many years have you been teaching?

Darius just completed his 6th year of teaching.

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

Darius is currently teaching Physical Science to High School freshmen. 

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

Darius is a basketball fanatic, who plays and coaches at his local YMCA. He also enjoys reading science fiction. 

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

My favorite part of the curriculum is the Lab Time with Leo videos. They explain the concepts in a way my students can understand. 

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

My students love the distillation lab. It's science they can see, touch, and smell. 

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

My favorite part of OERB HomeRoom is the section for Petro Pros. My students really like meeting professionals in the STEM field. 

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

I had a student 3 years ago who have low self esteem, a speech impediment, deficient math skills. This student had been told that school was not for him and that he would likely not graduate. In addition, he missed school frequently. It was not until he would stay after school making up labs, that he would light up and share with others. I mentored this student and tried to make myself a safe place for him. Last may, this studetns graduated high school with a certification for internet security. When I congratulated him on his achievements and all of his hard work, he responded that I inspired him and saved his life. That day sustains me after trying weeks. 

Teacher Feature - Brittany Munday

Brittany Munday is a fourth grade teacher at Cushing Upper Elementary in Cushing, OK. Not only has she attended four workshops since 2013workshop,  but she has also participated in our field trip program. Thank you, Brittany, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma but grew up in Neosho, Missouri. I moved back to Oklahoma to attend college. I currently live and teach in Cushing, Oklahoma. I actually did my student teaching in Cushing. I fell in love with the community and people. Once I graduated college, I worked at the prison in Cushing until a teachinig position opened. A year later, I was teaching at the school that I student-taught at. My principal called me at the prison to offer me a first grade position.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

When I first started college, I wanted to be a psychologist. Several members of my family are teachers; my mom, grandpa, aunt and uncle, list goes on. I decided to switch my major to elementary education. I love working with kids, as most teachers do. My favorite part of teaching is making connections and building relationships with my students.

Where did you attend college?

Northern Oklahoma College and Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!)

How many years have you been teaching?

This is my sixth year teaching. I have taught first, second, and fourth grade.

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

I currently teach fourth grade science, social studies, math, and ELA.

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

I have three boys ages 6 months, 5 years old, and 12 years old. When I'm not lesson planning or grading, I'm with my boys outside, at the ball fields, etc. I do love to read and pamper myself when there is time. I enjoy traveling with my family. Any time we go to a new state, we stop at the state capital so I can take a picture for my students. We usually find a historical landmark to stop at, as well. 

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

This is a hard question! The hands-on curriculum is wonderful. All materials are provided which is perfect when funds are limited. Each lesson is so engaging and interactive. My students were able to comprehend and retain the information and repeat the lesson back to their families more so with the OERB curriculum than any other science curriculum I've used. They were excited for each lesson and we had wonderful conversations around the lessons. I also love the field trips that are included. This has given my students the opportunity to see and travel to places they normally wouldn't get to go.

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

There is a three-way tie between Rock Detectives, Thirsty Rocks, and Petro Pete Visits Viscosity. All three require team participation. 

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

My favorite part is the Lab Time with Leo videos. I would show these at the end of our lessons and experiments. I also like that there are curriculum resources readily available. 

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

One of my favorite moments was during asn OERB science lesson (Thirsty Rocks). The lesson was over but as I walked around the classroom cleaning up, I overheard groups of students talking about how much they enjoyed they enjoyed the lesson. They were using content-based vocabulary words, comparing porous things and discussion why or why not an item was porous. They had no idea I was listening. 

Any additional information you want to share with us?

OERB has gone above and beyond with this curriculum. I have gone to Little Bits, Fossils to Fuels, and Fossils to Fuels 2 workshops. The master teachers were amazing. 

Teacher Feature - Richelle Krumsiek

Richelle Krumsiek is a teacher at Tulsa Tech at Lemley Memorial Campus in Tulsa, OK. Not only has she attended a workshop, but she is also one of our wonderful Master Teachers! Thank you, Richelle, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

Graduated from Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Oklahoma and taught math in Broken Arrow, Coweta and Claremore. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

From a young age, I always played school and wanted to be a teacher. Hard to explain what it was that sparked my interest. It's just my gift. I wanted to be a positive influence in high school age students, so I went to college to study psychology and become a high school counselor. I did not enjoy the classes, so I switched to math because my roommate was a math major. I thought I would study math until it got too difficult and then I would know what I really wanted to do. I'm so glad it never was too difficult because it really is my calling and I now have my dream job. 

Where did you attend college?

Bachelor of Science in Math Education from Northeastern State University.

Master of Science in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in Occupational Education from OSU.

How many years have you been teaching?

25

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

12th grade - Engineering Design & Development 

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

I love reading, sewing, dancing and spending time with family and friends. 

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

My favorite part of the OERB curriculum is the real world connection it makes for the students. They enjoy learning the concepts from the OERB lessons. I teach the same concepts from the textbook, but the students don't make the connections as well as they do within the context of the oil and gas industry.

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

I teach each lesson to a different level of students so this doesn't really apply to me.

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

My favorite part of OERB HomeRoom is the ask a Petro Pro section. My students have questions that I can't answer, so we ask a Petro Pro. It takes the pressure off of me to know everything and the studetns enjoy hearing from an industry person.

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

My favorite moments are when students write a personal note thanking me for my contribution to their life and learning. It's what I signed up for. I have found I have more of an impact on students being a teacher than I would have should I have become a counselor. God sure knows what He is doing! 

Teacher Feature - Anita Hawkins

Anita Hawkins is a teacher at Rose Witcher Elementary in El Reno. Not only has she attended a 8 workshops in the past 16 years, but she has also utilized our field trip and Petro Pros programs for her students. Thank you, Anita, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I have been involved with OERB since 2004 and have attended 8 workshops and several teacher retreats. 

I've always lived in Oklahoma. I was raised in a little town called Wheatland, it's just west of Will Rodgers World Airport. There I was exposed to country life and working with animals. I went to a little school that was only one classroom per grade, kindergarten thru sixth grade. I've always loved country living so I bought acreage in El Reno and live there with my son.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I have always loved learning and have had many encouraging teachers along the way. I have always wanted to be a teacher from an early age. 

Where did you attend college?

I went to the University of Central Oklahoma and got a Bachelors in Business Administration and my teaching certificate in Elementary Education. I also got my Masters in Early Childhood Education. 

How many years have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 20 years.

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

I started teaching three and four year olds in Oklahoma City. I then applied and was hired to teach first grade in El Reno, I've been teaching first grade there ever since. 

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, traveling, and enjoying time with all my many animals!

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

My favorite part of OERB curriculum is how easy the curriculum is to implement in my classroom, everything I need is right there! 

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

My students favorite lesson is the paper they make of the layers of the earth the well has to drill through. 

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

My favorite part is having a place to get everything I need for lessons such as forms and videos!

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

A favorite moment would be how engaged and excited the students are while we are doing the OERB curricula.

Any additional information you want to share with us?

I truly enjoy the OERB curricula and I encourage all my teacher friends to go participate in the workshops and get involved with OERB. OERB is truly a blessing for teachers!

Teacher Feature - Susan Proctor Christian

Susan Proctor Christian is a teacher at Will Rogers Elementary in Shawnee, OK. Not only has she attended a workshop and taught our curriculum, but she has also utilized our field trip and Petro Pro programs for her students. Susan has also been one of our wonderful OERB Master Teachers for over 20 years. Thank you, Susan, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Wetumka and began my teaching career there in 1984 as an all day kindergarten teacher. After six years teaching alongside my own kindergarten teacher, I moved to Enid and taught third grade where I was fortunate enough to teach with one of the coauthors of the first curriculum. Because of this connection, I was asked to be one of 12 from across the state to train to be a master teacher. I believe that was in 1997. And since then, I have helped write and revamp curriculum. I have also coauthored a book for OERB. I moved to Moore in 2011. I was there for seven years, before marrying and moving to Shawnee. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Growing up, I had many teachers that encouraged and supported me. I had issues outside of school that were difficult for a child. And I absolutely loved school. Mrs. Haynes read "Ramona the Pest" to our third grade class, which started my love for literature. Mr. Fain showed me that I could be good at an instrument, and even got me a new one when I got a 1 at solo contest. Mrs. McGee showed me I could sing, act, and lead. Mrs. Absher allowed me to write and encouraged my love of it. These teachers, and several others, made me feel important and smart. They also made me feel I could succeed with hard work and determination. At a time when I could have gone in many directions, they helped me stay on a productive path. I wanted to be this kind of teacher for somebody. 

Where did you attend college?

I attended East Central University in Ada.

How many years have you been teaching?

This is my 35th. 

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

I teach third grade, so I teach them all. 

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

I love to read, write, and travel. I also enjoy crafting. 

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

There are so many. I love that it is teacher friendly, since so many teachers are afraid of science. It is hands-on and easily implemented in a classroom, no matter how much or how little time a teacher may have for science. I love that OERB provides everything a teacher needs. I also like that it is always evolving to meet the standards and teachers' needs. 

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

I would have to say that it is building the oil derrick out of straws, tape, and paper clips. They love being able to design and build. They have never been asked or allowed to, so they feel very empowered. They aren't used to not having a cookie cutter assignment. 

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

I love that I can find everything easily! Having not grown up with technology beyond a clock radio and calculator, it doesn't come easy to me. But I can easily navigate HomeRoom. The "Lab Time with Leo" videos are great! They are short and to the point, but also enjoyed by the children. I don't have to worry about them talking or being disruptive during the videos. The virtual field trips are also great!

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

One of my favorite moments was when I was teaching 6th grade science in Moore. I had a student in my class that wanted to be a class clown and was constantly in trouble. The day we started the oil derricks, I saw him change. We made our groups, assigned jobs, and sketched what we wanted our oil derricks to look like. When we began building, I saw a leader emerge. He kept his group on task, and not in a bossy way. He asked questions and had great suggestions to the group. His group had the best derrick, but more importantly, they put aside petty drama and worked well as a team. And it was because of my "class clown."

Any additional information you want to share with us?

I have four grown children, three sons and a daughter. My career as an educator and a master teacher made it possible for me to still be a mom to them. 

I started my jouney with OERB in 1997, and I thank God every day. I have never seen an organization that treats teachers as professionals like OERB does. I have seen participants in tears because they can't believe they are getting amazing kits for free! 


Teacher Feature - Tammy Coffee

Tammy Coffee is a teacher at the YMCA Child Development Center. Not only has she attended 8 of our education workshops in the last 10 years, but she has also utilized our Petro Pro program for her students. Thank you, Tammy, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

Born in Elk City, Oklahoma, but grew up along the east coast because my father was a career Serviceman (Air Force). My mother being from Louisiana and my father from Oklahoma decided to flip a coin to settle on where he would retire, my father won :)

I finished my junior and senior high school years at Douglass High School. Earned my Bachelor degree from Southern Nazarene University (Family Studies and Gerontology); AA.S Oklahoma State University (Crime Victim Survivor Services); AA.S Rose State College (Early Childhood Education) and last year AS Rose State College (Emergency Management).

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

As you can see I have a love for learning, and wanted to work in a field that would hopefully instill a love of learning early on. 

Where did you attend college?

Rose State; Oklahoma State University; Southern Nazarene University

How many years have you been teaching?

20 years

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

Pre-Kindergarten / Kindergarten blend

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?

Volunteering (Red Cross; OKMRC (Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps); CERT (Grady County Community Emergency Response Team)); and crafts.

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

Petro Pete's Rockin' Rock Hunters and the Petro Pros!

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach?

Petro Pete's Rockin' Rock Hunters

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom?

Video aids

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career?

Since teaching the OERB curriculum, having the children bring me a rock whenever they take a trip, (even to Grandma's house in Norman). I date the rock and write the child's name on it. They will refer back to it whenever they are working in the science area. 

Any additional information you want to share with us?

I am so appreciative for all the OERB does and the continued support of Teachers and the children we would with!


Teacher Feature - Dr. Michael Lewchuk

Dr. Michael Lewchuk is a math teacher at Harding Charter Preparatory High School. He is a geophysicist turned teacher! He is a newly trained OERB trained teacher, and has taken the plunge to become one of our outstanding Master Teachers! Thank you, Michael, for your support of the OERB education programs!

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I am Canadian citizen. I moved to Norman Oklahoma in the Spring of 1999 to do Post-Doctoral work at OU in the field of Geophysics (Paleomagnetic dating of Pb-Zn Ore Deposits). In the Fall of 2003 I took a temporary position at Casady School when they needed an emergency replacement teacher for Earth Science. I fell in love with teaching high school and have been a teacher ever since. I taught for 11 years at Casady, I home schooled one of my children for one year and I am completing my fifth year at Harding. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I never actually did decide to teach. I fell into it by accident and never looked back. It turns out to have been a very fortunate accident! 

Where did you attend college?

Bachlor and Master of Science at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Ph.D. at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

How many years have you been teaching?

Seventeen years.

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

I teach grades 9-12. I currently teach Mathematics, but I have taught several subjects in the sciences as well. 

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies?



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