TPS announces 2016 Teacher of the Year

Posted at 1:28 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 19:44:51-04

TULSA – Students and staff congratulated this year’s Teacher of the Year at a surprise assembly.

Tulsa Public Schools announced Cooper Elementary physical education teacher Robert Kaiser at the 2016 Teacher of the Year.

“Mr. Kaiser is deeply committed to helping his students achieve the greatest successes,” Superintendent Deborah Gist said. “He wears many hats at Cooper. He is not only the physical education teacher; he is also a basketball coach, an advocate for students with multiple disabilities, a student club leader, an after-school tutor and yearbook designer. He also supports his fellow teachers by leading professional development workshops and working as a faculty advisor for beginning teachers. I am so proud to name Robert Kaiser as the Tulsa Public Schools 2016 Teacher of the Year.

Earlier in the day, Lindbergh Elementary announced that its teacher assistant Melinda Taylor as the 2016 Support Employee of the Year.

Kaiser and Taylor were selected out of five finalists for their awards. The 2016 Teacher of the Year finalists were:

•         Elyse Smith, math teacher at Mayo Demonstration School
•         Kristina Vassella, drama teacher at Hale High School
•         Elizabeth Wattoff, math teacher at Will Rogers College Junior High School
•         Merrie Wolf, math teacher at Memorial High School

The 2016 Support Employee of the Year finalists were:

•         Kerri Biggs, paraprofessional at Thoreau Demonstration Academy
•         Vicki Campbell, special facilities principal’s secretary
•         Lela Clayton, parent involvement facilitator at Remington Elementary School
•         Gerald Cook, preventative maintenance craftsperson for the facilities department: