By Patty Miller
CNHI News Service
Peter L. Markes, an eighth- through 12th-grade string orchestra and advanced placement music theory teacher from Edmond North High School was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi during Tuesday’s ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair.
Markes has 12 years of teaching experience, 11 in his current position and one year of service with Enid Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree of music in Education, with an emphasis on instrumental music from Oklahoma City University. He was chosen from a field of 12 finalist educators to represent the teachers of Oklahoma as the 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
He will serve as Oklahoma’s “Ambassador of Teaching” presenting to teachers and civic groups throughout the state for one year.
“Mr. Markes’ passion for teaching and instilling confidence in his students as well as his ability to interweave the more rigorous Oklahoma Academic Standards into his classroom work epitomizes what we strive for in every effective teacher,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi.
“Choosing between 12 qualified and excellent teachers is almost impossible. Each of our finalists represents the best in Oklahoma education.
“They instill hope that our children will indeed graduate from their schools ready for college, career, citizenship and anything life may bring their way.”
Committees comprised of teachers, parents and community members selected the 12 finalists two from each of the six regions in the state.
A state committee comprised of education business and civic leaders chose the winner.
The state-level competition included individual and group interviews, a written portfolio and personal videos showcasing each finalist’s teaching strategies.
“The irony of receiving this award,” Markes said in an emotion-filled voice, “is that I have to leave the students I love working with for a whole year.”
Edmond Superintendent David Goin said he is elated that Peter’s outstanding qualities have been validated at the state level.
“While his absence from the classroom at Edmond North will be difficult, we are pleased to support his important role as the state’s most honored educator,” Goin said. “Peter’s professionalism and tremendous communication abilities will advance respect and appreciation for the cause of public education in our state and beyond.”