Superintendent Sandy Garrett honored at OSU, OU
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Published: 23-Apr-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 23-Apr-2010

State Superintendent Sandy Garrett was both surprised and elated at being honored with two prestigious awards on the same day (Friday, April 23). She was the first-ever “Lifetime Teacher of the Year Award” designee from the Oklahoma State Teachers of the Year Association presented at Oklahoma State University’s College of Education in Stillwater, and the Award of Distinction honoree from the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education in Norman.

The Lifetime Teacher of the Year honor came to Garrett during the 20th Annual Celebration of Teaching luncheon today, which also featured the 2009 National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen, a former New York City police captain-turned-special education teacher from Connecticut, and 2010 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Brian Grimm, Will Rogers High School English teacher from Tulsa. The Celebration of Teaching is sponsored by OSU’s College of Education and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Minority Teacher Recruitment Center.

Governor Brad Henry presented a proclamation to Garrett to make April 23 “Sandy Garrett Day” throughout Oklahoma. Former Teacher of the Year Mike Bynum announced the award after opening a ceremonial envelope, and Garrett was presented a sash, a plaque, a donation to the OKTOY scholarship fund and other gifts. 

The Council of Chief State School Officers, chief national sponsor of the Teacher of the Year competition, also honored Garrett for her 20 years of service as Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Betsy Mabry, current member of the State Board of Education, and 1993 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, presented the award.

Sherry Morgan, 1980 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, was primary organizer of the luncheon event. She commented, “Superintendent Garrett has made teachers and students proud to be from Oklahoma. She is one of us and our greatest advocate. We respect the job that Sandy Garrett has done; we admire her tenacity to make Oklahoma schools better; and we like her. 

“Implementing a state curriculum and accountability system were only a start for her as state superintendent. The challenges of establishing a nationally recognized Pre-K program and bringing technology to the classroom did not slow her down. Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year recognition and rewards are the tops in the nation. Sandy Garrett is still a classroom teacher at heart, and now, the Lifetime Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.”

In 2009, Garrett was presented with the third annual Vision Award also by the state Teachers of the Year Association and the OSU College of Education. This year’s honoree is Oklahoma First Lady Kim Henry. 

Later Friday evening at the University of Oklahoma College of Education in Norman, Superintendent Garrett received the 2010 Award of Distinction at the Annual Celebration of Education in Oklahoma by Dean Joan Smith.

University of Oklahoma President, David Boren and Oklahoma First Lady Kim Henry provided congratulatory messages for Garrett. Other awards were also presented to educators and supporters of education. In addition, Garrett delivered the evening’s keynote address.

Past honorees include: current and former Oklahoma First Ladies Kim Henry and Donna Nigh, Lee Roy Selmon and David Boren.

“Sandy Garrett has been one of Oklahoma’s most dedicated public servants. Her 20 years as Superintendent of Public Instruction is a testament to her dedication to improving the lives of all Oklahomans, especially the youngest of Oklahoma’s children,” said Joan Smith, dean of the University of Oklahoma, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. “She has devoted her life to the cause of education and has worked at all levels to continually improve classroom instruction in our state.”

Garrett said she was honored to accept both awards in front of so many of her colleagues, distinguished guests and prospective teachers at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.

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