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LPS Teacher Named Finalist for Teacher of the Year

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LAWTON Okla_ Big news for Lawton Public Schools Tuesday: One of their teachers has been named a finalist for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Dana Moore is a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Hills Elementary School, where she's taught for the past 19 years. Wednesday in Oklahoma City, Moore was one of 12 finalists named out of a pool of over 500. Lawton hasn't had a teacher receive this honor in over ten years.

The announcement was kept a secret until the last moment. 7News was invited to attend the conference Wednesday but was only told there would be a 'big announcement'. Everyone listened closely for the announcement and was surprised along with all of the LPS staff.

Moore was sworn to secrecy. Now that the announcement has been made, she's ready to scream it from the rooftops.

She said it all started with a phone call.

"I get to call 12 individuals, shock them to death and inform them that they are a finalist for State Teacher of the Year," Oklahoma State Superintendent Dr. Janet Barresi said.

"We were actually brainstorming about how we can get pictures to the vision conference, and at that moment, we got a phone call from Dr. Barresi," LPS Superintendent Dr. Tom Deighan said.

Moore said it's just now starting to sink in.

"I'm just honored to represent Lawton in this way," Moore said. "I believe that teachers are servant leaders, and we can serve and lead in many different ways.

"I can't imagine a better spokesperson for our school and our teachers that show the incredible things that are going on in the classroom," Deighan said. "It gives our community a fresh look at Lawton Public Schools. Moore is a true believer in the saying ‘you reap what you sow'. She's a breast cancer survivor and credits her students with giving her the strength to thrive and survive throughout her battle."

"Children are why we are here," Moore said. "We don't go into education for the income but for the outcome."

It's that spirit Dr. Barresi said that makes Moore not just a good teacher, but an outstanding one.

"Every day teachers change children's lives," Barresi said. "Every day, teachers show courage in the work that they do. Every day, they keep coming back with renewed dedication to their students."

Moore's aspirations don't stop at the Teacher of the Year honor, or even helping her students master the required curriculum. She said she has an ultimate goal of writing a book that will help young children deal with cancer, based on her experience with her battle and communicating it to her young students.

The announcement of the 2014 Teacher of the Year winner will be made in September at the Oklahoma State Fair.


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