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Lawton Public Schools honors teachers

LAWTON, Okla._Lawton Public Schools honored the teachers who go above and beyond to make a difference in their students' lives.

During Tuesday's annual "Celebration," ten teachers were recognized as "Champions for Children." Also named was Katy Simpson as Rookie Teacher of the Year and Donna Cook was awarded the most prestigious title of the evening as Lawton Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Both the “Champions for Children” recipient and the Teacher of the Year said their jobs as educators goes well beyond what they teach in textbooks. They said, like many of their fellow educators, they hope their students take away life lessons.

Donna Cook, a math teacher at Eisenhower Middle, had a special word to describe how she felt about being named LPS Teacher of the Year.

"Fantablaricific, that's what I tell my kids every day,” Cook said.

Cook said she believes teaching should be a more valued profession.

"I truly, honestly love what I do. I get a smile on my face every morning as I go in," she said.

She says she tells her students it's easy to complain and find all the problems in the world.

"But to be a ‘soulutioneer' is to sit back and say how can I fix this and think outside the box," she explained.

She said she wants each of her students to leave her class knowing that they can do anything.

"I can, and I will is the statement my students have to say everyday," she said.

Calvin Prince, the Brockland Elementary principal, is one of the ten "Champions for Children." He says every morning his students start their day off with "Badger Beginning" where they talk about character.

"What do you do when no one is around? When your parents aren't around, when your teacher's not around? Are you going to do the right thing?" Prince said.

Prince said it his job to try to get his students to understand how to make a difference in people's lives.

"Try to show them how to do things that are right how to be responsible, try to help other people," he said.

Cook has made it her platform as teacher of the year to get teaching the recognition she says it deserves.

"Teachers work hard, we don't leave at three, were not absent on weekends and summers, that we do work year round to make sure that the students of LPS have the futures they deserve," Cook said.

Both Prince and Cook were appreciative of their honors this evening and felt like their jobs as educators is more than just teaching students how to pass, that school is also where love is shared, and life lessons are taught.

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