LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-A long-time educator from Lawton will soon be inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Educators Hall of Fame.
Dr. Anquanita Kaigler-Love was part of the Lawton Public School District for nearly 40 years.She started out in 1974 as a fifth-grade teacher at Carriage Hills Elementary. She then worked her way up to many other roles at various Lawton schools as as assistant principal, principal and ultimately, the district's Executive Director of Federal programs, before retiring three years ago.
"It's very difficult to even talk about it because I get so emotional just thinking, oh my gosh I'm going to be in the Hall of Fame forever... that's something," said Dr. Anquanita Kaigler- Love, Educator being inducted into HOF.
She says being a teacher and making a difference is something she knew she wanted to do her whole life.
"My sisters and I always played school and I decided very very early that I was going to be a teacher. I think a lot of little girls bring home papers and act like they're teachers, that was one of the things I always pretended," said Kaigler- Love.
Dr. Kaigler- Love graduated from Eisenhower high school and then pursued her education degree at Cameron. she got her first job as a fifth grade teacher at Carriage Hills Elementary. Dr. Kaigler-Love says she's proud to be in the same category as people like last year's inductee, Valree Fletcher Wynn, Cameron University's first African American faculty member. She says the people in the OAAE Hall of Fame have accomplished so much in education, that it's hard to believe she's on that list.
"I was so overwhelmed and humbled by the fact that I would be among people who have made such a significant difference in education, not only in Oklahoma, but I'm sure that the children that we educate impact the world," said Kaigler- Love.
Dr. Kaigler-Love says if she has any advice for current teachers or anyone thinking of becoming an educator, she says to remember the time when you were a student and to put that into perspective as to what your students need. She says her magic formula was...
"The relationships I had with my students. I think it was a time when you cared about what the child ate and it was important for the academics, but it was also important to understand we have other lives and sometimes they interfere with learning," said Kaigler- Love.
After 38 years in the profession in Southwest Oklahoma, she says the most rewarding thing is seeing her students succeed and knowing she played a small part in their story.
"I see the students that I worked with and they're in positions where they are either teachers or doctors or whatever it is that they have chosen to do, but it's always awesome to hear them say, 'you made a difference, you influenced me', so I enjoy that part of it more than anything," said Kaigler- Love.
Dr. Kaigler-Love retired from teaching three years ago and spends a lot of her time working as a guest speaker, volunteering at her church, the YMCA and other organizations.
The induction ceremony honoring her and 9 other teachers across the state, will be September 30th in Oklahoma City at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $60 each to attend the event.