Lawton, OK - The Teaching & Leading Initiative of Oklahoma (TLI) is honoring two Lawton Public Schools teachers who are setting the pace for excellent teaching and making Oklahoma’s future look bright.
Brandon DeLoach and Robert West are among the 20 novice teachers across the state to receive TLI’s 20 Under 2 Novice Teaching Award. The award was created to recognize the talent and dedication of Oklahoma’s newest teachers amidst a challenging landscape.
DeLoach is a first-year math teacher at Central Middle School. DeLoach says that he is constantly motivated by his students and is proud of the relationships he has built with them this year.
“Mr. DeLoach looks forward to collaborating with others,” said Central Middle School principal Jerrold Jones. “He enjoys collaborating and discussing teaching strategies, planning with purpose, and using data to drive instruction. In short, he always searches for opportunities to improve.”
The lessons DeLoach has learned though, go far beyond building relationships.
“I have learned that teaching requires a lot of planning and technology,” said DeLoach.
West is a Western World Geography teacher at Eisenhower Middle School, but has been with Lawton Public Schools for nearly a decade as a custodian. The job allowed him to get a behind-the-scenes look at the teaching profession, which prompted him to pursue his calling, go to Cameron University, and become a teacher.
“What I love the most about my job is that I have learned to form relationships with my students in order to create the best learning environment that I can possibly create,” West said. “I still reflect on that first "lightbulb moment" when setting up my classroom every day, greeting my students at the door, and conversing with coworkers.”
DeLoach and West will receive a gift box that includes a custom 20 Under 2 plaque, a gift card to Magic City Books and a custom notebook.
The full honoree list includes the following:
Ambre Jackson, Greenwood Leadership Academy Charter Schools
Arely Tarango, Oklahoma City Public Schools
*Brandon DeLoach, Lawton Public Schools
Jaycee Ardrey, Stillwater Public Schools
Jazlyn Marcos, Oklahoma City Public Schools
Joshua T. Hawkins, Tulsa Public Schools
Kyla Barkley, Oklahoma City Public Schools
Laura Martin, Chickasha Public Schools
Lizzette Rincon, Santa Fe South Charter Schools
Maddison Cook, Minco Public Schools
Melissa Ritchie, Midwest City-Del City Public Schools
Michelle Baker, Glenpool Public Schools
Mireya Espinoza-Santos, Dove Schools Of Okc
*Robert West, Lawton Public Schools
Shekinah "Mikalah" Hall, Tulsa Public Schools
Shelby Rhatigan, Grove Public Schools
Stephanie Rice, Stuart Public Schools
Sydney Hutchison, Dale Public Schools
Tahquai-Alyce Mason, Collegiate Hall Charter Schools
Whitney Brimat, Kipp Tulsa