OMLEA Announces Middle-Level Educator of the Year Award

February 24, 2023

OMLEA Announces Middle-Level Educator of the Year Award

At its annual conference on February 9, 2023, at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center,
Edmond, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Association of Middle Level Education announced its
OMLEA Educator of the Year as Mr. Michael Nelson, Bixby 9th Grade Center. Mr. Nelson’s
nominee called him a “phenomenal” educator who serves as a teacher and a coach and has a
“whatever it takes” attitude in everything that he does.

His nominee continued: “Mr. Nelson’s dedication in the classroom, and on/off the field, is
something that also stands out. He has a way of cultivating relationships with students, especially those who may be some of our harder to reach students, as he wants everyone to feel valued. Through his role as a Special Education teacher, he is also someone who works very closely with a wide range of stakeholders, and he maintains a strong and open line of communication with all parties, to make sure that his students are being served in the best way possible. As educators, every now and then, we have our rough days; however, with this teacher, he ‘always’ has a positive attitude and carries himself with a strong sense of enthusiasm that demonstrates that he is ready to conquer the day and whatever is coming his way. His service is recognized by students, teachers, and parents alike.”

The mission of OMLEA is to improve the educational experiences of young adolescents by
providing vision, knowledge, and resources to all who serve them in order to develop healthy,
productive and ethical citizens. 

This is the fifth year OMLEA is recognizing an outstanding middle level educator of the year.
This award is for educators certified in any position working with 5th-9th grade students.

Nominations were sent in from members across the state, with applications reviewed by our
selection committee. Five educators will recognized as finalists with one educator being honored as an OMLEA Educator of the Year.

To be nominated for the OMLEA Educator of the Year, several considerations are given
  •  A strong sense of values, integrity and professional ethics.
  •  The ability to learn and experiment with new ideas in order to expand their professional
  • knowledge base.
  •  Strong interpersonal skills with students, parents, colleagues, and administration.
  •  Understanding and execution and best practices.
  •  Strong communication skills.
  •  Energy, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, & dependability.
This year’s finalists included five outstanding educators:
  •  From Waller Middle School, 6-8 Grade Math Teacher, Amanda Buckminster
  •  From Frederick Middle School, 6-8 Grade Math Teacher, Candi Gibson 
  •  From Bixby 9th Grade Center, Special Education Teacher, Michael Nelson
  •  From Bixby 9th Grade Center, Language Arts Teacher, Patty Nolan
  •  From Bixby Intermediate, 6th Grade Teacher, Zach Roberts

Each finalist was given a certificate of appreciation. Mr. Nelson was congratulated with an award on stage.