-- District Teacher of the Year
Mackey has been teaching band for 19 years. He is in his 3rd
year as Director of Bands at Collinsville Public Schools, where
he teaches the High School Band, 6th Grade Trombone, 6th Grade Clarinet,
and the High School Jazz Ensemble.
He has previously taught at Pawnee, Ponca City, Berryhill, and Union
Public Schools, where he was the 7th grade band coordinator as well
as Director of the Jazz Program. Under his leadership at Union,
the Jazz Program went from one jazz ensemble to four full ensembles
in the span of six years.
Rod is a graduate of Coweta High School, where he was in band, jazz
ensemble, and was the drum major. He attended West Texas State University
in Canyon, Texas and the University of Tulsa, where he received
his Bachelors in Music Education in 1994.
He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Si, Oklahoma
Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, and
Oklahoma Jazz Educators.
He was named Jazz Educator of the Year for the State of Oklahoma
in 2010. He was recently awarded the Certificate of Apizziation
by Hideaway Pizza for his contributions in the bandroom and was
also named as the News on 6 Most Impactful Teacher for
the month of November. He has served as the President of the Oklahoma
Jazz Educators and as the High School Band Chairperson for North
Central Band Directors Association.
His Jazz Ensemble I at Union was selected as an Oklahoma Music Educators
Association Honor Band in 2012. His band at Berryhill traveled to
the State Capital Building in Oklahoma City and was formally Cited
for their Hard Work and Commitment to Excellence
during the 2006 marching season. Under his direction, his marching
bands have received four State Marching Titles and three Grand Champion
Titles. His Jazz Ensembles have received three State Jazz Titles.
He has been a part of two Bands of America Grand National Finals
performances. However, out of all of these accomplishments, the
one he is most proud of, is the 2006 Berryhill Band. They were named
the 2006 Owasso Marching Invitational Grand Champion. This was significant
in that a 60 piece band defeated all of the larger 6A bands who
attended that day. His band at Collinsville recently won all of
the captions and was named the 1A Class Champion, at Bands of America
Super Regional in St. Louis, Missouri.
He has learned many values from being in band through the years.
He has a tremendous love for music and instruments. His favorite
teacher was Avian Bear of Coweta High School. She was the Assistant
Band Director and the Jazz Ensemble Director. Miss Bear seemed to
always drive him to achieve at a high level in his personal, as
well as musical life. She had a big influence over him with her
infectious attitude and upbeat personality. She always seemed to
have the best interest of her students at heart.
There were several other role models that provided inspiration to
Rod becoming a teacher. Among those were his saxophone instructor,
Don LeFevre of West Texas University, his band director at the University
of Tulsa, Ken Grass. Mr. LeFevre was a terrific performer on the
saxophone and was very demanding. Rod recalls many, many hours practicing
the fundamentals of music because he knew what the expectations
were. Professor Grass was a great teacher in all areas and was an
exceptional marching band teacher. He was very passionate about
marching band and instilled those qualities in his students. Rod
was very fortunate to have served at his Drum Major while at TU.
Rod currently resides with his wife, Lori, and his daughter Sheridan
am a firm believer that one does not necessarily choose to be a
teacher. I believe that teaching chooses the individual. While some
people choose to merely stay within the confines of a book where
they are comfortable, true teachers take you on an adventure, leading
you down paths where others dare not go. As I reflect on those that
have had the greatest impact on my life, I tend to see a number
of individuals that have danced on the outside of rules and marched
to the beat of distant drums, not to be seen as troublemakers or
instigators, but rather thinkers and creators. It is with those
individuals that I learned to thrive.
As the baby of eight, one might guess you had to develop a niche
for survival. My parents were the first to help me develop that
niche. They fed my creativity and encouraged me to be a thinker
and a problem solver, never allowing me to play the Im
the baby card. However, you only need to look at my parents
and siblings for great examples of intelligence, creativity, persistence,
and integrity. It could be said that each of my siblings were teachers
at some level. I have three sisters who blazed the earlier path
as public school teachers with the other four siblings having taught
the likes of oil painting, drafting and defensive driving for the
Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Each one achieving great success in their
areas. They challenged me daily to be a better person.
After graduating from Owasso High School in 1982, I set out to attend
Northern Oklahoma Jr. College and become a member of the Lady Mavericks
basketball team. I excelled in the competitiveness of college athletics
learning many great lessons from life as a college athlete. I received
my Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education while attending Southeastern
Oklahoma State University and soon embarked on my current adventure
of becoming a classroom teacher. Although my journey spans almost
twenty-seven years, it truly feels like it began only yesterday.
My adventures in teaching have taken me many places and allowed
me to wear many hats. I have taught 6th through 12th grade students
in many branches of science ranging from general science as 6th
and 7th graders, SOOD (School Out of Doors) Coordinator for a private
school, Biology, Physical Science and Alternative school for all
ages. Not only have I filled an academic role, but I have filled
many coaching positions and have sponsored many clubs, as well.
My coaching responsibilities have included fastpitch and slowpitch
softball, basketball coach for both boys and girls at the middle
school level, head basketball coach at the high school level, as
well as, a track and field coach. I have been a sponsor for Student
Council, Environmental Science Club and for the first chapter of
the Collinsville Venturers of the Boy Scouts of America.
I look at professional development opportunities as ways to continue
sharpening my skills as a teacher. I have had the privilege to have
been chosen to attend the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry New York
to hone my teaching skills with other teachers from around the world.
I was also chosen by the US Naval Academy to attend a week long
STEM workshop in Annapolis, Maryland, again networking with other
teachers, engineers and others learning how to implement STEM into
our curriculum. As one can see, I tend to go where needed. While
always remaining flexible, I have been encouraged to step out of
my comfort zone many times and march to distant drums to achieve
something for the greater good of my students. It has been during
these times that I have had the honor and privilege to have crossed
the paths of many great teachers and students along the way. Some
have touched me in positive ways, as well as, negative ways; nonetheless,I
have learned something from each of them.
I have had the honor of raising two children who are wonderful bright
individuals and who have become my best friends, just as my mother
was to me. Each of my children have blessed me in so many ways.
My daughter, Kaitlyn, works for Advanced Research Chemicals while
my son, Hayden, is an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman. When teaching
has become challenging for whatever the reason, my kids have dusted
me off, wiped my tears , lifted me back on my feet while reminding
me YOU are a TEACHER. You have ALWAYS been a teacher. Look
at the lives that you have touched and continue to touch.
This would give me enough confidence and strength to put me back
on course. For that, I am and will always be grateful to them.
In reflection, I can honestly say, I am blessed beyond measure.
I have been entrusted with helping children find their voice and
help them light the path for the next stage of their journey. It
is those students, past and present, as well as, countless other
children who have crossed the threshold of my classroom that have
made their mark on my heart. It truly warms my soul to cross their
path again; listen to their stories of triumphs, their successes,
and hear them say that I played a part in their journey. Each one
of them has brought me great joy, given me unrelenting support,
and have been the foundations of friendships that I never knew could
exist twenty years later. I believe I was chosen to be a teacher.
I have been blessed.
name is Julie Beeson, and I currently teach English/Language
Arts at Wilson 6th Grade Center. I grew up in Owasso and attended
Owasso Public Schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. After
graduating high school, I attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M,
Tulsa Community College, Rogers State University, and then Southwestern
Oklahoma State University, where I graduated with honors and received
my Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
I was not sure exactly what career I wanted to pursue when I entered
college. I was at a loss as to what I wanted to major in and changed
my major several times. I had not considered pursuing a career in
education until a close childhood friend, who was majoring in elementary
education, suggested that I try some of the courses she had taken.
I knew within the first few weeks of my first education courses
that I wanted to be a teacher. I fell in love with education and
have loved it ever since.
As an educator, I aim to make contributions that benefit both students
and educators. I have always strived to make improvements in the
classroom and the education system. I have long been a part of the
fight for student and teacher funding and an advocate for students
in helping to relieve the strict testing requirements at the state
level. Being a part of the grassroots movement to decrease or eliminate
EOI testing is one of my biggest accomplishments. Another achievement
at the state level was being at the forefront of having a Reading
Proficiency Team implemented with the Reading Sufficiency Act. By
providing a team, third grade students have teachers and parents
as their voice instead of basing retention strictly on a standardized
At the local level, I am currently in my fifth year as the Collinsville
Education Association president and as a member of the certified
teacher contract negotiations team. Being in both of these positions
allows me to see education from many different perspectives. It
has helped me to become more aware of what is important to administrators,
teachers, and students.
My passion is to engage my students, to help them to be more independent,
and to give them the opportunity to experience a wide array of ways
to learn and read. My philosophy is to give the students a voice
in the classroom and let their voice help to set the groundwork
for how I present instruction. As a teacher, I dont just make
adjustments at the end of each year, I make adjustments daily. If
something is not working, then I switch gears, think on my feet,
and try something else. I reevaluate and come up with a new plan
for tomorrow. Nothing is written in stone. We have to be flexible.
I believe that a good educator meets each child at their individual
learning level and tries to help every student feel successful.
I know my efforts are worth it when past students come back and
tell me that they remember my classroom. One memory that holds a
special place in my heart happened when I was teaching eighth grade
reading remediation at Collinsville Middle School. We were reading
the first novel in a series. One boy came to tell me that he had
asked his dad to buy him the rest of the series because he was so
excited to read all the books. The boy said his dad asked him if
he was crazy. When I asked the student why would his dad think he
was crazy, he replied, I have never asked anyone to buy me
a book before. As an educator, giving students choices and
opportunities helps them to know there are many possibilities, not
only for their future, but for each and every day.
Cardinals, fight, fight, fight!! My eyes have always been on being
a Collinsville Cardinal. From the time I started kindergarten in
Mrs. Stephens morning class and learned the school fight song
to the day I graduated from Collinsville High School, I knew that
I would ALWAYS be a proud cardinal.
My path to become a teacher is not the feel good story of knowing
ever since I was a young child. But, my journey to becoming
an educator is what drives me to be the best teacher for every kid
that enters the doors of my classroom. From kindergarten all the
way through high school I was intrinsically motivated to be the
best student in every single class. If nothing else, it was because
I was extremely competitive and stubborn, but I also loved learning.
I had aspirations to become a pediatric doctor, maybe even an oncologist,
after witnessing the fight my brother put up against Leukemia. Upon,
graduating as valedictorian in 2005, I attended Northeastern State
University on a scholarship and majored in pre-med. I married the
love of my life in 2007 and we started a family which made me consider
whether I wanted to sacrifice time with them to become that doctor
or maybe I should search for something else.
Growing up I could never introduce myself to people in town without
getting at least one story of my how my grandmother was the best
math teacher around. She would put the fear of God in you but she
also made you feel confident solving any Algebra problem that was
thrown at you. Now, as a new mom I was witnessing all the growth
and development of a child first-hand. I yearned to be a part of
that in other childrens lives. After prayerful consideration,
I started that next fall in the education program in Broken Arrow.
I graduated in 2010 with a bachelors in elementary education and
a certification in early childhood education. My career started
in Broken Arrow teaching first grade, however, I knew in my heart
that I wanted to teach the kids in Collinsville, Oklahoma. I wanted
to see my students play sports, participate in colorguard, use their
talents in band, and graduate ready to become a contributing part
of the world. Building relationships with current and future generations,
praying I have a hand in their daily successes, was and still is
a driving factor for my decision to teach children.
As a teacher it is my desire to first create a climate of mutual
respect and build relationships with each and every student. To
achieve this I spend lots of time investing in conversations with
children of all classes, not just my homeroom. It is not uncommon
to find me having lunch with the kids in the cafeteria or playing
Gotcha on the playground during recess. When it comes to teaching
academic content, my philosophy is to create meaningful learning
experiences for my students and to be in constant reflection of
my methods and approaches. I spend countless hours reading literature
and blogs that pertain to my grade level and subject areas researching
teaching methods and ideas to keep my students engaged. I am also
convicted that using data-driven instruction can provide amazing
results and growth in all students. When I couple these engaging
learning experiences with my ability to create authentic relationships,
I see success and growth, even with some of those students who are
harder to reach.
My contributions to education are nothing out of the ordinary in
my opinion. I strive daily to be a positive influence on not only
the kids in my class, but the kids in the building and the kids
who will or already have passed though the CUE. Anytime I find strategies
that work in my classroom for academic or behavioral success I offer
to share them with anyone who will listen to me ramble. My heart
truly is aimed at using my passion and talents to impact student
and family lives right here in my hometown. I will also do whatever
it takes to represent to our community and those around the state
that public education is important. Funding it is imperative. Being
involved in and seeing the fruits of it is illuminating. Bottom
line is, I love teaching, I love kids, and I love teaching kids.
Being an educator
is a calling. I can still remember the first time that I met Mrs.
Jones. She was my Fathers First Grade teacher as well as mine.
I was a little scared of her at first. Her demeaner, height, and
tone let you know very quickly that you were entering her world.
The trepidation that I felt was quickly turned into excitement once
I entered Mrs. Jones classroom. I entered a world that year
that felt as though it had no limitation. I was able lose myself
into a world that was exciting, dangerous, uplifting, dramatic,
and wholesome. I entered the world of reading. My love for reading
began here and this love has propelled me throughout my professional
life. The passion that I felt that first day in class, embodies
the passion I feel every day before the bell rings. The possibilities
are endless and I hope to serve as a vessel for those willing to
enter this world.
I have always loved children. From a young age, I was routinely
interested in working with kids and opening their hearts to the
world of reading. The ability to share this passion is what drives
me daily and what challenges me before every lesson planning session.
Being able to expand a students mind and make them cognitively
believe in the endlessness of their potential is a fundamental reason
for my love of this profession. Molding the minds of tomorrow while
welcoming the past is the delicate dance that those who love reading
have the pleasure of enjoying. Realizing that no limitation is placed
on my students warms my heart. Days in which I am successful are
moments in which I feel like Mrs. Jones.
Although education is not a profession in which personal pursuits
and accolades are paramount for continued passion, I have been fortunate
enough to involve myself in pursuits and programs designed to bring
out the best within an educator. Securing my Masters in Reading
was a pivotal step along my professional journey. The desire to
further impact learners through reading was the motivation behind
this personal journey. I wanted to understand why knowledge foundations
are paramount and consequently how to ensure that these foundations
are built upon strong footings. Being able to continually dive into
the cognitive theory attachment to reading ability and mastery has
allowed me to design curriculum that focuses on both the intent
and ability of the learner. Having a foundation in which to lean
upon has allowed me to expand my methodology in relation to reading
Continuing along this pathway of lifelong learning has also allowed
me to attend the Educators Leadership Academys Redefining
Leadership Experience in which I was able to correlate educational
theory with executive development. Being able to learn from the
tenets which mold our corporate and private sectors leaders allowed
for carry over into the world of education. I could see the common
denominator that successful people share. They all have a love for
reading! The same conclusion that I reached in first grade was solidified
through this immersive learning experience.
My love for reading has continually pushed me towards sharpening
my own educational paradigm. I have constantly sought out programs,
such as Literacy First, in which I could mold my love for reading
into groundbreaking educational theory based on learning styles.
Being able to draw from the vast litany of resources that a program
such as Literacy First has at its disposal only makes me better
as an educator. It allows me to draw more children into the amazing
world of reading. Any vessel in which I can attach myself to that
allows children to see beyond their current state is worthy of both
my time and attendance.
My love for my students, coupled with a passion for reading have
allowed me to be nominated three consecutive years for Teacher of
the Year at my building. Each nomination was welcomed by myself,
my family, and my students. Although two nominations ended without
selection, I was confident that my peers recognized my passion.
The greatest accomplishment that you can have as an educator is
when those around you trust you with their children. They know that
you will constantly push yourself so that others can receive the
greatest gift we can give to our students. The gift that Mrs. Jones
was kind enough to entrust to me.
I was like most little girls. I looked up to my teachers and wanted
to be just like them. I went home and played teacher with my baby
dolls, friends, and any other willing participant. When I outgrew
that stage, the idea of becoming a teacher just stuck. I grew
up always saying I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. When
it was time to choose a college degree, there was no question
about what it would be. While going through college, I worked
at a hometown daycare. I worked there for couple of years during
college until I had an opportunity to take a job at a bigger childcare
facility in Tulsa. After working in childcare for a couple of
years, I knew education was exactly where I needed and wanted
to be. After graduation, I began looking for teaching jobs in
the area. I was offered a job at Tulsa Public, but turned it down
because I had just found out I was expecting. I decided to substitute
for a few districts and landed a long-term job at Wilson. The
next year, there was an opening at the ECC and I was hired and
have been here since.
school, I had amazing teachers. All of them were unique, but each
were very special. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Meeks, was so
kind and understanding. While I was in her class, my Grandma passed
away. She knew my grandma because she worked at the school before
she became sick. One day, not long after my grandma had passed,
I got a grade on a paper that I knew my mom would not approve
of. Before taking it home, I left a little note on the top of
my paper that said, I miss my grandma, in hopes that
my mom wouldnt punish me. My mom was not impressed, but
Mrs. Meeks was so sweet to comfort me and be so understanding.
When I began high school, I had two coaches and two teachers that
I admired. Mr. Earp and Mr. Meeks were my FFA teachers and they
were always so helpful. They pushed me to do and be my best, whether
it was in the shop welding, in the classroom, or with my show
animals. They always set aside time for any student that needed
extra help. Coach Dillman and Coach Wills were my basketball coaches.
I always felt like they were so hard on me, but looking back,
Im so glad they were. They were hard on me because they
believed in me and wanted the best for me. I improved so much
because of them.
that having teachers like I had are what influence my philosophy.
I strive to be a caring, understanding teacher, all while pushing
the child to be their best. Each child can learn, and will learn,
with love, understanding, and encouragement. All children have
many different needs and my goal each year is to meet each of
them. I feel a great sense of accomplishment at the end of each
year when I look back and see the progress each child has made.
I believe that my eagerness to try new things and change frequently
(if needed) is what makes me a successful teacher. Times are changing
and I believe teachers have to change to accommodate the needs
of the children. I have noticed over the past few years that my
students need more opportunities to move around; that is why I
use flexible seating in my classroom. It provides those students
who need to move about with an opportunity to do so, without actually
moving around the room.
All of these things, in addition to having an amazing team to
work with, are why I am able to be a successful teacher. If it
werent for the support of past teachers and coaches,and
my team, I wouldnt be where I am today.