If anyone is still questioning the state superintendent’s commitment to public education, know that Ryan Walters showed up to personally present the Teacher of the Year award. Nevermind that he was an hour late to the ceremony.

If anyone is still questioning the state superintendent’s commitment to public education, know that Ryan Walters showed up to personally present the Teacher of the Year award. Nevermind that he was an hour late to the ceremony.

Also nevermind that he was obviously unprepared and bumbled his way through his portion of the program in the same way he bumbled his way into the job and through his first three months in office.

Unfortunately, the unprofessionalism of Walters hogged the spotlight once again. Enough of that. Traci Manuel is Oklahoma’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. She’s a 10th grade advanced English II teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. Well, for now.

“I want us as Oklahomans to PUSH our students into excellency. P — Preparing them, making sure that we can move from the bottom of the list to being number one when it comes to United States education. U — I want us to utilize the experts that exist in our classrooms that I stood with on this stage and that are there in the audience. S — I want us to strategically plan to make sure that we are making sure students can go into colleges and careers of their choice and never having a student once again like myself feeling like they cannot achieve for what one person has said. And H — to help to eradicate the equity and equality issues that continue to build the achievement gap in our country,” Manuel said during his acceptance speech.

Hopefully she’ll will stick around our state doing what she does best, but it becomes increasingly likely that she and other talented teachers will be lured away to states where, at the very least, their bosses show up on time and prepared, even if their day’s work consists of systematically destroying the institutions they were hired to run.