03/31/2021 – Danielle Petty, an English teacher at Ram Academy, was named the 2021 Owasso Public Schools Teacher of the Year on Tuesday night during a ceremony at the Mary G – lass Performing Arts Center. Petty was selected from a group of 15 OPS site Teachers of the Year by a committee of 30 OPS educators throughout the district.
“To be named Teacher of the Year means that I have the support of my colleagues, my peers and my students,” Petty said. “I like the joy that my students bring to me. I love learning from my students. Students are grumpy sometimes, but I’ll get the smiles out of them. I’ll get the engagement out of them and I love that.”
Petty began her teaching career in Catoosa before accepting a position at Ram Academy prior to the 2017-18 school year. During her four years in Owasso, Petty has worked extensively to cultivate a culture of encouragement, growth and acceptance in her classroom. She strives to show her students how to persevere through a multi-stepped thought process which can be applied throughout their lives. While Petty understands that students may never analyze another poem after leaving her classroom, they will at some point need to look for a deeper meaning, be able to read between the lines and will without a doubt need to think and form their own opinions with valid reasoning for why they think they way they do.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Petty has been instrumental in the development of a “Boy’s Group” and “Girl’s Group” mentor program at Ram Academy. Through the Girl’s Group, Petty has planned activities and arranged for guest speakers to help encourage students to not give up on themselves or their education.
Petty also has worked to be a resource for her fellow OPS educators, volunteering her time and efforts to the Owasso Education Foundation. Through OEF, Petty supports and encourages teachers to write grants and explore ways that they can add to their class instruction.
“Tonight was really special, looking across this room and realizing these teachers have given their all this year,” OPS Superintendent Dr. Amy Fichtner said. “Mrs. Petty has this hunger to serve the individual needs of students and I think it’s quite evident to everyone who listens to her tell her story. We say often in Owasso Public Schools that every child has a story. I think Mrs. Petty, in her soul, values that story of the individual child. As she seeks the best for them, she studies them and gives her best as a teacher to make sure that they maximize their potential. She truly honors the story of each child and that is a gift that a teacher brings to a classroom that children will unwrap for the rest of their lives.”
Petty will complete the application process to be considered for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year over the next several weeks. She is the first OPS District Teacher of the Year from Ram Academy.