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Sexson receives Kurt Schmoldt Teacher Appreciation Award

posted Feb 27, 2019, 9:40 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Feb 27, 2019, 9:53 AM ]
Leslie Sexson

Leslie Sexson
, the College and Career Counselor at Bartlesville High School, has received the 2019 Kurt Schmoldt Teacher Appreciation Award, which recognizes a teacher who has made a significant difference in the lives of students. The senior internship program at BHS is among her various duties. Hans Karl Schmoldt initiated the award in 1996 in memory of his brother, Kurt. As this year's winner, Ms. Sexson received a certificate of recognition and a $1,000 cash award from the Hans Karl Schmoldt family.

The award was presented as part of the 2019 Teacher of the Year Celebration organized by the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation and the district PIC Committee.

Eliot Smith

Eliot Smith, the Assistant Principal of the Freshman Academy at Bartlesville High School, was recognized as the State Assistant Principal of the Year. Supt. Chuck McCauley presented him with a drive-in speaker that was retrofitted into a Bluetooth speaker by Jane Phillips Elementary School Counselor Josh Waddell.

Cheryl Fentress

Each of the nine candidates for Bartlesville Public School District's 2018 Teacher of the Year honor was introduced by one of their current or former students. Bartlesville High School Teacher of the Year Cheryl Fentress was introduced by Audrie Rothman.

Randall Jones

Randall Jones was honored at the event as the BHS Rising Star Teacher. Ms. Fentress and BHS Rising Star Teacher Randall Jones had earlier walked the red carpet into the event.
Red Carpet Treatment
The district-level honors announced on Tuesday evening, February 26, 2019, were:

  • 2019 District Teacher of the Year: Courtney Gagan, 7th Grade English Teacher, Madison Middle School

  • 2019 Kurt Schmoldt Teacher Appreciation Award: Leslie Sexson, College & Career Counselor, Bartlesville High School

  • 2019 Rising Star Teacher: Alexis Lewis, 1st Grade Teacher, Ranch Heights Elementary School

  • 2019 Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year: Hannah Knight, Speech Pathologist, Ranch Heights Elementary School

  • 2019 Secondary Rookie Teacher of the Year: Adam Hollon, 6th Grade Western Hemisphere Geography Teacher, Central Middle School

  • Bartlesville Education Association Friend of Education Award: Community-Wide Steering Committee

As district teacher of the year, Ms. Gagan received a $2,500 cash award from the Schmoldt Family Foundation for Education. She also received two free round-trip airline tickets via the 11th Annual Chuck Spears Memorial Teacher of the Year Travel Award, presented by Gary Spears of Spears Travel.

Alexis Lewis, a 1st Grade Math teacher at Ranch Heights Elementary School, was named the district's Rising Star Teacher for 2019. That award recognizes a teacher new to the profession who has exemplified excellence in their entry years of teaching.  The Schmoldt Family Foundation for Education awarded $100 to a Rising Star Teacher from each school site. As the district honoree, Ms. Lewis received $500 from the Foundation.

Other young teachers who were recognized included Hannah Knight, a speech pathologist at Ranch Heights, as the Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year and Adam Hollon, who teaches 6th Grade Western Hemisphere Geography at Central Middle School, as the Secondary Rookie Teacher of the Year.

Also honored during the ceremonies was the Communitywide Steering Committee for its coordination of support for teachers and students during the school suspension in April 2018. Bartlesville Education Association President Gail Stone presented its Friend of Education Award to Dan Droege, the committee co-chair and recognized all of the various members of the group, some of whom were at the event.

The evening also included recognition of teachers with 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 35 years of service, with members of the BHS Jazz Choir offering movie-themed song snippets for each group. Kay Walker of Wayside Elementary School was highlighted for her 40 years of service, as was Rita Coale of Jane Phillips Elementary School for her 45 years of service.

Appreciation goes to Michael Wray for the extensive collection of photographs from the event which he shared via Facebook.


The site 2019 Teachers of the Year were:

  • Tracy Powers, Hoover Elementary School
  • Brandy Roberts, Jane Phillips Elementary School
  • Rebecca Wadsworth, Ranch Heights Elementary School
  • Meggin Blasi, Richard Kane Elementary School
  • Amitia Claussen, Wayside Elementary
  • Angela Holcomb, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Alisha Winward, Central Middle School
  • Courtney Gagan, Madison Middle School
  • Cheryl Fentress, Bartlesville High School
The site 2019 Rising Star Teachers were:
  • Lacie Autry, Hoover Elementary School
  • Holly Null, Jane Phillips Elementary School
  • Alexis Lewis, Ranch Heights Elementary School
  • Krista Reimer, Richard Kane Elementary School
  • Taylor Adams, Wayside Elementary School
  • Kaitlyn Thomas, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Hillary Hicks, Central Middle School
  • Andrew Blain, Madison Middle School
  • Randall Jones, Bartlesville High School

The district would like to thank the numerous people and organizations that helped make the evening special:

Thanks also go to the educators on the Professional Improvement Committee who coordinated the event:

  • Lea Burke & Cherisa Neill, Hoover

  • Holly Null, Jane Phillips

  • Vanessa Wallace, Richard Kane

  • Judy Cells, Ranch Heights

  • Therese Rawlinson, Wayside

  • Angela Holcomb, Woodrow Wilson

  • Carol Porter, Central

  • Tina Ewing, Madison

  • Marjorie Green & Tamara Walker, BHS

  • Rhonda Wilcox, Counselor Rep.

  • Angie Linthacum, Elementary Principal Rep.

  • Morgan Axsom, Middle School Principal Rep.

  • Marsha Fouts, Secondary Principal Rep.

  • Rene Burns, Strategic Plan Rep.

  • Laura Salzyn, Staci Bankston, Dianne Martinez, Jason Langham, Stephanie Curtis, and Granger Meador - Education Service Center