EPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR

2015 Teacher of the YEAr and finalists

KEVIN MCDONALD, 2015 EPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR

KELA BAIRD
CHISHOLM ELEMENTARY
EPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST

AMBER JOHNSON
WESTFIELD ELEMENTARY
EPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST

MINDI MENDEZ
CENTENNIAL ELEMENTARY
EPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST

Kevin McDonald, an English teacher and Chair of the English Department at Memorial High School, has been selected as the 2015-2016 Edmond Teacher of the Year. Superintendent David Goin made the announcement during the Celebration of Excellence sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation on Thursday, April 30, at Oak Tree Country Club.

“Students consistently identify Kevin McDonald as one of their favorite teachers,” said Goin. “He’s bright, articulate, enthusiastic and completely devoted to his students. He is a fitting representative of our finest educators."
McDonald has been a teacher for 18 years. He joined Edmond Public Schools in 2004 after working for the Guthrie School district where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2003- 2004.

McDonald’s interest in the profession began at 15 when he observed his older sister setting up her classroom each year. After noting her collaboration with other teachers, he came to the conclusion that teaching was “an art to be honed.”

In his teacher of the year portfolio, McDonald wrote, “This recognition that sharing amongst professionals leads to the best results in the classroom has created what I believe is my greatest contribution to education. For the last decade, I have been a consultant for the College Board, sharing my experiences and instructional strategies with teachers across the country. In these workshops, I see my role as facilitating collaboration between myself and my participants, forming a large content team to share all of our best strategies with each other.”

McDonald is currently the High School Co-Chair of the College Board Development and Assessment Committee for AP English Language and Composition. He is a frequent presenter at AP workshops, conferences, and the AP Summer Institute. In addition, he has served on numerous district and site committees.

McDonald was chosen by the district’s Professional Development Committee after a comprehensive process that involved interviews as well as submission of a portfolio, a letter of recommendation and a video showcasing his teaching style and philosophy. The other finalists for EPS Teacher of the Year were Betsie Polk from Orvis Risner Elementary, Amber Johnson from West Field Elementary, Mindi Mendez from Centennial Elementary and Kela Baird from Chisholm Elementary.

“Kevin McDonald is a passionate educator who opens and expands students’ minds by challenging them to thoroughly examine what they are reading,” said Tara Fair, Associate Superintendent of Education Services. “He inspires students to dig deeper to discover the nuance of a text and come to a more complete understanding of the author’s work.”

A former student of McDonalds, who was inspired to become a teacher, said he has made a profound impact on her life. “As an educator myself, I know that the highest honor is to make a difference in students’ lives,” said Petrina Davidson. “From this perspective, Mr. McDonald has achieved that goal with his students, and I am just one example. From instilling a love for literature, and even more importantly, the ability to question and think critically about what I read, to inspiring me to become a professional educator, Mr. McDonald’s influence has resonated throughout my life.”

In addition to teaching, McDonald is an active member of the community. He is a member of the Charley’s Bike Lab cycling team whose focus is on community outreach and events centered on the cycling community. He has also performed with numerous church choirs and praise bands and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Edmond Memorial Marching Band. He is married to Leah McDonald, an elementary music teacher with Edmond Public Schools. The couple has two children.

As EPS’ Teacher of the Year, McDonald will now compete in the state Teacher of the Year competition facilitated by the Oklahoma Department of Education. The state Teacher of the Year is announced in September. 

betsy polk
orvis risner elementary
eps teacher of the year finalist