Sheila Armstrong wins Oklahoma
Wal- Mart Teacher of the Year
Pamela Hodson Elementary School to Receive $10,000 Educational Grant from Wal-Mart
(Shirley Robards, Tulsa University spokesperson for Phi Delta Kappa; Joy Hughes, Principal at Pamela Hodson Elementary School; Sheila Armstrong, Wal-mart Teacher of the Year; Marty Cooper, Manager of Owasso Wal-mart)
Former teacher at school named Oklahoma "Teacher of the Year" surprised with honor
OWASSO, Okla., Sept. 13, 2006 - Sheila Armstrong, a former fourth-grade teacher at Pamela Hodson Elementary School in Owasso and now a district grant writer for Jenks Public Schools, has been selected as one of the top educators in the nation in Wal-Mart's 11th annual Teacher of the Year program. Armstrong was honored as Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in a 9 a.m. surprise school assembly and ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Pamela Hodson Elementary School gymnasium.
Armstrong was chosen by Phi Delta Kappa International education association as the State Teacher of the Year from among teachers throughout Oklahoma for her contributions to education and the positive impact she has made on students. Representatives from Phi Delta Kappa and associates from the Owasso Wal-Mart Store will be on hand at the event to present Armstrong with a $10,000 educational grant from Wal-Mart to the school. Mayor Stephen Cataudella, Vice-Mayor Brent Colgan, City Manager Rodney Ray, state Sen. Randy Brogdon, state Rep. John Smaligo, Owasso Public Schools officials, teachers and students will be in attendance. Armstrong will also receive a personalized Teacher of the Year leather tote, a crystal apple trophy, business cards, a Teacher of the Year certificate and a one-year membership to Phi Delta Kappa.
This award recognizes teachers who move beyond books and basic curriculum to instill a passion for learning in all of their students," said Owasso Wal-Mart Store Manager Marty Cooper. "We are extremely proud that this great honor has been awarded to Pamela Hodson Elementary School because of Sheila Armstrong's efforts." Armstrong was first selected as the local Teacher of the Year winner announced last May by the store. "This award is a reflection of all educators who are dedicated to their students and their profession," Cooper added. Armstrong is currently pursuing her doctorate in school administration from Oklahoma State University.
Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year program is one of the largest teacher recognition efforts in the country, giving back $4.9 million this year alone to the schools of winning teachers. Since the Teacher of the Year program began in 1995, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has honored more than 26,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $18.5 million to local schools. In 2005, the company provided more than $45 million in support of educational initiatives.
The Teacher of the Year program, now in its 11th year, begins each January when each Wal-Mart Store, SAM'S CLUB and distribution center accepts nominations from their community - parents, educators and school children - for local "Teacher of the Year" honors. Nominations are compiled and each of the company's 4,112 locations surprises a local teacher with a $1,000 donation to their school in their honor and a $100 gift card for the teacher during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Local winners have the option to complete a comprehensive application form for the state winner phase to be reviewed by Phi Delta Kappa International. All 50 state winners as well as a winner from Puerto Rico, are now being announced and will automatically be considered for the national Teacher of the Year award to be announced in the fall.
"Educators need to be recognized now more than ever as they face the current
challenges of improving student achievement," said Dr. William Bushaw, executive director of Phi Delta Kappa. "The recognition that this program brings, as well as the dollars it provides to schools, is a very tangible contribution by corporate America toward school improvement across the country."
How Winners Were Selected
According to Bushaw, several criteria were used to evaluate the applications and determine the winners. Applicants answered four questions with each response limited to 250 words; judges gave each answer a numerical score. What do you consider to be your greatest contribution to students? What self-initiated practices, programs or projects have you implemented to produce a high level of student achievement?What do you consider to be the three most critical issues in education that affect students? Address one of these issues by describing how you attempt to respond to it.At what level and degree are you involved in community volunteer work? Describe how your involvement has influenced your teaching. Applicants also submitted two letters of recommendation - one from an immediate supervisor and one from a colleague, a community member, a student's parent or a student.
About Phi Delta Kappa International
Phi Delta Kappa International is committed to leadership, research, and service in education. Founded in 1906, PDK is a professional association composed of educators at all levels. Member chapters are active throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. As an association, PDK works to promote quality education, with particular emphasis on publicly supported education, as essential to the development and maintenance of a democratic way of life. In addition, the organization supports educators in their work through publications, research, and professional development opportunities. Visit www.pdkintl.org to learn more about Phi Delta Kappa International.
About Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company's securities are listed on the New
York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com. More information about the Wal-Mart Foundation and Wal-Mart Corporate Giving can be found at www.walmartfoundation.org.