Transformative Teacher Award

The Transformative Teacher Award recognizes instructors who have had a profound effect on the students who have passed through their classrooms. They have shaped the lives and artistic paths of their students through their devotion to their craft and abilities as educators. Award winners are selected through nominations by Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute students and the teachers listed below have stood out as truly exceptional.

The Transformative Teacher Awards are sponsored by BOK Financial.

2024 Recipients

Cheyenne Butcher

Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences

Photography Teacher

"I decided to nominate her because she gave me an outlet for my emotions and so much more. She goes above and beyond not only for me, but for every single one of her students. She cares so much about what she does because to her it is more than a job." -Patrick Campbell, OSAI student

Olivia East

Anadarko High School

Visual Arts Teacher

"Mrs. East has always been one of my biggest supporters through my time in her AP class. She gives very detailed comments of my work to help me improve. She also keeps me on track when I have deadlines to meet or scholarships to apply for. Anytime she hears about a contest or a way I can have my art seen, she tells me immediately and will make sure it can happen for me." -Makeyla Pewenofkit, OSAI student

Lynn Herbel

Moore High School

Vocal Music Teacher

"I never sang until a couple months ago, when I sang during the musical. Mrs. Herbel started trying to get me into choir. She let me audition for All-State and I made it, and she’s changed the course of my life because now I want to go to college to get a degree in music education. I’ve become a better person and feel much more mentally free and able now." -Utah Baggett, OSAI student

Past Recipients

Merrie Palmer, 2022
Ada High School
Fine Arts Director and Performing Arts Teacher

Clifton Raphael, 2022
Jenks High School
Film & Broadcast Journalism Teacher

Amy Reynolds-Reed, 2022
Dance Unlimited (OKC)
Owner, Artistic Director, Instructor

Lacye Russell, 2023
Oklahoma Bible Academy
Visual Arts Teacher

Samantha Taylor, 2022
Collinsville High School
Vocal Music Teacher

Debra Thoreson, 2023
Dewey High School
English Teacher

Kyle Todaro, 2023
Broken Arrow High School
Visual Arts Teacher

Colin Waddell, 2022
Putnam City High School
Orchestra Director