ATOKA, OK -- 12 finalists were announced Wednesday for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and one of them is from right here in Texoma.
"She makes learning fun," said McCall Middle School student, Molly Allen.
Allen, says social studies teacher, LeaAnn Wyrick, is one of her favorites. Wyrick was voted by her peers to be McCall Middle School Teacher of the Year, then voted Atoka Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Now she has been nominated as one of the 12 finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
"I am very honored to be in this position but it's also a responsibility," Wyrick said. "I am a voice for our teachers and a voice for our students."
Wyrick says her passion to motivate students helps her connect with them.
"I want to help them have a tool to bust past those barriers, to be able to get past the can't and the nay-sayers, and even confidence issues," Wyrick said. "I want to give them a direction and tool to achieve success."
She says she owes her nomination to her fellow teachers at Atoka Public Schools and the community. Without them, she says, she would not be a finalist.
Her students say without her, coming to school would not be as fun.
"She's one of my favorites because we do a lot of projects and she makes it a lot more fun," Allen said. "She kind of puts a little of her side and she gives us the opportunity to enjoy it."
Allen says Wyrick's nomination for Teacher of the Year motivates her to work even harder in school.
"She puts a lot of effort into what she does and she puts that into us and she teaches us the same thing," Allen said. "She wants us to know that we can go as far as she did so that inspires us."
The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be announced later in September at the State Fair.