Carol Ann Cone remembered in Educator Hall of Fame

posted Mar 25, 2018, 8:17 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 25, 2018, 8:18 AM ]
Annually the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation recognizes outstanding former educators in the Bartlesville Public Schools by inducting them into their Educator Hall of Fame

Carol Ann Cone (posthumously), Diane Dixon, and Gerald Thompson will be inducted as the ninth class in the Hall of Fame on April 5, 2018. Each of these outstanding educators will be profiled in a news post before the event.

When confronted by children others might view as incorrigible, dirty, or incapable of learning, Carol Ann Cone is remembered as a teacher who “looked beyond the surface of a child to find a spark she could nurture and grow into a flame that would carry that child forward to a successful future.” This ability to believe in children and bring out the best in them is one reason Carol Ann Cone’s memory is being honored by her induction into the ninth class of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame, along with two other former teachers in the school district.

After earning her degree at Oklahoma State University in 1962, Carol Ann began teaching first grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. She taught for three years and then took a break from teaching to help raise a family with her husband Don. When she returned to teaching in 1981, she worked with older elementary students at the Highland Park, Jane Phillips, and Wayside schools. As she approached retirement, her request to teach her last students in both fourth and fifth grades was granted, building relationships that lasted beyond those two years.

Recognizing the vocabulary challenges many of her students faced, she had students repeatedly spell and use a “word of the week” to expand their capabilities, something that was remembered by several students who wrote to her long after they had gone on to successful careers. She was not afraid of having students tackle more difficult literature to improve their vocabulary, helping them rise to high standards.

Carol Ann also took a strong interest in science and math instruction, joining their professional subject area organizations and coordinating an After School Science Klub. She invested in improving the schools by helping revise science and language arts curricula as well as serving on the committee that adopted the state’s science and math textbooks.

She is remembered as an avid grant writer who augmented her students’ education with equipment and challenges not afforded by the normal school budget. Her loving care for students has been compared to the caterpillars she brought into the classroom so that students could see them undergo the metamorphosis into Monarch butterflies. Likewise, Carol Ann was helping her students grow into beautiful adults.

A highlight remembered by many students from their time with Mrs. Cone was her class production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! It was an opportunity to not only help them develop skills but also to creatively instill in them the history of their state.

Her fierce dedication to students was abundantly clear on the day when she told her principal, “Grab your purse. We are going to the sheriff’s office. Student X has messed up, and they are going to put him in juvenile detention. We can’t let that happen. We are going to convince the sheriff he is better off in my classroom. We can’t lose Student X.”

This outstanding educator taught elementary school students in Bartlesville for 22 years at four different schools, retiring in 2000. She and Don traveled extensively, but that couldn’t keep her away from the classroom, spending another nine years teaching elementary math methods at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and then nine more years as a substitute teacher in the district’s elementary schools. Carol Ann Cone passed away in February 2017, survived by Don, their three children, and eight grandchildren.  

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation has been investing in students and staff members within the district since 1985. Over the decades, the non-profit organization has funded more than $2 million in creative projects outside of the traditional state, local and federal sources to support state-of-the-art instruction. The money generated by the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies helps to fund the organization’s programs.  Carol Ann’s family has asked a $1,000 grant in Carol Ann’s name go toward the District’s Elementary STEM Initiative.

Carol Ann Cone
Carol Ann Cone will be posthumously inducted into the Educator Hall of Fame of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation on April 5, 2018