Warren Neff named District Teacher of the Year; other honors announced

posted Mar 29, 2018, 11:44 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 1:05 PM ]

Warren Neff
Warren Neff
, a science and STEM teacher at Bartlesville High School, was named the Bartlesville Public Schools 2018 Teacher of the Year on March 27, 2018. A number of other outstanding educators were also honored, with the following awards highlighting the evening ceremonies:
  • 2018 District Teacher of the Year: Warren Neff, Science/STEM Teacher, Bartlesville High School

  • 2018 Kurt Schmoldt Teacher Appreciation Award: Erinn Rakes, Art Teacher, Jane Phillips Elementary School

  • 2018 Rising Star Teacher: Kelsey Bridges, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Madison Middle School

  • 2018 Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year: Christie Block, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

  • 2018 Secondary Rookie Teacher of the Year: Kayla Miller, Bruin Academy Science Teacher, Bartlesville High School

  • Bartlesville Education Association Friend of Education Award: Truity Credit Union

Mr. Neff received a $2,500 cash award from the Schmoldt Family Foundation for Education. He also received two free round-trip airline tickets via the 10th Annual Chuck Spears Memorial Teacher of the Year Travel Award, presented by Gary Spears of Spears Travel. Mr. Neff became a Bartlesville Public School district teacher in 2003 and has long taught math courses, but this year is now teaching AP Physics 1 and Inquiry Physics as well as STEM Advanced Math Applications at Bartlesville High School.

Each of the nine candidates for Bartlesville Public School District's 2018 Teacher of the Year honor was introduced by one of their current or former students. Mr. Neff was introduced by Addison Deffenbaugh, one of his former Algebra II Honor students at Bartlesville High School.

Tuesday evening’s ceremony also featured the awarding of other distinguished honors. Jane Phillips Elementary Art teacher Erinn Rakes received the 2018 Kurt Schmoldt Teacher Appreciation Award. That annual award recognizes a teacher who has made a significant difference in the life of a student. Hans Karl Schmoldt initiated the award in 1996 in memory of his brother, Kurt. As this year's winner, Ms. Rakes received a certificate of recognition and a $1,000 cash award from the Hans Karl Schmoldt family.

Kelsey Bridges, a 6th Grade Math teacher at Madison Middle School, was named the district's Rising Star Teacher for 2018. That award recognizes a teacher new to the profession who has exemplified excellence in their entry years of teaching.  The Schmoldt Family Foundation for Education awarded $100 to a Rising Star Teacher from each school site. As the district honoree, Ms. Bridges received $500 from the Foundation.

Other young teachers who were honored included Christie Block of Woodrow Wilson Elementary as the Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year and Kayla Miller, who teaches Bruin Academy Science at Bartlesville High School, as the Secondary Rookie Teacher of the Year.

Also honored during the ceremonies was Truity Credit Union for its continued support of teachers and district programs. Bartlesville Education Association President Heather Boyle presented its Friend of Education Award to Sara Freeman of Truity. Ms. Boyle also received a surprise gift from various parties towards a future vacation in recognition of her efforts on behalf of teachers and students in this tumultuous political year for education funding.


The site 2018 Teachers of the Year were:

  • Lauri Pollock, Hoover Elementary School
  • Heidi Brewer, Jane Phillips Elementary School
  • Jennifer England, Ranch Heights Elementary School
  • Karie Duncan, Richard Kane Elementary School
  • Amy Dickey, Wayside Elementary
  • Kristina Tupper, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Dawn Schaper, Central Middle School
  • Lori Shelley, Madison Middle School
  • Warren Neff, Bartlesville High School
The site 2018 Rising Star Teachers were:
  • Lauren Vysotsky, Hoover Elementary School
  • Trish Peaster, Jane Phillips Elementary School
  • Hannah Michel, Ranch Heights Elementary School
  • Krista Reimer, Richard Kane Elementary School
  • Emma Hamilton, Wayside Elementary School
  • Christie Block, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Erica Dennis, Central Middle School
  • Kelsey Bridges, Madison Middle School
  • Zack Michel, Bartlesville High School

The district would like to thank the numerous people and organizations that helped make the evening special:

Thanks also go to the educators on the Professional Improvement Committee who coordinated the event:

  • Lea Burke, Hoover

  • Cherisa Neill, Hoover

  • Holly Null, Jane Phillips

  • Vanessa Wallace, Richard Kane

  • Judy Allen, Ranch Heights

  • Therese Rawlinson, Wayside

  • Angela Byars, Wayside

  • Angela Holcomb, Woodrow Wilson

  • Carol Porter, Central

  • Jane Sears, Central

  • Jennifer Cubbage, Madison

  • Lance Miller, BHS

  • Tamara Walker, BHS

  • Rhonda Wilcox, Counselor Rep.

  • Chanda Myers, Elementary Principal Rep.

  • Morgan Axsom, Middle School Principal Rep.

  • Marsha Fouts, Secondary Principal Rep.

  • Rene Burns, Strategic Plan Rep.

  • Angie Linthacum, ESC

  • Laura Salzyn, ESC

  • Dr. Stephanie Curtis, Administration

  • Jason Langham, Administration

  • Dianne Martinez, Administration

  • Granger Meador, Administration