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Three Oklahoma Teachers of the Year will be inducted into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer ECU Educators Hall of Fame at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday [APRIL 16] in East Central University's Danley Hall atrium.

The inductees are Pat Kellogg Roller, George E. Abshire and Stephanie Canada, the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Their photographs will be displayed in the Hall of Fame in the Education Building along with those of Dr. Bill Cole, Clarence Oliver and Marvin Stokes, the first inductees in 2007.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by Janice Diamond and Paul Keefer, the children of Gene and Evelyn Keefer, to recognize ECU-prepared educators at any level who have made a significant contribution to the field of education.

Dr. Bill Osborne, dean of the College of Education and Psychology, said the Hall of Fame is dedicated to the Keefers and other parents like them who found it financially impossible to attend college but who recognized the importance of an education and made sure their children had that opportunity.

The 2008 inductees into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer ECU Educators Hall of Fame are:

Pat Kellogg Roller of Norman was Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in 1977. A former science teacher in Ada, Tulsa and Sand Springs, she also has been a mentor and in-service facilitator, teaching teachers how to create a hands-on science environment. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics in 1986.

She is the author of the soon-to-be published "Pink Hat's Adventure" series for children, books that combine science experiments, adventure and entertainment. She is an environmentalist dedicated to the idea that all people should acquire a basic understanding of how the planet Earth works and that children will, if involved in high-interest learning activities, come to know and care about the planet.

As co-creator and director of the Science Resource Center in Tulsa, Roller wrote teachers' guides, developed and conducted workshops and provided kits that teachers could check out for conducting experiments. She earned a bachelor's degree in education and a master of teaching degree from ECU.

George E. Abshire of Jenks was the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year in 1997. Also in 1997, he was named an ECU Distinguished Alumnus and was the first presenter of the Marvin Stokes Endowed Lectureship.

He began his teaching career with Norman Schools in 1978 after graduating from ECU. In 1982, he moved to Jenks Middle School where he became recognized as a distinguished mathematics teacher. 

Abshire is the author of "Developing Mathematical Fluency," and is a National Board Certified Teacher and mentor to countless student teachers. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Secondary Education.

Stephanie Canada of Shawnee, the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, has taught 12 years, the last five as a physical education teacher for grades 1 through 5 at Shawnee's Will Rogers Elementary School. She earned a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation/exercise science and a master's degree in secondary physical education, both from ECU.

Canada is a National Board Certified Teacher in Physical Education/Early to Middle Childhood and is vice president of the Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She received the State Department of Education Fit and Healthy Best Practices Award in 2005 and was Shawnee Public Schools' Teacher of the Year in 2007.

She was an instructor and assistant women's basketball coach at ECU from 1995 to 1997. She also was the girls' basketball coach at Checotah High School, taught elementary education at Northeastern State University and was an assistant women's basketball coach at NSU and the University of South Florida.

Inductees in the Educators Hall of Fame can be a support staff member, teacher educator or administrator. They must have completed a program of preparation at the bachelor's or master's degree level or have taken significant course work toward completion of an education degree or certification program at ECU.

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