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Two educators who have brought distinction to East Central University as Oklahoma Teachers of the Year will be honored as the university’s Distinguished Alumni for 2011 during Commencement ceremonies May 7 [SATURDAY] in Kerr Activities Center.

Stephanie K. Canada, Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year in 2008, and Elizabeth Smith, the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, will receive the highest honor ECU bestows in recognition of their professional and personal success. Following ECU tradition, each will address the graduates and their families.
Canada, who received a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education & recreation/exercise science in 1995 and a master of education degree in 1997 from ECU, will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony. Smith will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony. She  received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1993 and a master of education degree in administration in 1997, both from ECU.
Most bachelor’s degrees will be conferred during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in nursing, elementary education, early childhood education, special education, psychology, social work, counseling and criminal justice will be conferred during the 2 p.m. ceremony.            
ECU has 668 degree candidates who completed degree requirements this spring or will complete their requirements this summer. There are 491candidates for bachelor’s degrees and 177 candidates for master’s degrees.
Stephanie K. Canada
Stephanie K. Canada, an instructor of education and kinesiology at ECU, began teaching at Will Rogers Elementary School in Shawnee in 2003 and became the first physical education teacher ever selected as Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year in 2008. She promoted physical activity and good nutrition to develop healthy children and counteract the increasing problem of obesity.
Canada was one teacher who wanted her students moving around and being active in class. She developed unusual ways for her 1st through 5th grade students to learn core subject matter while exercising. She might tell her students to “freeze” with their fingers on the scientific names for their knees or collarbones, or to use skip counting – counting by three’s or four’s – while stretching.
She wrote and received more than a dozen grants and helped put in place a walking track at her school. She also landed a grant for the city of Shawnee to help build sidewalks and served on the Shawnee sidewalk and trails committees.
In 2008 Canada was inducted into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer ECU Educators Hall of Fame.
Following her Teacher of the Year duties she was a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., before joining the ECU faculty in August 2009. She is working toward a doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. Canada is a National Board Certified Teacher. She continues to speak across the nation and has helped write policy and legislation to promote health and wellness in Oklahoma. She currently serves on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to rewrite the teaching standards for physical education teachers. She has been a board member of the Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for six years and received the Honor Award from OAHPERD in 2010 for her service to the organization, profession and state.
Canada first came to ECU in 1992 on a basketball scholarship. She later had coaching stints at ECU, the University of South Florida, Northeastern State University and Checotah High School.
Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith is the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. As the state’s Ambassador of Teaching, she travels across the state for numerous speaking engagements, including the Marvin Stokes Endowed Lectureship at ECU last fall.
She teaches 7th grade reading and is the girls’ assistant basketball coach at Byng Junior High School.
Smith was inducted April 13 into the into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer ECU Educators Hall of Fame. She also is a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts, Early Adolescence.
Smith’s parents, Richard and Mary Willis, also were teachers and Smith credits them for inspiring her to become a teacher. She has said the connection that she felt with her professors at ECU has carried over into her classroom and helps her be a successful teacher. 
Smith emphasizes her long-held belief about the importance of giving of oneself and caring for students. Her teaching philosophy is “What you know is not as important as what you give of yourself.”
While she is “very strict and structured,” she believes students have to know they matter – that a teacher respects them and cares for them, that they are more than just a student or a test score  in order for them to push themselves to learn.
She was the 2006 recipient of the Oklahoma School of Mathematics and Science Award of Excellence. Additionally, Smith was chosen as Byng Junior High School’s Teacher of the Year in both 1998 and 2002. She was the Byng Public Schools’ District Teacher of the Year in 2010 before winning the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year competition last fall.
She has taught for 17 years, three at Vanoss Public Schools and 14 at Byng.
Smith graduated from Byng High School. She played basketball at ECU during her senior year.
Her parents, sister and husband also hold degrees from ECU. She and her husband Larry have two children, Ryan, 13, and Macy, 10.
Candidates for bachelor’s degrees are:
ADA – Derek Akers, Kirsten Allen, Toria Avery, Mona Awasthi, Adam Bailey, Michael Baird, Maria Bautista-Boyd, Bethany Beck, Spencer Bennett, Sarra Blok, Derrek Bond, Rebecca Bottoms, Michael Bradford. Bobby Branscum. David Brinkley, Russell Brown, Matthew Bryant, Sandra Burden, Christina Burris, Kristie Byrd, Megan Byrd, Dustin Calaway, Valeri Carter, James Case, Jing Chen, Mark Choate, Carina Clemente, Michelle Clonch, LaPorsha Coats, Sabrina Collins, William Cook, Esther Davis, James Deramus. Victor Dias, Kyle Dickinson, Ryan Dillard, Matthew Donica, Jeremy Ellis, Bartley Estes, Quaylon Evans, Preston Fillmore, Joshua Forrester, Lacey Forrester, Alyssa Frizzell, Brandon Frye, John Galbreaith, Kendrick Gant, Anthony Garrison, Ashley Gaspard, Candice Geisler, Christopher Geisler, Kylee Gillum, Sudip Giri, Cody Griffin, Xerxes Griffin, Linda Grigg, Scott Grissom, Tina Halcomb, Stacey Halsey, Cassie Hammons, Matthew Harp, Lauren Hathcoat, Jacqulene Helm, Nathan Helm, Steven Helm, Stuart Hofmann, Eric Hollingsworth, Zachary Hooper, Chris Hoover, Lauren Hopkins, Kasi Hopstein, Bradley Horn II, Dackry Howard,Dylon Howard, Maria Howeth, Cassie Hoyle, Denver Hull, Thomas Hutson, Atit Ingnam, Elisa Isaacs, Micah Isaacs, Tasha Jackson, Jessica Jagielski, Eevin Jennings, Billie Johnson, Gina Johnson, Kyler Johnson, Amanda Kiest, Faith Kiio, SharLee Knighten, Monica Koontz, Chad Large, Blake Lawson, Tyler Lee, Michael Lewis, Keri Long, Jonathan Longley, Timothy Madden, Stephanie Manuel, Sherea Martin, Kerri Matheny, Carrie Maxwell, Carol McAnally, Amy McDonough, Kathy McKenzie, Casidy McMeans, Hannah Medrano, Heather Messinger, Nikki Miller, Sherri Miller, Stephanie Miller, Merry Monroe, Kristi Morse, Charles Mwangi, Sherry Nail, Stephen Nail, Brent Nakad, Ashton Neufeld, Eric Nickell, Amanda Norman, Andres Nunez, Larry Odom, Kaisa Olson, Bradley Paddock, Pushpendra Pahari, David Pardue, Wyas Parker, Kaitlyn Peak, Brigette Ponkilla, Shanna Poor Buffalo, Lindsay Prather, Robert Prescott, Indhira Ramirez, Jonathan Ramos, Dorothy Ray, Theresa Reeves, Aaron Riley, Ryan Ringle, Robin Robinson, Heith Robson, Ashley Rushing, DeAnna Russell, George Russell, Shawn Ryan, Kristy Schweitzer, Bryan Scott, Lane Self, Destiney Sellers, John Sircy, Chase Sires, Brent Snider, Ronda Sockey, Jason Stephenson, Edward Stilwell, Amber Stockwell, Johna Stringer, Matthew Sweatt, Nathan Sweeney, Elisabeth Taylor, Donavan Terry, Dawn Thatcher, Neville Thornhill, Bethany Toombs, Jessica Townsend, Brittany Trail, Kirby Trimble, Joshua Turner, Jean-Pierre Valteau, Patricia Vogan, Ricci Ward, Rodney Weaverling, Sean Welch, Catherine Wiles, Denise Williams, DeShanna Wilson, Kari Wilson, James Wood, Seth Woodell, Amber Wooten.
ALLEN – Dawneve Burnett, Kevin Heck, Cynthia Mellon, Jennifer Sanchez, Donna Slater.
ANTLERS – Sherill Heady, Justin McDaniel.
ARDMORE – Phoebe Barron,Jennifer Bittner, Sarah Brunk, Kristen Cargal, Malynda Cobb, Florence Coble, Charles Cohee, Susan Cronemeyer, Michael Dotson, Janice Green, Cynthia Harmon, Tyler Holbrook, Robin Jones, Ryan Keeton, Kandie Lowe, Lisa McEntire, Cordelia McGee, Erica Minor, Brittany Morgan, Roberta Morriss, Julio Murillo, Shauna Myers-Gordon, Nancy Osteen, Kara Payne, Alejandro Pereira, Sheila Ramirez, Linda Reed, Carolyn Reynolds, Laura Rogers-Smith, Natosha Shelton, Melissa Smith, Kimberly Stuckey, Shanell Swindall, Amanda Talkington, Justin Thompson, Heather Tice, Angela White, Darlene Woods.
ATOKA – Shelia Brown, Lauren Inman.
ATWOOD – Jessica Cates.
BEGGS – Adam Mount.
BLANCHARD – Wesley Fawcett.
CALERA – Tanner Anderson, Lacii Crow, Emily Richardson.
CALVIN – Hugh Carwile, Emily Hassler.
CANADIAN – Crystal Keener.
CANEY – Melinda Hampton.
COALGATE – David Gaylor, Jonathan Jackson, Kelsey Ratcliff, Carol Yeager.
COLBERT – Ashley Anderson.
COUNCIL HILL – Anthony Moore.
CROMWELL – Shyla Earp-Price.
DAVIS – Phillip Carter, Geri Coppenbarger, Ashley Lambeth, John Murray.
DOVER – Krista Bullis.
DUNCAN – Jessica Pruitt.
DURANT – Tonnie Harrison, Tina Hendricks, Aquanetta Ludlow, Gayla Reed, Darci Williams, Lynsie Wilson.
EARLSBORO – Secily Cleere, Sara Frye, Eldon Gentry, Staci James, Sarah Newell.
EDMOND – Brandon Harden, Michelle Sturgell, Taylor Woods.
ELMORE CITY – Katie Hammrich, Tiffany Henderson, Kimberly Kennedy, Kristen Thompson.
EUFAULA – Laura Harris, Juliann Kennedy-Aponte.
FORT TOWSON – Crystal Rushin.
FRANCIS – Michelle Cole, Keri Mitchell.
GUTHRIE – Joseph Gerling.
HARTSHORNE – Freddy Jones.
HAWORTH – Britney Hillwig.
HEAVENER – Melissa Brown, Clea Dedmon.
HOLDENVILLE – Michelle Allford, Shawna Cason, Cristi Caudill, Maryanne Gentry, Dustin Parris, Nicole Thetford, Erica Tiger, Fred Ward.
HUGO – Lauren Polk.
IDABEL – Kendall Citty.
KINGSTON – LaDawn Pierce.
KONAWA – Mary Coon, Deborah Hinman, Jonathan Isaacs, Dale Johnson, Ronald Osborn.
KREBS – Tonya Mullins.
LANE – Pamela Johnson.
LAWTON – Tiffani Shepherd.
LEXINGTON – Heather Leverett.
LONE GROVE – Cynthia Mose.
MADILL – Rachel Wilkins.
MARIETTA – April Dugger.
MARLOW – Alexander Corey, Dent Dysart, Jeffery Elroy, Joseph Jacobi.
MAUD – Matthew Hackler, Kelli Shatto.
McALESTER – Daniel Buckingham, Virginia Dilday, Donna Duffy, John Haile, Jordan Hearod, Marty Kay, Amy Lewis, Angela Marshall, Leah Medina, April Phifer, Natalie Shackelford, Tanya Steidley, Leslie Truly, Brandi Williams, Kellie Wright.
MOORE – Matthew Stephens.
NEWALLA – Kathryn Johnson.
NOBLE – Cassie Hess.
NORMAN – Anita Bural, Todd Curtis, Kathrina Cushway, Jamison Gasso, Coley Hines, Stefan Terrell, Sarah Wolf.
OKEMAH – Krista Anderson, Kyla Standley, Bekah Tinsley, Lesly Walker, Kena Witham, Kimberly Witham.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Madison Johnson, Nicole Sanchez, Cody Spaulding, Alexandra Taussig, Bryson Vann, Amanda Wise.
OKMULGEE – Ashley Green, Leslie Powell.
PADEN – Cheyenne Cheatwood, Holly Morrell.
PAOLI – Pamela Filipelli.
PAULS VALLEY – Dakota Arthur, Bryson Dunn, Ann Elkins, Jason Elkins, Dustin Frazee, Paul Hatton, William Jones, Kelli Keesee, Jared Martinez, Merideth Moore, Kirk Piepke,
Lynsie Stay, Kristi Sumner.
PONCA CITY – Wes Badley.
PRAGUE – Charles Eaton, Natalie May, Brandy Swinford, Kandice Wehrli.
PURCELL – Sarah Morris.
QUINTON – Tiffany Moore.
RED OAK – Joshua Fields, Charlotte Holly.
RINGLING – Aftan Brady, Bonnie Jackson, Amy Renfro,.
ROFF – Laura Christy, McKae Goetzinger, Nathan Williams.
SAND SPRINGS – James Avey.
SAPULPA – Kendra Coltrain.
SAYRE – Joseph Mohr.
SEMINOLE – Patrick Brakhage, Deborah Cotton, Angel Davis, Rebecca Gates, Pemika Kanchanatechanon, Emily Kiesel, Mfishaji Ladd, Trayea Lindemann, Whitney Quinalty, Heather Robertson, Taylor Wassam
SHAWNEE –  Ricia Brooking, Paige Calder, Samantha Gearhardt, Donna Henzel, Michael Hobbs, Kelsey Kuryk, Stacy Maher, Joshua Mullennex, Pakpoom Nillpraphan, Joshua Norton, Mason Rudek, Christina Spurgin, Savannah Starr, Jacob Wilson.
SNOW – Alisha Shepherd.
SPENCER – Anthony Bowie.
STIGLER – Joseph Stubbs.
STILLWATER – Levi Robbins.
STONEWALL – Sherry Bay, Leslie Reeves, Checed Rodgers, Steven Sweat.
STRATFORD – Jason Barnett, Kiley Bonner, Megan Drannon, Clinton Griffin, Donita Heckman.
STROUD – John Cook.
SULPHUR – Gina Barnhart, Stephanie Beaty, Charlysa Brady, Gayla Hollis, Maegan Kelley, Veronica Medina, Tarrah Neese, Stormy Thomison, Alisha White, Mat Wolf IV, Bradley Woods.
TECUMSEH – Desiree Bartmess, Corey Dozier, Shannon Elias,
THACKERVILLE – April Fairchild.
TISHOMINGO – Lindsay Payne, Amanda Smith.
TUPELO – Roberta Cadwallader, Anna Leland.
VELMA – Terry Matthews, Rana Sanner.
WANETTE – Bobbie Francis, Matthew Payne, Judy Smith.
WETUMKA – Billy Brown, Dillon Simpson, Roselynn Simpson.
WEWOKA – Michelle Blanton, Samantha Dolan, Colton Johnson, Brittany Louie, Cortney Miller, Tara Sheffield, Jessica Tilley.
WILBURTON – Heather Sliger.
WILSON – Cyndal Bates, Danny Powell.
WYNNEWOOD – Cherri Dobbins, Jennifer Kimbro, Bobbye' Mims, Heather Rhea.
ALMYRA, ARIZ. – Kailee Kimrey.
ANTHEM, ARIZ. – John Sedlak.
WALNUT, CALIF. – Ikenna Udoh.
TAMPA, FLA. – Travis McCray.
WINTERHAVEN, FLA. – Megan Miller.
ALLEN, TEXAS – Geno Odeh.
CARTHAGE, TEXAS – D'Leisa Graves.
CEDAR HILL, TEXAS – Juliana Cantu.
GLEN ROSE, TEXAS – Stefanie Watson.
GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS – Zachary Atkins, Ashley Graham, Christopher Woods.
HALTOM CITY, TEXAS – Dallas Nickell.
HOUSTON, TEXAS – Jessica Lamb, Jordan Wozniak.
IRVING, TEXAS – Sapana Gurung, Nima Waiba.
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – Rebekah Jackson.
MANSFIELD, TEXAS – Amanda Buell.
PLANO, TEXAS – Trevor Carpenter, Sydney Kromer.
PONDER, TEXAS – Wanda Malone.
RED OAK, TEXAS – Emily Holombek.
RICHARDSON, TEXAS – Christie Isaac.
SHERMAN, TEXAS – Jenny Paith.
TEXARKANA, TEXAS – Samuel Moore.
TACOMA, WASH. – John Gaines.
Candidates for master’s degrees are:
ADA – Darnell Barnes, Stacie Brockhoff. RaMon Brown, Sharon Cunningham, Megan Curry, Calvin Davis, Jessica Detherow, Karla Earnhart, Keri Eaton, Jessica Elizarde, Loretta Feiler, Tiffany Frye, Tommie Goad, Adrian Gold, Krista Guilliams, Elizabeth Hansen, Eric Harden, Christopher Harris, Genia Harrison, Eric Holmes, Kelly Hooper, Ricky Hooper, Richard Howard, Susan Ingram, Marlin Krause, Ali Lawson, Felton Madume, Suzan Manuel, Markia Matthews, Maximilian Mauser, Dana Nobles, Jeannia Page, Vicky Petete, David Scherotter, Amy Shaw, Terrie Shelton, Crystal Smith, Kendra Waldrop, Kathleen Worthley.
ALLEN – Caleb Baber, Melonie Johnson, Terra Wainscott.
ARDMORE – Ashlee Coppedge, Delia Cowie, Roxanna Day, Chase Henson, Lacey Mitchell, Cristin Pitman, Alana Smith, Cathy Walker, Kristi Wood.
ASHER – Marcus Hudson.
BROKEN ARROW – James Snider.
BROKEN BOW – Ashley Bachman.
CACHE – Joan Cole.
CAMERON – Sarah Reed.
CHECOTAH – Anelicia Brimacomb.
CHOCTAW – Susan Gierhart.
COALGATE – Kelly Blevins, Stephanie Wilson, Rhoda Yokiel.
COYLE – Edward Sweeny.
DAVIS – Brett Knight, Jason Wright.
DUNCAN – Trendy Beam, Lauren Hackler.
DURANT – Benita Sanchez.
EARLSBORO – Nancy Hardin.
ELGIN – Ashley Nolen.
ELMORE CITY – Randy Gardenhire.
EUFAULA – Stephanie Fox, Delicia White.
FANSHAWE – Wesley McGowen.
GARVIN – Ashlei Hanks.
HARRAH – Nick Cowan.
HEAVENER – Alcides Silva.
HENRYETTA – Linda Riddle.
HUGO – Shane Richardson.
INDIAHOMA – Penny McCuiston.
KONAWA – Katie Akerman.
KREBS – Karen Lazenby.
LAWTON – Mary Barker, Jonnie Dollins, Amber Hughes, Hunter Rennels, Jason Rivera, Brian Sasser.
LONE GROVE – Courtney Norman.
LUTHER – Angela Cox.
McCURTAIN – Deward Palmer, Brenda Reading.
MADILL – Carol Benson, Amy Gonzalez, Niki Rogers.
MARIETTA – Britney Baker.
MAUD – Gregory Dodson.
MAYSVILLE – Angela Humbolt.
McALESTER – Crystal Crenshaw, Molly Mounce, Jennifer Reed, Stephanie Roberts, Lloyd Robinson.
MOORE – Michael Hill.
MOUNTAIN VIEW – Erin Sackett.
MUSKOGEE – Andrew Swagers.
NORMAN – Anjelea Campbell, Brian Hinson, Marc Petrowsky, Edward Prince, Keely Tolin, Clay Wesley.
OKEMAH – Tessa Russell.
PANAMA – Lindsay Stankewitz.
PAOLI – Angela Campbell.
PAULS VALLEY – Jeffery Herndon.
POTEAU – Kristen Andrews, Shannon Warren.
PRAGUE – Carrie McKee.
PURCELL – Cynthia Stone.
RATLIFF CITY – Rebecca Tivis.
RATTAN – Connie Cody.
RED OAK – Megan Muncy.
RINGLING – Jeremy Cunningham, Hillary Hughes, Brian Southward.
ROFF – Gary Herdman.
SEMINOLE – Suzanne Barnett, Jonathan Bennett, Kade Houck, Gary Pitson.
SHAWNEE – William Barlow, Dustie Butner, Catherine Griffith, Pamela Hamman, Charity Hobbs, Anna Looper, Brandi Marsh, Tomi Murdock, Melissa Poole, Sarah Pryor.
SPIRO – Lisa Gist, Kandace Greenwood.
SPRINGER – Terra Powell.
STIGLER – Steve Lockwood, Joshua Nixon.
STRATFORD – Joseph Eatherly, Teresa Reams.
SULPHUR – Shiela Brakebill, Destry Richardson.
SWINK – Lorinda Vinyard.
TAHLEQUAH – Jon Minor, Sherry Qualls.
TECUMSEH – Linsy Ingmire.
TISHOMINGO – Genna Marten.
TULSA – Teddy Abbott.
WALTERS – Eugenia Anderson.
WARR ACRES – Robert Proehl.
WETUMKA – Brenda Heath.
WEWOKA – Meagan Conway, Melissa Findley, Kara Keesee, Danielle Patterson, Micah Smith.
WILBURTON – Patricia Holly, Tara Stevens.
WILSON – Tracy Gandy.
WISTER – Kim Loggains.
FORT SMITH, ARK. – Tiffany Nelson.
LAMAR, ARK. – Andrea Kremers.
LAVACA, ARK. – John Kincade.
OZARK, ARK. – Megan Tedford.
HOBBS, N.M. – Matthew Torrez.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Dennis Landes.
LANCASTER, TEXAS – Dionte' Dean.


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