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At least three East Central University alumni – Noelle Hurt-Bryan, Cara Gaddy and Matt McCreary – were named District Teachers of the Year for 2017-18.

Hurt-Bryan, a 2013 ECU graduate and a winner of the George Nigh Award that same year as university’s top senior, teaches at Ada Junior High. Gaddy, a 2014 ECU grad, is an instructor in Pauls Valley Public Schools and McCreary teaches in Allen Public Schools.

“English teachers have a tremendous responsibility to develop students’ communication skills, media literacy, critical thinking and literacy knowledge,” said Dr. Sarah Peters, chair of ECU’s Department of English and Languages. “We are proud to see English education majors recognized as top performers in their field. As a parent of public school children, I am grateful to have these incredible teachers in our communities.”

Noelle Hurt-Bryan

Hurt-Bryan, who was awarded the Ada Junior High Teacher of the Year Award, had served as the English Department Chair in Ada and has worked with the Student Council, Academic Bowl and AVID.

“No matter our age, gender, nationality, political party, you name it, we all have a voice if we have access to the power of language and understand how we use it,” said Hurt-Bryan.

She will be teaching in the Stratford School System this year.

Cara Gaddy

Gaddy, who was presented with the 2017-2018 Pauls Valley Public Schools District Teacher of the Year Award, teaches English I and Pre-AP English I at Pauls Valley.

“I strive to show students a different perspective of life through literature and personal experience,” Gaddy said.

Gaddy enjoys spending time with her husband and stepdaughter, reading all types of literature, cooking and watching movies.

Matt McCreary

McCreary was awarded the 2017-2018 Allen Public Schools District Teacher of the Year. He teaches seventh, ninth and 11th grade English at Allen.

Known affectionately as ‘Mr. Mac,’ McCreary works to help his students understand and be understood by the world around them. He is described as a staunch advocate for all students and an avid fan of all Mustang sports and activities.

He enjoys hanging out with his dog, Wiley Clyde, and spending time with friends and family.


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