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Finalists Selected for District Teacher of the Year 2024

Teacher with flowers
  • District
Anna Aguilar

Five Moore Public Schools teachers were honored today as finalists for the 2023-24 District Teacher of the Year with the winner to be announced during the Excellence in Education Ceremony in April.

Five Moore Public Schools teachers were honored today as finalists for the 2023-24 District Teacher of the Year with the winner to be announced during the Excellence in Education Ceremony in April. These finalists were selected from among all MPS school site Teachers of the Year who were selected in the fall. The winner has the chance to compete for the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Oklahoma Teacher of the Year honor, which will be announced this fall. 

MPS Superintendent Dr. Robert Romines, Social Studies/Business Education Coordinator David Burton and multiple administrative staff delivered the news in person to each of the finalists, much to their surprise. 

Shain Baldwin teaches band at Highland West Junior High. He holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in music education from the University of Oklahoma. He holds professional memberships in various music organizations across Oklahoma, he is an All-State Band Committee member and serves as a mentor teacher to early-career teachers through an OKMEA Mentorship program. He was honored as an Exemplary Middle School Teacher by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and Teacher of the Year in 2014 with Lindsay Public Schools. 

"My love of teaching started when I was taking Taekwondo in elementary school. As I advanced in belt rankings, the expectation was for senior students to help the junior students learn the skills, forms, and movements they needed to develop to advance in rank. I enjoyed being able to help someone else learn and master new skills; watching them grow and achieve new ranks brought me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment," said Baldwin. 

"In high school, I had the opportunity to start teaching saxophone lessons to junior high students in the area and discovered that I had an aptitude not just for teaching, but teaching music, as well as a passion for it.

"I believe that music is an essential part of the curriculum and that every student not only should take music but also deserves to have a quality music education. One of my passions is mentorship, and I have worked to make sure to pay it forward to others in our profession," Baldwin said.

Jana DeLong is the 9th-12th-grade Journalism, Technology and Photography teacher at Westmoore High School. She holds an associate degree in general studies from Oklahoma City Community College, a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from East Central University and a master's in business administration from OU. She is a professional member of various business, media and journalism organizations. She worked in the marketing and communications industry before becoming an educator. 

"Education is the cornerstone in building confidence and possibilities. As each stone of knowledge is laid, it builds a solid foundation for the future. As a teacher, I recognize the transformative power to impact my community and future generations positively. I want to invest in my students, igniting their confidence and revealing their potential—much like my teachers did for me," DeLong said.

She continued, "Writing about professional accomplishments and contributions is awkward when it is only possible with tremendous support from colleagues and administration. I am part of a group of educators that come early, stay late, wrestle with how to reach that one student, mentor students and teachers, make a choice to keep teaching even when offered high-paying jobs, are lifelong learners, and share their experiences with their students, and know it is all about the future generation."

Shaista (Shai) Fenwick teaches 9th-12th-grade Creative Writing and Senior English at Moore High School. She holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in professional writing from OU. She looks to complete a doctorate in instructional leadership through OU this spring. She is a member, committee chair and board member of multiple professional education-based organizations. 

Teacher with flowers

Shai was born in Trinidad and Tobago to economist parents and she was immersed in the cultures and languages of India through her mother and Trinidad through her father. She was an avid reader growing up and it set the pace for her desire to always want to learn more. It also helped her cope with the difficult situations she endured while growing up.

"I believe in education because it helped liberate me. I was able to test and perform well enough to get national merit placement, ensuring my place at a good university. I was fortunate that my resilience took the form of educationally adaptive coping mechanisms.

"I became a teacher for the kids like me. I became a teacher for my colleagues who have also experienced danger and harm. I became a teacher for the teachers I had who made the difference between my being able to survive my childhood and thrive in the world along pathways I chose as my own," said Fenwick.

Jarred Turner teaches 8th-grade U.S. History at Central Junior High. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He has served as a department chair at CJHS and is a mentor teacher with the MPS District Mentor Program. 

Turner said, "Over the years I worked in many professions but I still held a deep fascination with history and an interest in somehow making education my career. Education is the first career I have had that when people ask about what I do I’m proud to tell them that I am a teacher.

"Among my greatest contributions has been serving as my school’s Department Chair for Social Studies for the past two years. Having the opportunity to work closely with the administration, contribute ideas and help new teachers has been both challenging and rewarding. I also take pride in creating and distributing new lessons that other teachers use not just in my school, but across the country."

Taylor Woodard teaches 5th-6th grade Reading/Language Arts and Geography at South Lake Elementary School. She holds a bachelor's degree in cross-cultural ministry from Oklahoma Baptist University and has also taught at Edmond Public School and Southwest Christian Academy. She is highly involved with professional organizations and serves in leadership roles in her industry. 

"As my twelfth year of teaching has started, my commitment remains: helping students feel valued, empowered, and excited to learn. It has always been important to me that each student feels valued for the person he or she is - because of and not despite their differences. Before meaningful learning can ever take place, students must understand they are significant, that they matter and have something special to contribute to the world around them," said Woodard.

"I want to encourage both experienced teachers and those interested in joining our profession so that students in our state continue to have loving, highly qualified leaders with them each day," she said. 


  • Awards
  • Teacher of the Year