Each of the eight Altus Schools sites recently selected their 2016 Teacher of the Year. From these, the Altus Public Schools 2016 Teacher of the Year was selected. The Top Three finalists were Randall Coffman, Altus High School; Jackie Russell, Altus Junior High; and Debra Mardis, Will Rogers Elementary School. Coffman was named as the 2016 Teacher of the Year at the January Board of Education meeting held Monday, Jan. 11.
Other teachers nominated were Staci Cope, Altus Intermediate School; Amanda Roberson, Washington Elementary School; Denise Durrence, Roosevelt Elementary School; Minday Hawthorne, Sunset Elementary School; and Christina Sewell, Rivers Elementary.
Randall Coffman brings 27 years teaching experience to the science classroom each day. Nine of those have been spent at Altus High School. Coffman currently teaches 9th grade Pre-AP Biology and AP Environmental Science. He also coaches the girls golf team in the spring. Coffman’s experiences include serving as the Co-Director for the Altus MSP Grant, which provides hands on learning opportunities in Science and Math for local teachers. He has also served as FAST I & II trainer and OK Mesonet STORMTEAM trainer. Coffman was honored in 2013 as the Air Force Association Oklahoma Aerospace Teacher of the Year.
Coffman completed High School in Mangum, he attended and graduated from Southwestern in Weatherford, and Mississippi State. His teaching career began at Hobart High School, and later relocated to Choctaw, where he also received District Teacher of the Year. In 2006 he returned to teach in hometown Mangum, and was hired in 2007 by Altus Public Schools.
“True Teaching needs to unfold as your ministry,” Coffman says. “It’s my job to be mentor, facilitator, cheerleader, and teacher. If you’re considering teaching you need to become a teacher, for the right reasons. You must like and want to help people, and truly want to make a difference. It is a very noble profession and requires a lot of time and dedication.”
Coffman stated that today’s students are very assertive and into technology. “As a teacher, I have had to evolve my craft and learn to adapt to change. I feel a key to getting kids to do what you ask of them, is to build a relationship with them. Every person has had an education experience, whether positive or negative therefore, I try to make every students day the best day I can for them. If you put your heart into it, you can make a change.”
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077