Paoli teacher a top honoree

Austin Wood 

A Paoli teacher is on the top 20 list of up and coming educators in the state.

Austin Wood, a math teacher and the 2019 teacher of the year at Paoli High School, is one of the 20 top novice teacher in the state.

The Teaching and Leading Initiative of Oklahoma (TLI) is promoting the first annual 20 Under 2 list, a list of promising new Oklahoma teachers.

This list celebrates emerging teacher leaders, high performers and novice educators who make Oklahoma’s future look bright.

“Mr. Wood is an excellent teacher,” said principal Byron Mooney.

“He is light years ahead of most novice teachers in academics, classroom management and accountability as evidenced by his selection as our high school teacher of the year.”

Mooney adds Wood has worked hard to improve student math achievement this year.

“Some of the students were so unsure of themselves that they were afraid to even try. Now I can see a lot more confidence in their work. As I walk around the classroom checking to see how they are progressing through assignments I can see how much better they have become at tackling problems.”

Across the state, principals, veteran teachers and district leaders submitted their top novice teachers for consideration. Each nomination from principals and colleagues was reviewed and scored by a panel of education professionals.

Wood is a graduate of East Central University.

“It’s essential to celebrate outstanding novice teachers especially in the midst of Oklahoma’s worrisome teacher shortage,” said TLI Executive Director Jo Lein.

“It’s exciting to honor some of the bright, accomplished novice teachers in our state. We want to encourage excellent novice teachers to stay in the profession and brighten the future for Oklahoma children.”

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