Vanoss Teacher Wins Special Education Merit Award

Rebecca Ogles of Vanoss Public Schools is the winner of the 2022 Jonathan Tinney Special Education Educator Merit Award. The award was presented at the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Excellence in Education Banquet.

Ogles was one of 36 educators, support professionals and administrators who were honored as finalists for the Excellence in Education Merit and Character Awards by the POE Foundation in April.

According to POE Foundation Executive Director Ginger Tinney, “These awards serve as an encouragement to not only Oklahoma educators, but also to the many businesses, organizations, and communities that have a stake in the character building and intellectual development of the children who will shape our state in the future.”

The Jonathan Tinney Special Education Merit Award is named in memory of the late Jonathan Michael Tinney, infant son of Mike and Ginger Tinney. Jonathan was born with Down’s syndrome in 1989. Even though he was an infant, he received services from a couple of very special teachers of Norman Public Schools. This award is underwritten by the Michael Tinney family to honor the tremendous dedication and very important work of special education teachers.

“Ms. Ogles is highly respected by students, colleagues, parents, and community members due to her dedication to education and exceptional work ethic,” said Vanoss Superintendent Marjana Tharp. “She not only motivates young minds to learn and to do their best, but she inspires her co-workers and parents to go the extra mile. She has agreed to offer counseling services after school to help struggling students learn how to cope during the uncertain time of the pandemic.”

Ogles is a special education director and teacher at Vanoss Public School, where she has taught for eight years. Prior to working at Vanoss, Ogles worked for Ada Public Schools for 10 years. She earned her Master of Education in Elementary School Counselor and Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Elementary Education, both from East Central University.

The Excellence in Education Awards Banquet recognizes and rewards Oklahoma educators who demonstrate a commitment to their students in teaching strength of character and excellence in the school or classroom. Award nominees must go through a rigorous application and evaluation process.

As a winner, Ogles received a check for $500, a free POE membership and a commendation from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell.

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