Falon Wilson of Chelsea High School is the 2022 winner of the Olan Isbell Merit Award, a statewide honor named in memory of the founder of Professional Oklahoma Educators.
Wilson was one of 36 educators, support professionals and administrators honored as finalists for the Excellence in Education Merit and Character Awards by the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation. As a winner, Wilson received a check for $500, a free POE membership and a commendation from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell.
In 1988, Professional Oklahoma Educators, also known as APOE, was founded by the late Mr. Olan Isbell of Bennington, Oklahoma. Isbell served as the superintendent of Bennington Public Schools and was an outstanding educator and leader.
As an outstanding leader at Chelsea High School, Wilson has served as a counselor for the past six years. She developed a credit recovery program that allows students to make up credits they need to graduate, without having to retake the entire course in a traditional manner. She also developed and arranged to have a stocked food pantry and clothing closet program for students in need. Additionally, Wilson was the primary lead in planning and directing the school’s first immersive summer school program.
Prior to serving as a counselor, Wilson was an elementary teacher for nine years at Chelsea. She earned her Associate in Arts from Rogers State University, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Northeastern State University, Master of Education from the University of Oklahoma and Master of Education in School Counseling from Lamar University. Wilson is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
“Mrs. Wilson is integral to our staff while being a positive influence and role model for our community,” said Richard McSpadden, superintendent of Chelsea Schools. “She has spent countless hours volunteering her time to both our school and our community. Her dedication and commitment exemplify the qualities we desire to develop with our students.”
“She pursues all that she does with thoughtful excellence which truly changes lives,” said Lori Milan with the Chelsea Board of Education. “Mrs. Wilson has changed the educational climate at the high school, using her skills and technological knowledge to provide students in our small rural school district access to online classes in fields of study previously unavailable to them in the classroom. She exemplifies the highest level of teaching excellence and moral character.”
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. 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.”