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Bixby Schools Teachers of the Year



Congratulations to all of Bixby Public Schools’ 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year! Look for a feature article about Bixby’s District Teacher of the Year in a coming issue.

Before becoming a teacher, Bixby High School history teacher Randall Briggs served in the U.S. Army for 20 years.

After his years of service, Briggs retired from the Army, and his affinity for teaching led him to education.

He has taught at Bixby High School for almost 10 years. He is also currently the head coach of the academic team.

When asked what inspires him in the classroom, “I love to see the imaginary light bulbs light up above students’ heads, and I love it almost as much when the light bulb lights up over my head when I learn something from our discussions.

“I love seeing students succeed in my classroom and in other aspects of school at BHS. I love seeing them grow and mature and then move on to college and real life.”

New York-native Bob DeCelle teaches Algebra I and Pre-AP Algebra II at the 9th Grade Center.

DeCelle is in his 26th year of teaching, nine of those years with Bixby Public Schools.

DeCelle’s goals each year revolve around helping his students build a firm foundation in math as they enter high school and encouraging critical thinking skills “so that they may be successful in whatever interests they pursue,” he says.

He is particularly looking forward to the coming school year, when Google Chrome Books are introduced at the 9th Grade Center. “This technology will have many more new avenues to reach the students at their needs.”

Catherine Woods, social studies teacher at the Middle School, has been teaching for 10 years, her entire career with Bixby schools.

“I’ve wanted to teach since I was in high school. My teachers made such an impact on me, and I decided I wanted to be a positive influence on others.”

Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Over the years, she has traveled around the United States, Europe, Asia and Central America, learning about various cultures and countries.

“I hope my experiences will help my students to be open to new experiences and ideas,” she says.

Among her classroom goals are instilling in her students a love of the past and exposing them to other points of view.

Central Intermediate’s Barbara Etheredge, fifth and sixth grade counselor, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from John Brown University. She holds her master’s from Northeastern State University in school counseling.

Her professional background includes working with inpatient facilities and outpatient services before she joined Bixby Public Schools seven years ago.

Etheredge has been described as compassionate, empathetic, dedicated, and one who looks out for the needs of others.

Central Elementary’s Ashley Griffin has taught at Central for 13 years as a Resource Room teacher.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Northeastern State University.

A Tulsa native, Griffin lives in Bixby with her family. All three of her children have graduated from or are currently attending Bixby Public Schools.

Although Griffin did not originally want to be a teacher, “my father always felt that I would be good at it,” she says.

Griffin chose to pursue special education after a serving as a lifeguard at Gatesway Foundation in Broken Arrow.

“I have a heart for those who need more: more love, more time, more attention, more consideration and more advocates,” she says.”

Carole Clagg teaches sixth grade math at North Intermediate. She is in her sixth year with Bixby Public Schools and her 15th year of teaching.

Clagg began her teaching career in Texas as a high school math teacher before taking time off to raise her two children, who are currently in sixth and fourth grades.

After moving back to Oklahoma and returning to the classroom, Clagg was hesitant about teaching the middle school grades, but that feeling didn’t last long, she says.
“I absolutely love this grade; I have had so much fun!”

Clagg enjoys passing along that “fun” to her students, instilling an enjoyment of math in them.

An Oklahoma State graduate, Clagg and her family particularly enjoy college football season, especially cheering on Oklahoma State and the Oklahoma Sooners.

North Elementary’s Shelly Musser teaches first grade and is in her fifth year with Bixby Public Schools.

She holds an education degree with a minor in music from Cameron University. She is certified in elementary education and music education and enjoys incorporating music into classroom activities.

“I have a passion for teaching and love what I do,” says Musser.

She endeavors to pass onto her students her love for and high expectations of them both in learning and character development.

Debbie McKnight teaches kindergarten at Northeast Elementary and Intermediate.
She is in her 13th year of teaching and 11th year as a kindergarten teacher.

McKnight graduated from Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

She has been been married for 30 years to her husband, Paul, and they have five children and three grandchildren.

Updated 04-06-2017

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