March 2023 Secondary ELAOK Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
English Language Arts

March 2023

In this issue:

English Teacher Traci Manuel Named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year


In a ceremony on March 1, Traci Manuel, an English teacher from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa Public Schools, was announced as the 2023 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Leading up to the announcement of the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, the Oklahoma State Department of Education released videos of the twelve finalists. All finalists were named teachers of the year for their districts or schools and selected after their applications were reviewed by a panel of educators, lawmakers, and civic leaders.

In addition to Traci Manuel, Rexanne McCrary who teaches high school English in Union Public Schools was also finalist. Click the images below to watch their videos.


Traci sets high expectations for all of her students. Reflect on the expectations you set for your students. How do you help them achieve?

Learn more about the philosophical chairs technique that Traci mentions in her video from this Edutopia article.

Read more about about Traci in the December 2022 newsletter.


Rexanne, a cancer survivor, acknowledges that since she has been vulnerable with her students, they too have been vulnerable with her. How have you shared any of your struggles with reading or writing to humanize yourself and inspire your students to improve their language arts skills?

Read more about Rexanne in the November 2022 newsletter.

2023-24 AP Materials Grant

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is offering a one-time materials grant for all AP educators. This grant is available to any teacher who teaches an existing AP course or who will begin a new AP course in the 2023-2024 school year. The maximum award for this grant is $25,000. 

The full Request for Proposals is available HERE

To apply, please complete your proposal at this link:

A copy of the Assurances Statement must be signed and attached on the form. The Statement can be found HERE

Proposals are due April 21, 2023. Award announcements will be May 10, 2023. 

For questions, please contact Leah Murphy, Director of AP at

Holocaust Resources for ELA

Why teach about the Holocaust

In collaboration with other agencies, the Oklahoma State Department of Education has created a webpage dedicated to the teaching of the Holocaust. Teaching the Holocaust is required in the social studies standards, and may be integrated into English language arts or visual arts.

This webpage features Holocaust resources developed by Oklahoma teachers to help educators in grades 6-12 teach the Holocaust. These English language arts resources may be helpful to educators as they build lessons and units. Resources are not intended as a mandate or an exhaustive listing of instructional resources, but merely represent suggestions from reliable sources.

Holocaust Education Conferences

The Jewish Federations of Tulsa and Greater Oklahoma City, to satisfy the recommendations of Senate Bill 1671 making Holocaust education available to every
Oklahoma student grades 6-12, will be presenting FREE duplicate workshops. Participants will receive 7 hours PD credit. See flyer below.

Register today!

workshop flyer

Oklahoma Poem Contest


One of the upcoming writing contests is the Oklahoma Poem Contest, sponsored by the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry.

To enter, write your own creative poem that honors or celebrates Oklahoma in some way.

In addition to students categories, there is also an adult category. Read the contest webpage for more details. The deadline to submit is April 7, 2023.

Monthly Features

Writing Prompt

Write a poem that honors or celebrates Oklahoma in some way. Write for at least five minutes. If you need some inspiration, check out these slides about Oklahoma's state meal.

Reading Quote

quindlen reading quote

Photo by Raul Juarez