Emily Boyett, an early-childhood speech-language pathology teacher from Frontier Elementary, has been named the 2022/2023 Edmond Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Angela Grunewald made the announcement on March 3rd during the district’s Celebration of Excellence event sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.
“Emily is dedicated to finding and using therapies that help her students overcome communication challenges,” said Superintendent Angela Grunewald. “She is a passionate, innovative educator who is always seeking solutions to help improve her students’ quality of life.”
Over her 22-years of educational experience, Boyett has grown to learn that non-traditional methods of communication are a key to giving children a voice.
“I believe that communication is the essence of human life, and everyone deserves a voice,” Boyett said. “One of my greatest passions is helping students who are functionally nonverbal find means of communicating in non-traditional ways.”
One way she has looked to accomplish her goal is by using assistive technology. She formed Edmond Public School’s Assistive Technology Team in 2013 to accomplish that goal.
The team’s goal is to give educators and therapists the tools to find assistive technology solutions for hundreds of students on top of providing traditional speech-language services.
“Working at the elementary school level allows me to assess and match my students with appropriate tools for communication at an early age, setting them up for future success,” Boyett said.
Her passion for including tools that are universally designed for learning has helped students who need text read aloud to learn better. It also extends to non-English speaking students who learn better when hearing the text.
“My mission is to help my students find their voices and live up to the maximum of their potential,” Boyett said.
Boyett’s mission of helping students extends outside the school walls and normal workday when she volunteers with Make Promises Happen, an outdoor recreational program for children with physical and/or intellectual impairments.
“Experiences such as these have helped shape the educator and therapist I am today,” Boyett said. “I see limitless potential in my students no matter how complex their physical or cognitive needs.”
She has volunteered with Make Promises Happen since 2001 as a camp director, which she said has made the greatest impact on her life.
“To her, these kids do not have disabilities, but rather they have great abilities that are unique to them,” parents Shawn Wallace-Wray and Andrew Wray wrote about Boyett in a letter of recommendation.
The two said Boyett has been “pivotal in changing our child’s life and therefore the life of our family,” for the better.
Rookie Teacher of the Year
Also honored at Edmond’s Celebration of Excellence was Carlie Crutchfield, a sixth-grade math teacher at Sequoyah Middle School, who was named the Rookie Teacher of the Year.
During her first year, she has taken on creating engaging activities for middle school students to connect with math. She is known as somebody who can pivot like a veteran teacher when it comes to helping students learn.
Support Employee of the Year
Additionally, Donna Hill, a classroom assistant II at John Ross Elementary who has been with the district for more than 40 years, was named the 2022 Edmond Support Employee of the Year.
Called a “child whisperer,” Hill is known to have a way of being able to calm children down.
“I do not go to work, I go to joy,” Hill said. “I invest every ounce in the students each day.”
Serving decades at John Ross Elementary, Hill has earned the reputation of encouraging not only her students but also coworkers. She mainly works with special needs children, teaching and encouraging them to become more confident in themselves.
“Donna deeply touches the lives of the children, families, and staff in which she works every single day,” said John Ross Principal Christa Ellis. “She has a heart of gold and lives in such a way that she puts others before herself. She is a blessing to our school family and we are so grateful for her.”
Over her 42 years at Edmond Public Schools, Hill said that seeing the students grow up and become successful is one of her greatest joys.
“I have seen children come up from kindergarten all the way to workforce,” Hill said.