Lauren Dile, a kindergarten teacher at West Field Elementary, has been named the 2023 Edmond Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Angela Grunewald made the announcement on April 20 during the district’s Celebration of Excellence event sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.
“Lauren will represent our district so well. She is a model teacher and will help tell the story of Edmond Public Schools,” Grunewald said.
With just a few years under her belt, Dile has become a leader and role model through her coaching of other educators and mentorship of future teachers.
“Edmond values young teachers and gives us the resources we need to succeed,” Dile said.
Dile joined the district in the fall of 2019 after completing her undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma with a special distinction in early childhood education.
“Since I was a kindergartner myself, I have known that I wanted to become a teacher,” said Dile. “Teaching had me.”
Dile’s inspiration to teach came after her brother, who has a disability, was denied accommodations at a private school. “That was really what inspired me to be the teacher who is for all students,” Dile said. “I hope to be that kind of educator.”
Dile’s principal, Crystal Smith said many educators come to observe Dile and see her modeling highly effective teaching practices. “She is fiercely passionate about early childhood education … and will professionally advocate and spread her passion through every avenue,” Smith said.
Throughout the year, Dile organizes many activities for her students. Those include trips to the Edmond Fire Departments Children Safety Village, writing letters to veterans on Veteran’s Day, and hosting Popsicles at the Playground during the summer for former students.
Throughout the summer Dile has created resource videos for educators, updated the curriculum, along with taking multiple personal development courses.
Support Employee of the Year
Robbi Kinnaird, a secretary at Cimarron Middle School, has been named the 2023 Edmond Public Schools Support Employee of the Year.
“My goal is for the students to be served,” Kinnaird said. “We all have to work hard to keep the school going.”
Kinnaird began her work in 2017 with Edmond Public Schools and has been a lifelong resident since graduating from Edmond Memorial.
“She has a heart for helping others and this shines through in all the positive interactions she has with others,” said fellow teacher Kristen Patterson.
Known as the “keeper of chocolate,” Kinnaird has shown herself as a light to those who come in and brings fun to the office.
“She always has an encouraging word if someone is having a rough day,” said attendance secretary Karen Byrne. “Her welcoming demeanor and professional attitude along with her organizational skills make her an invaluable resource to so many.”
Her dedication to the school begins each morning, often arriving first and leaving last. She handles substitute teachers and has served as a parent volunteer and as an EPS Foundation board member.
“I love what I get to do,” Kinnaird said.
Robbi’s mother Kathy Thomas was active in the district as PTA President of Orvis Risner Elementary for many years, and her father, Robert Thomas, graduated from Edmond High School in 1955. The Thomas family goes back to the settler days of Edmond, as she herself is a fourth-generation settler of Edmond. Robbi and her children all graduated from Edmond Memorial High School.
“My roots are here in Edmond and I would never go anywhere else.”
Rookie Teacher of the Year
Also honored at Edmond’s Celebration of Excellence was Andrew Rosko from Edmond Santa Fe High School, who was named the Rookie Teacher of the Year.
“I am really excited to see where this journey of being a teacher takes me,” Rosko said.
Rosko began teaching United States and Oklahoma History last November for the district after student teaching within the district.