State teacher up for national award

Shawn Sheehan of Norman High School was named one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award.

“I’m honored and humbled,” said Sheehan, who is a specialized education algebra teacher. “To potentially represent our state at the national level means the world to me, especially during the current climate surrounding education. I’ve always tried to represent our profession with optimism, pride, and respect, and now that I am a national finalist, I’m eager to carry the torch for all the dedicated, hard-working educators in our state and country.”

Since being named Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year in August, Sheehan has traveled the state speaking with future educators about the profession. His Teach Like Me campaign, which he debuted in 2013, is a personal teacher recruitment vehicle that encourages others to join the profession.

Sheehan has taught at Norman High School for five years and has found success by implementing a customized “flipped classroom,” which allows students to study engaging video segments at home and bring the discussions back to class.

Sheehan will travel to Washington, D.C., in February, where he and the other three finalists will go through interviews with the selection committee. The other finalists are from California, Connecticut and Washington State.

It has been more than fifty years since an Oklahoma educator was named National Teacher of the Year. Past recipients include Edna Donley of Alva High School (1959) and Lawana Trout of Charles Page High School in Sand Springs (1964).