Enid Public Schools in collaboration with the EPS Foundation announced their 2023-24 Rookie of the Year finalists, the first year to honor educators that have been teaching in public education for three years or less.

The finalists are Morgan Darnell, Tyler Dunham, and Rylee McDaniel.

“We are so excited to begin the tradition of recognizing these educators,” said Janna Jackson, Director of the Enid Public School Foundation. “We want our teachers to know that we see their hard work and you don’t have to be a veteran teacher to be one of the best in your field at reaching students, loving and educating them.”

Finalists were nominated by their peers and voted on by a community committee.

Morgan Darnell was nominated by colleague Sandra Lippard. Lippard shared how Darnell is always making her classroom a safe space to learn, saying, “She strives to not miss any important verbal and non-verbal clues students are giving her that would give her great insight into how to help her students continue working to be the best they can be.”

Tyler Dunham has been with EPS since 2021 and is a supportive teacher and coach for Pacers and Plainsmen. Nominated by Kelsey Johnson, she says, “He’s a true leader that so many students will take away valuable life lessons from and know that he is always in their corner and someone who will guide them in the right direction.”

The last finalist is Rylee McDaniel, English teacher at Enid High. An Enid High graduate that has been back in the classrooms of her alma mater since 2022 as a teacher, she makes sure her classroom is a place all students have the resources to succeed and learn. Colleague Brandalyn Montague says, “She goes out of her way to make students feel welcome, she helps them in the learning process, and she makes sure they get what they need and deserve.”

A district winner will be announced at the Education Celebration on December 13 at 5 p.m. in the Enid High School gymnasium. The event will open to the public and will also be live-streamed on the district YouTube page and Suddenlink Channel 19.