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Matthew Mairet Named 2023 District Teacher of the Year

Norman Public Schools tonight announced Matthew Mairet, 2nd grade teacher at Adams Elementary, as the district’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. 

As a leader at Adams, where he has worked since 2019, Mariet serves as a mentor teacher, the school’s on-site technology assistant and as a PTA member. Mairet recently became an avid runner and started the Adams Running Club for teachers and plans to volunteer at this year’s Oklahoma Memorial Kids Run. 

Additionally, he is a member of Professional Educators of Norman, serving as the building representative in 2020-2021, and the Oklahoma Education Association. Mairet earned his associate’s degree from Oklahoma City Community College and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. In May, he will graduate with a master’s degree in library and information science.

“Matthew’s passion for his profession is infectious, and his genuine care for students is apparent during any conversation you have with him,” Superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino said. “He is also an incredible leader at Adams who aims to support and encourage his colleagues. A graduate of Norman Public Schools himself, Matthew is an advocate for public education and holds a strong belief that all students can achieve at high levels. I am proud to have Matthew represent Norman Public Schools and all of our talented educators.” 

Mairet was selected through a competitive process, coordinated by the district’s Staff Development Committee. After being selected as the Teacher of the Year for Adams, he submitted a comprehensive portfolio, participated in various interviews and a video that showcased his teaching skills and philosophy. He was one of four finalists for the award and was crowned during the district's annual Celebration of Excellence event. 

Veteran educators, as well as those who are new to the profession, were also recognized during the celebration. The district’s Rookie Teacher of the Year, Anna Fitzgerald, was honored for her excellence as a first-year teacher at Norman North High School. Fitzgerald, who is the school’s assistant band director, was unable to attend the event as she is with students attending clinics, workshops and performances at Northwestern University. Dr. Kim Garrett, Norman North’s principal, accepted the award on Fitzgerald’s behalf. 

Lajuana Pierce, a resource teacher at Whittier Middle School, was named the district’s Special Education Teacher of the Year. Additionally, the district named Bonnie Whited as the Lois K. Annesley Support Employee of the Year. Whited, an office assistant at Lincoln Elementary, was chosen from a group of six finalists from departments across the district. 

District officials also honored Kate Vahlberg and Carolina Cunningham, co-chairs of the Vote Yes for Kids committee, with the 2023 Public Education Ambassador of the Year Award. Created in 2003, the Vote Yes for Kids committee advocates for Norman Public Schools’ bond proposals, educating community members about the bond projects. Kate, Carolina and the rest of the volunteers on the committee dedicated countless hours to informing the community about the 2023 bond proposal, and the committee’s efforts will have an impact on both future and current students and staff.