The Teaching and Leading Initiative of Oklahoma (TLI) has honored 20 of the top novice teachers in the state in the third annual 20 Under 2 Novice Teaching Awards, a list of promising new Oklahoma teachers. The honorees include Leighton Loch, a teacher for Ponca City Public Schools.
The 20 Under 2 award celebrates emerging teachers who are setting the pace for teaching and making Oklahoma’s future look bright.
Ponca City Superintendent Shelley Arrott said, “As a new teacher, Leighton continually strives for innovative ways to meet the needs of all her students. Action research is constantly occurring in her classroom as she determines the instructional strategies and methods that help each student learn effectively. It is her endeavor to grow professionally every day. She is very coachable and gives great credit to the excellent staff at Trout Elementary she considers as her mentors.”
“Not only does she focus on improving instructional delivery, but she is a master at building relationships with her students, their parents and other staff members. We are so thankful to have Leighton as a member of Team PCPS and we are very happy she is a Ponca City Wildcat. She is a true team player, has a positive attitude, is a natural in the classroom and puts the needs of her students first. It is obvious her students love her!”
Across the state, principals, veteran teachers and district leaders submitted their top novice teachers for consideration. Each nomination was reviewed by a committee of education professionals and chosen through a multi-stage selection process. The 20 honorees were selected for their outstanding classroom culture, fostering academic success and their commitment to Oklahoma students and communities.
Loch is a second grade teacher at E.M. Trout Elementary School. Her strengths in the classroom center on her insistence that building strong relationships with students spur learning and her relentless drive to develop a wide range of pedagogical skills. Loch eagerly learns from her colleagues and doesn’t shy away from asking questions.
“It has never failed that I taught a new concept and then saw a much better way of doing it a week later. I am so thankful for teachers who are willing to share thoughts, ideas and activities,” said Loch.
Carla Fry, principal at Trout, said, “Leighton is a shining star! She is a master at creating lessons that engage students. Her students recently published a book about their future aspirations. Just like a book tour, Ms. Loch organized a publishing party and had the students read aloud their pages and share their illustrations. This is just one example of how life lessons are integrated into their daily routines. She has a bright future! She is a teacher making memories everyday with her young leaders.”
Loch is a traditionally certified teacher in her first year of teaching. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.
The 20 Under 2 honorees will receive a $250 gift card to Magic City Books to build their classroom library. Honorees will also receive a gift box that includes a custom 2 Under 2 plaque, a Round Table membership from Magic City Books, a custom notebook and other goodies.
Leighton Lock, center, has been named as one of the top teachers in the state after being one of 20 teachers selected to receive a 20 Under 2 Novice Teaching Award. Leighton is a second grade teacher at E.M. Trout Elementary School. She is pictured with Superintendent Shelley Arrott, left, and Carla Fry, right, principal of Trout Elementary.