NORMAN — Bartlesville Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year Warren Neff has been named one of 12 finalists for 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced Thursday.


Hofmeister introduced all of the finalists during a ceremony at Norman North High School at the EngageOK conference.


“These 12 teachers represent some of Oklahoma’s finest educators who are making a difference in the lives of our students every day,” Hofmeister said. “We value their hard work, dedication to their craft and the commitment to excellence they demonstrate day in and day out. These men and women are doing important work to advance the development of our state through the growth and success of our children.”


Neff has taught in the Bartlesville school district for 15 years. He teaches Advanced Placement Physics I, Inquiry Physics and an AP math applications course with the Phillips 66 Innovation Lab at Bartlesville High School.


Neff was named the Bartlesville school district’s 2018 teacher of the year on March 27.


Bartlesville Superintendent Chuck McCauley said Neff is an amazing educator and that Neff’s nomination for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year speaks volumes for who he is as a teacher and mentor.


“It is an incredible honor for Warren. He is an outstanding teacher and leader in our district,” McCauley said. “I’m so glad he is receiving this recognition statewide. I think it speaks very well, not only of Warren, but for the rest of our staff. I’m so proud that he has been chosen, and I wish him well in the competition.”


All finalists are teachers of the year for their respective districts and were selected after their application packets were reviewed by: a panel of educators, legislators and members of business and nonprofit organizations.


The 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named Sept. 18 in a ceremony at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.


The 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will remain in the classroom for the 2018-19 school year. Beginning July 1, 2019, the honoree will assume full time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s teacher ambassador, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession.


The 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Donna Gradel of Broken Arrow, will continue to tour the state until July 2019.


At the ceremony, Gradel also presented a $5,000 Edward C. Joullian III Scholarship, established by the State Fair Board to benefit a graduating senior from the Teacher of the Year’s school district, to Noah Mebane of Broken Arrow High School.


The 11 other finalists for 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year include:


• Catherine Adams, Piedmont Public Schools;


• Natalie Fielden, Sapulpa Public Schools;


• Shari Gateley, Putnam City Public Schools;


• Amy Greenshaw, Jenks Public Schools;


• Carole Hunsperger, Grove Public Schools;


• Teresa Lanford, Norman Public Schools;


• Jenny Morphis, Hilldale Public Schools;


• Rebecca Oglesby, Yukon Public Schools;


• Jessica Robinson, Altus Public Schools;


• Michelle Shelton, Noble Public Schools;


• and V. Jannean Thompson, Berryhill Public Schools.