The Duncan Banner

Local News

November 14, 2012

Hurst named teacher of the year

DUNCAN — The Sandra Hurst who sat in a classroom in Duncan High School isn’t the same Sandra Hurst who was recognized as the teacher of the year for the 2012-13 school year.

Hurst, who received the district’s top teaching honor Tuesday, said a lot has changed since she was a DHS student. She has become more outgoing and has found her calling in challenging students as a DHS teacher.

When Hurst was named the teacher of the year, which occurred following an envelop opening by Superintendent Sherry Labyer, Hurst found herself speechless, something she admitted doesn’t happen often. After she found her words, she acknowledged the role teachers play in students’ lives, and the positive impact she is trying to have on the students.

“We do make a difference in these kids’ lives,” Hurst said.

As an English teacher, Hurst usually finds herself well-spoken. But following her recognition, she couldn’t think of anything original to say. In the most formulaic terms, she was honored and she was excited.

“Every cliché in the book,” Hurst said. “I’m really shocked. You never think you could possibly win.”

But she did win.

And it was the honor of teachers, family members and various other community members to go up and congratulate her following the ceremony. Her family appeared as all smiles, with the exception of her mother who was brought to tears with joy.

Hurst said her family helped to make the moment even more special for her because they were there to watch her recognition.

Prior to Hurst being named teacher of the year, Labyer and 2011-12 teacher of the year Maria Martinez talked about the importance of the ceremony.

“This is a really good day to honor teachers,” Labyer said. “There’s nothing better than to have peers choose them.”

That’s how the process worked.

Teachers at each site chose one educator to represent their school. Once all the nominees were chosen, district-wide teachers voted for who they wanted to be their teacher of the year.

Hurst has been through this process before. She was previously nominated for teacher of the year in 2010, although the honor went to Dede Lee, Will Rogers Pre-Kindergarten teacher.

The ceremony and alerting the teacher of the year candidates was something the Professional Development Committee was in charge of. Darla Skinner is this year’s president of the committee.

Usually the outgoing teacher of the year doesn’t get to speak much during the ceremony. But that changed this year. Martinez was asked to speak, to provide words of encouragement for this year’s nominees.

She used the word “pearl” to describe how unique and amazing great teachers can be. Each letter of the word also represented a quality Martinez found in all of this year’s candidates: “Precious,”  "Extraordinary," “Admirable,” “Rare,” “Lovely,” “Splendid.”

“I want to encourage all teachers to be pearls,” Martinez said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014

  • Empire water removal proposal withdrawn

    A rural water district has canceled its application to withdraw up to 7.8 million gallons of additional water after Empire residents protested their private wells might run dry if that much groundwater was taken.
    A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board said Tuesday the application for groundwater rights was withdrawn by Fox Engineering Inc., an Ardmore firm that works as a consultant for Rural Water District No. 3.

    April 16, 2014

  • Man stabbed at water treatment plant

    A 50-year-old man who said was approached by three males was stabbed and cut several time at the Duncan Water Treatment Plant, police said Tuesday.
    The attack took place around 9 p.m. Monday on the south side of the treatment plant office where two men forced the victim against a wall and a third man attacked him, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Maundy Thursday services reflect on night before crucifixion

    Maundy Thursday, the night before the crucifixion that some Chrisitians refer to as “Holy Thursday,” will be recognized with special services in some Duncan churches.
    The day is celebrated in recognition of the Last Supper and a foot washing ceremony that took place before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    April 16, 2014

  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video