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JRCoE Alums Named Teacher of the Year Finalists

street sign that says teacher of the year

JRCoE Alums Named Teacher of the Year Finalists

Juan Renteria (B.S. Ed. 2015, M.Ed. 2018) and Kortni Torralba (B.S. Ed. 1998; M.Ed. 1999) were two of 12 named 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalists.

“These 12 educators represent some of the best teaching talent in Oklahoma,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “These finalists are exceptional examples of the tremendous impact one person can make in the lives of kids. Each one of these teachers demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the success of each of their students and are highly deserving of this honor.” 

All finalists were named teachers of the year for their districts or schools and selected after their applications were reviewed by a panel of educators, lawmakers and civic leaders.  

The 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named in March. Beginning July 1, the honoree will assume full-time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s ambassador for teachers, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. The 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Jessica Eschbach (a JRCoE graduate), will continue touring the state until July. Click Here for Complete Release

Headshot of Juan Renteria with a grey background wearing a grey sport coat and white shirt

Juan Renteria, Jr., Fifth Grade Teacher – Truman Elementary School (Norman Public Schools)

“As teachers, it is so important that we highlight the power of inclusivity and collaboration. These two core values work hand-in-hand and serve to positively affirm the identity of our students while bringing greater value to our collaborative efforts despite any cultural, political, religious or socioeconomic differences.”

Headshot of Kortni Torralba with a grey background wearing a grey shirt

Kortni Torralba, Therapeutic Educator – Moore Alternative School and Treatment (Moore Public Schools)

“I want to be an inspiration for my students, especially the child for whom everyone else has exhausted all possibilities. While I may not have always planned to be a teacher, from the moment I stepped in the classroom, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”