Andrea Appleman

Position: Physical Science & Biology Teacher

School: Ada Junior High School

School District: Ada City Schools

City, State: Ada, Oklahoma 74820

About the Nominee: For the last 22 years, the last car to leave the parking lot each night has been that of Andrea Appleman. School has been out for several hours, but Ms. Appleman remains, working diligently to prepare for another day. She makes her students want to be life-long learners. She believes it is her role to create a bridge between what the students already know and what they will learn as they investigate and explore. Ms. Appleman changes lives.

Ms. Appleman is vital to many of her students that are part of the AVID program, a college readiness program for students who are first generation college students. She believes that their material should be personal and relevant so that the students will become part of the learning process. While Ms. Appleman’s classroom teaching is extraordinary, so too is her ability to nurture and build positive relationships with students. Many colleagues say that Ms. Appleman “connects” even with students that others have not been able to reach. She builds a climate of respect, creates a safe learning environment, and lets students know that they are both important and valued. Also, Ms. Appleman is a consummate professional. In 2014, the Ada City School District voted her as “Teacher of the Year.”

Andrea Appleman is changing the world, one student at a time.

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Ardeth Ludrick

Position: 1st Grade Teacher

School: Silo Elementary

School District: Silo Public Schools

City, State: Durant, Oklahoma 74701

About the Nominee: Two years ago, the home of a former student in Mrs. Ludrick's class caught on fire. During the cold winter months, the floor of the trailer became so cold that water would freeze in the pet's drinking bowls. Mrs. Ludrick and her husband invited this student to stay with them on nights of freezing temperatures. On those nights, the student became a part of the Ludrick family. In the life of this student, Mrs. Ludrick was truly a LifeChanger.


Carolyn Dougherty

Position: Teacher 6th Grade

School: Hilliard Tharp 6th Grade School

School District: Hilliard City School District

City, State: Hilliard, Ohio 43026

About the Nominee: Carolyn Dougherty is one of the most admired and respected teachers in Hilliard. For 35 years she has given herself selflessly to her school and students. She started her career as a 5th grade teacher, and then changed to 6th grade as part of a pioneer school focused on the treatment of the whole child. Ms. Dougherty was instrumental in the success of this school. She is a wonderful teacher with an expertise in Social Studies and a mind full of innovative ideas and lessons. She offers her students both a challenging curriculum and the belief that they can master it. Ms. Dougherty respects her students and empowers them, and their respect is mutual. They are creators of knowledge alongside her. Even though she has been recognized for her quality of teaching for 35 years, Ms. Dougherty works tirelessly to improve in every way that she can.

In addition to teaching, Ms. Dougherty coaches Middle School Football and Basketball Cheerleading and gives piano lessons to students from beginner to intermediate. In all endeavors, the success of her students is paramount. Carolyn Dougherty is truly a LifeChanger.