Educator Profile    Educators

Deborah S. Harwell (OK '06)


Schwartz Elementary School
Oklahoma City, OK

Subject(s) taught: Math
Grade(s): 4, 5

At the time of the Award, Deborah S. Harwell was:

Hugh Bish Elementary School
Lawton, OK

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): 4

Biographical Information

Fourth-grade teacher Deborah Harwell is known as the "dress-up teacher" at Hugh Bish Elementary School in Lawton. To engage student interest while meeting state educational standards, Ms. Harwell has disguised herself as characters ranging from a scientist named Dr. D to a miner named "Australia Minor," complete with helmet, coveralls and headlamp. Her "fun" approach to teaching, supported by effective hands-on instruction, has led to increases in math and reading scores. In addition to her work during the school day, Ms. Harwell provides before-school tutoring in preparation for criterion-referenced tests (CRTs), and volunteered with several colleagues from various grade levels to provide extended opportunities for struggling students to enhance their math skills. She has served as the district's curriculum alignment facilitator in the areas of math, science, language arts, and social studies, and is a reviewer for the MacMillan/McGraw-Hill science and math textbook series. No matter which character this "dress-up" teacher is playing, there is no disguising her gifts as an outstanding educator.