Educator Profile    Educators

Hailey Couch (OK '18)

District Elementary Instructional Coach

Norman Public Schools
Norman, OK

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): Pre-K, K, 1, 2

At the time of the Award, Hailey Couch was:

Madison Elementary
Norman, OK

Subject(s) taught: Kindergarten
Grade(s): K

Biographical Information

Hailey Couch’s kindergarten classroom at Madison Elementary in Norman, Oklahoma, runs like clockwork. Couch’s mastery of classroom management includes predictable routines, clear expectations, smooth transitions, effective lesson planning, and engaging instruction with both small groups and the whole class. She holds high expectations for all her students, including those with special needs, believing that the higher she sets the bar, the harder students will work to reach it. Couch keeps a binder with data on each student to help her differentiate instruction and track growth for every child. She seeks innovative and creative solutions when challenges arise, determined to create the best learning environment for each and every student.

Couch is a leader both at Madison and within Norman Public Schools. She has served on the kindergarten advisory board and early childhood advisory committee. Couch helped to revise the kindergarten report cards, realigning the standards-based report with new state academic standards. She hosts observers from around the district as part of the Fast Track to Classroom Management professional development training, opening her classroom to both new and career teachers to share best practices. She participates on Madison’s Climate Committee, focused on nurturing a positive school climate and creating enrichment activities for students, staff and families. Couch is a facilitator and trainer for Great Expectations, leading presentations and workshops over the summer to help educators develop approaches to improving school culture.

Several years ago, Couch traveled to China for a teacher exchange program with the University of Oklahoma’s Confucius Classroom. When the program sent a teacher to Oklahoma as part of the exchange, Couch welcomed her into the classroom. This was fitting as Madison sits in a neighborhood popular with international students working and studying at the university, and the student body includes many English language learners with up to 13 different native languages. The intern taught the children Chinese language and culture, while Couch schooled the Chinese teacher in American pedagogy and classroom expectations—an exchange that provided vast benefits on both sides.

Couch earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education from Oklahoma City University in 2013.

Hailey Couch is a district Elementary Instructional Coach for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. She previously taught Kindergarten and 2nd Grade, and was an Instructional Coach for the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She has served on the Kindergarten Advisory Board and Early Childhood Advisory Committee. She helped to revise the kindergarten report cards, realigning the standards-based report with new state academic standards. Hailey received the Milken Educator Award in 2018 as a kindergarten teacher, as well as was named Teacher of The Year the same school year. She co-authored the Oklahoma Play to Learn Act bill, which was passed in 2021. This piece of legislation permits educators to create play-based learning opportunities in the realm of movement, creative expression, exploration, socialization, reading for pleasure, and dramatic play. She heavily advocates for all students and educators across Oklahoma. Hailey models continuous improvement and lifelong learning through coaching conversations which focus on instructional and classroom management strategies, resulting in student achievement across the school district. She offers and facilitates countless support and professional development opportunities to novice and veteran teachers in her school district to ensure growth and improvement for instruction and learning. Hailey earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education from Oklahoma City University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision from The University of Oklahoma. Hailey strives to advocate for public education in the state of Oklahoma and hopes to positively impact as many educators and students as possible through her career. 

Press release: By raising the bar for students, kindergarten teacher Hailey Couch earns a $25,000 Milken Educator Award


Personal Message

I am still in shock! I cannot believe this is happening! I am so thankful to be one of the educators to receive this award!

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Hailey Couch In The News

WATCH --> Hailey Couch: Mrs. Couch's Couch Corner! — Oklahoma City, OK
KOKH-TV  |  FOX  |  Mar 19, 2020  |  Oklahoma City, OK

'We Are the Voice for Our Profession': Milken Awardees on How Teachers Can Lead
Education Week Teacher  |  Jan 09, 2019  |  Bethesda, MD

WATCH --> Kindergarten Teacher Left Speechless After Receiving $25,000 Award
RightThisMinute  |  Oct 24, 2018  |  Phoenix, AZ

Norman Teacher Receives Prestigious Teaching Award
The Norman Transcript  |  Oct 24, 2018  |  Norman, OK

WATCH --> Norman Kindergarten Teacher Wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KFOR-TV  |  NBC  |  Oct 23, 2018  |  Oklahoma City, OK

WATCH --> Norman Teacher Receives Surprise Recognition
The Oklahoman  |  Oct 23, 2018  |  Oklahoma City, OK