October 7, 2008

Congratulations Are in Order for Oklahoma’s 2009 ‘Teacher of the Year’

All Kinds of Minds today congratulates Heather Sparks for earning "2009 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year" honors. Sparks is a graduate of the All Kinds of Minds Schools Attuned program and serves as a program facilitator, where she spent her summer months training fellow educators in the Schools Attuned techniques and methodologies.

"Schools Attuned is a professional development experience that has significantly changed my teaching," Sparks said. "After completing the Core Course in 2000, I returned to my classroom to find that my ability to help students who typically struggle in school improved tremendously. The strategies and skills I learned from Schools Attuned still assist me daily as I work with my students. I believe every educator would benefit from this powerful professional development."

Sparks was awarded the state's highest teaching honor on Sept. 16 by the state's superintendent of schools. She is a mathematics teacher at Taft Middle School in Oklahoma City where she teaches algebra and pre-algebra to eighth grade students. Sparks has 15 years teaching experience in Oklahoma, has earned master's degree from Oklahoma City University and has National Board certification. She is a winner of the 2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.

"Heather Sparks personifies the Schools Attuned program," said Mary-Dean Barringer, CEO of All Kinds of Minds. "Students who once struggled to learn now find success through the dedication and expertise that educators like Heather bring to the classroom. I'm thrilled our work contributed to her portfolio of achievements with students. We congratulate the 2009 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and know she will be an excellent ambassador for the state's educational programs."

After winning the state's highest teaching honor and a prize package estimated at $50,000, Sparks will serve as Oklahoma's Ambassador of Teaching, traveling across the state to speak to parents, educators and colleges of education students and conduct professional development.

The Schools Attuned professional development program was created by All Kinds of Minds to assist K-12 educators in understanding and managing the learning variation in their classroom to help every struggling learner find success in school.

About All Kinds of Minds

All Kinds of Minds is a non-profit institute that helps students who struggle with learning measurably improve their success in school and life by providing programs that integrate educational, scientific, and clinical expertise.

The institute was founded in 1995 to translate the latest research on how children learn into programs, products and services that help students struggling in school become successful learners. The institute's programs are based on insights from pivotal medical and educational studies, as well as more than 30 years of clinical experience by leading education researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, All Kinds of Minds experts, and other experts in the field.