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Ponca City’s Stephen Parr – Teacher of the month presented by First National Bank of Oklahoma

By Derrick Smith

When a teacher decides to enter the teaching field, they are usually given advice from teachers that have taught for a lengthy amount of time. While the advice may not always be helpful or fit a situation, sometimes it is perfect. Stephen Parr says that he received some simple yet very good advice that he still uses to this day.

“Be patient,” he said. “Be patient with the students-most will eventually get it. Be patient with administration- they have a job to do also. And be patient with yourself- you don’t know everything yet.”

Parr teaches high school multimedia, desktop publishing, and computer science at Ponca City High School. He is in his third year. Stephen is married to his wife, Leanne and they have two children that have already graduated from high school, Matthew and Katie.

Entering the teaching profession is not one that everyone is excited to jump into. Stephen has a family full of teachers and he says that some people may just take a little longer to find it. 

“I believe that some people have a calling to be teachers,” he said. “My wife, my mother, my sister, and sister in-law have dedicated their lives to being teachers. I believe I may have that calling also but it has just taken me longer to hear it than it should have.”

Parr knows that he can make an impact on his students because when he was a student, his teachers made an impact on him.

“Mr. Hale, my eighth-grade math teacher, was strict, hard, fair and taught with purpose,” he said. “I learned a lot in one year of his class and felt good about it even though it was difficult. Coach Knoll, my sophomore cross country coach, gave no quarter, but showed his runners and his students they could do far more than they thought they could.”

As he looks across his classroom and the student body, he has some advice for us that are not in the classroom.

“Hang in there America, the future is coming and it looks quite bright to me.”

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