Under her leadership, Bartlesville Public Schools were at the forefront of 2018’s teacher walkout. Not only did Heather rally her colleagues to the cause, but she worked with the community, school administrators, legislators and others to ensure the walkout was a success at the capitol and back home.
Heather has been named winner of the OEA’s 2020 Kate Frank Award in honor of her passionate leadership. One of the association’s four Human and Civil Rights awards, the Kate Frank Award is presented to an OEA member and/or local association rendering outstanding and significant service to advancing the cause of member welfare, rights and professionalism.
While securing competitive pay for teachers was important to Heather, she knew that closing school for an indefinite time could be more than just difficult for some of her students. So, she worked to see that children were fed and supervised during the walkout, easing the burden on parents. Heather secured donations to feed her Bartlesville colleagues as they marched around the Capitol and secured transportation to and from Oklahoma City.
Heather also worked with her church to open its doors to teachers who could not be in Oklahoma City. They used the church as a base where they made phone calls to legislators and rallied before holding signs on street corners around town in support of the walkout.
Today, Heather provides her passionate leadership to BPS’s Academic Therapeutic Learning Alternative Setting (ATLAS) program. ATLAS pulls students from the district’s six elementary schools who are not academically successful because trauma has impacted their lives.
Joe Williams, a management consultant and member of the Arvest Bank board, perfectly sums up Heather’s abilities.
“In my career, I’ve learned that remarkable things are done by remarkable people. Heather is one of the most remarkable people I have every been associated with,” Williams said in his letter of recommendation.
“She is a fearless leader … Because of her voice, she has given teachers throughout the state a collective voice, a confidence that their voice means something, that their profession means something. What makes her remarkable? Her love for children, and specifically her love for children who march to a different drummer.”