Adair County Nonprofit Gives Five Outstanding Local Teachers $200 Gift Cards | Education

STILWELL – Orchard Road Community Outreach has received dozens of Adair County teacher nominations which have had a tangible and intangible impact on their classrooms. The Adair County-based nonprofit organization selected five teachers from an outstanding group of applicants to receive the $200 gift card to meet the needs of the class.

The 2021-22 gift card recipients are Johnny Hensley, Peavine Public School; Tiffany Clawson, Dahlonegah Public School; Sonja Spray, Maryetta Public School; Brandy Girdner, Stilwell Public Schools; and Andy Kimble, Stilwell Public Schools.

ORCO board members visited each school to present recipients with their gift cards and thank them for their service in the classroom.

“Education is near and dear to the hearts of every member of our Board of Directors,” said ORCO Treasurer Gina Garrett. “We know the sacrifices these people make and the limited budget they have to do what they do. We hope this will help them make their students’ experience in their classroom much more enjoyable and show them that people are noticing their impact on the lives of children who walk into their room. »

Girdner, one of five gift card recipients and a first-grade teacher, said it was an honor to be selected.

“It is an absolute honor and encouragement for me personally and professionally as an educator to be the recipient of the ORCO Gift Card,” said Girdner, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. “I intend to use these funds to continue to create educational experiences for my students within the walls of my classroom.”

Hensley, a 30-year education veteran and CN citizen, was nominated by his daughter Maegan Hensley. She said her father was the perfect example of what a teacher should be.

“He is patient and kind. He is understanding and intuitive when it comes to family life and the situations of the children he teaches,” Maegan said. “He would give someone the coat he wore if need be. He is so respected and loved by those who have taught alongside him as well as by those who have had the privilege of being taught by him. I consider this one of the greatest privileges of my life to have been able to know him as my trainer, my teacher and my father.

Nominations were sent by email during the month of November.

ORCO is a non-profit organization that was established in 2009. Since its inception, ORCO has operated a variety of programs and services, including a temporary accommodation shelter from 2013 to 2019, an HIV prevention program alcoholism and drug addiction from 2016 to 2019 and was also a contributing partner of the New Life Church Backpack Giveaway. In August, the nonprofit organization also donated $1,000 to the boys’ and girls’ golf programs at Stilwell High School.

Full disclosure: Cherokee Phoenix editor Tyler Thomas is chairman of the board of Orchard Road Community Outreach.

Michael N. Clark