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High School Teachers of the Year

High School Teachers of the Year

High School

Brian Berg, ER1 Math

I'm a Union lifer, earned my elementary education degree from NSU Broken Arrow, and came back home to Union where I taught special education science and math my first four years at the 8th Grade Center. I joined the UHS Team last school year to teach students with disabilities in Math of Finance and Intermediate Algebra. Now in my sixth year teaching, it has been my greatest honor and highlight of my career {so far) to teach my kiddos from eighth grade again. I often tell my students, "You can do hard things," but to actually see them accomplish their goals and find where their path begins is the ultimate "lightbulb moment" feeling for which every educator strives. I earned my master's degree in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma in 2019; the skills I learned in graduate school, along with my 11 certification areas, came in handy when I was tasked with developing my own textbook and curriculum for Math of Finance. 

As a special educator, I am grateful for the opportunity to get each of my students more in depth than others; I view writing IEPs as detective work, hunting down the data and synthesizing it into classroom-applicable teaching and learning strategies. I am tasked with helping general education teachers understand a student's history, unique needs, and ways to support them, but it is my colleagues who most often outline the road map for education {and keep me on track). 

My work as the past secretary and current building representative of the Union Classroom Teachers Association constantly reinvigorates my motivation to teach because I encounter passionate educators at home and across the state and country who work to make school better for *all* the children we serve. I also serve as the chair of the UCTA Constitution & Bylaws, former member of the Union Mascot Committees, delegate to the OEA Delegate Assembly and NEA Representative Assembly, member of the OEA Affiliate Relations Committee, OEA Tulsa Metro Zone D treasurer, and steering committee member for the New Educators of Oklahoma Network and the Union Parent Legislative Action Committee.

This year I received the NextGen Under 30 award, which recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in their career fields and contributions to their communities. It would be my greatest honor to represent Union High School as teacher of the year .

April French, media literacy and Leadership

April French, who teaches media literacy and Leadership, has been named one of three High School Teachers of the Year for 2022-2023.

“This is my 20th year to teach, and I’ve been in Oklahoma for my entire career,” French said. “I still believe that the BEST is YET to COME! We have so many amazing people fighting for public education, our students, and our teachers. I absolutely love Tulsa, and I believe with ALL my heart that Union High School is the BEST high school in the nation!”

 French said, “I spend the first five-to-seven days of each new school year solely getting to know my students and providing activities that allow them to become familiar with their classmates. The various ‘get-to-know-you’ games and activities are my favorite assignments of the year because I will go to any lengths to make students realize I genuinely care about their success.”

She said classroom management and the environment of the classroom are vital to student success and teacher sanity.

“When students are comfortable in the classroom, they aren’t afraid to ask questions, and they are not embarrassed to participate in class discussions because they know their classmates, and this contributes to the overall positive climate of the classroom,” French said.

French started teaching in Tahlequah in 2001, and she came to Union in 2014.

“This is my 20th year because I took a year off to stay home with my son,” she explained. (Awww, she’s a good Mom too!)

French received her bachelor’s degree in English education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. “I do have a few hours in library science, and I’m currently considering getting my master’s in educational leadership.”

Tara Nedrow, social studies

Social studies teacher Tara Nedrow has been named one of three 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year at the High School.

“I grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from Union Public Schools,” Nedrow said.  “I moved to Colorado after high school for college and lived there for almost 16 years before returning to Tulsa. I am teaching in Oklahoma because I believe teachers have a direct impact on the future and I want to be a part of making this world and this state a better place.”

Nedrow said, “My favorite classroom activity is any opportunity for the students to discuss ideas with each other. I want my students to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on the past and be able to analyze history with confidence.:

Nedrow started teaching in 2008 in Colorado Springs and then moved to Tulsa and started teaching at Union in 2015. 

Education background:

  • Union High School, 1999
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies, 2006
  • University of Phoenix,  Master’s Degree in secondary education, 2008

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