Special needs teacher named Union Public Schools District Teacher Of The Year


Jarman Elementary special needs teacher Tina Vollmer has been named the 2022-2023 District Teacher of the Year for Union Public Schools. The announcement was made this afternoon as professional development activities came to an end across the district.

Supt. Kirt Hartzler, Associate Supt. Charlie Bushyhead and Assistant Superintendents Sandi Calvin and John Federline joined others as they congratulated Vollmer on her selection, following a special presentation that recognized all of the Site Teachers of the Year.

Vollmer, who began teaching in 2003, has been at Union Public Schools since 2013.

“I have dedicated my professional career to instructing and advocating for my exceptional learners,” Vollmer said. “I am fortunate because my role as their teacher often extends beyond the classroom. The skills that we are learning in our room not only help academically but give my students and their parents a way to plan for post-secondary life to keep these individuals actively involved in the community. Despite the current issues education is facing, the role I currently serve is fulfilling.”

Vollmer’s favorite classroom activity is reading. “I love ‘read aloud’ time. It is a way to engage all of my students in the magic of a book, as well as build community within my classroom. I learn so much about my students and their families during ‘read alouds.’”

Vollmer said, “I still enjoy teaching in my classroom each day, despite the challenges education is currently facing. My job as a special education teacher is to advocate for my exceptional students, provide ongoing information and communication to my parents and continue working with my students so they are active.”

Vollmer has a bachelor’s degree in special education mild/moderate disabilities from Northeastern State University. She completed her master’s degree in educational administration and leadership in 2021.

She is also a National Board Certified teacher in exceptional needs and currently fills the role as NBCT, Exceptional Needs Trainer for the state of Oklahoma. “This allows me to meet special education teachers throughout the state and learn about the amazing ways they are engaging students with exceptionalities,” Vollmer said.

In addition to special education, Vollmer also hold a certification for English Learners. “I am also a Fund for Teacher Fellow and became certified in the TEACCH method of instruction, a method that capitalizes on learning strengths of students with autism spectrum disorders.”

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