- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A science teacher at Durant High School has been named Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year for 2017.

State Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Tuesday that Jon Hazell was named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year after extensive interviews with 12 finalists by a 28-member panel.

A graduate of Durant High School, Hazell has taught anatomy, biology and environmental science for 33 years in the Durant Independent School District. In addition to teaching, he is the lead pastor at United Church of Tishomingo.

Hazell says he was inspired to teach by his father, Don Hazell, who taught biological sciences at Southeastern Oklahoma State University for 32 years.

Hazell will begin his Teacher of the Year duties on July 1, including speaking engagements and encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession.

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