Peters Elementary – Brenda Hillhouse, first grade
At Peters Elementary School where she teaches first grade, Brenda Hillhouse is known as the school’s 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year.
Hillhouse began teaching kindergarten for Broken Arrow Public Schools in January of 2001.
“I taught at Broken Arrow for one semester before transferring to Union Public Schools to teach in August of 2001. While at Union, I have taught Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade,” she said.
That’s a long time. Why does Hillhouse still do it?
“That is a great question, because to be honest there have been many years where I have contemplated leaving the profession,” Hillhouse said. “While being a teacher for the past 22 years I have seen many changes, some good and some bad. Teaching is challenging and can be very difficult, but all professions can be difficult in their own way. The reason I continue to teach in Oklahoma is simple; I love my students. I love the families that I have supported and worked with at Peters Elementary. I love my co-workers and their willingness to collaborate and work together because we see the potential in all our students.”
Hillhouse said, “I really do enjoy teaching all subjects, but my favorite subject to teach is reading. It is amazing to watch my student’s growth as they progress throughout the year. It’s always awesome to watch when it all finally clicks and comes together. Their excitement for reading increases as they make connections with other subjects throughout the school year. Some come in barely knowing their alphabet and letter sounds, then they leave as proud and confident readers.”
Hillhouse is a Union graduate of 1995. “I attended Northeastern State University where I received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in December of 2000,” she said. “I have my early childhood and English Learners certification.”