Mary Lynn Peacher and Dr. J. Helen Perkins are the newest members of the Oklahoma State University College of Education, Health and Aviation Hall of Fame. Both will be formally inducted during a special banquet and award presentation on May 18.
“We are thrilled to bestow the college’s highest honor on these two deserving recipients,” said John Romans, dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation. “Lynn Peacher and Dr. Perkins have both dedicated their lives to education. The positive impact they’ve had on their communities can be seen through the success of their students. I’m proud to welcome these exceptional women to the College of Education, Health and Aviation Hall of Fame.”
The Hall of Fame award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and service to society that have brought honor and distinction to the college. This year marks the 20th Hall of Fame induction ceremony since the first members were recognized in 1999.
Mary Lynn Peacher received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from OSU in 1969. Peacher spent nearly 20 years teaching fourth grade at Jenks Public Schools and experienced a distinguished teaching career. In 1999, Peacher was honored as the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, and she was later selected as one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year. In addition to receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2004, Peacher was named a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar in 1999 and chosen for the USA Today All-USA First Teacher Team in 2001. She served 15 years on the EHA Alumni Society and remains an active member of the OSU Alumni Leadership Council and the EHA Associates group.
Dr. J. Helen Perkins earned an Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the OSU College of Education in 1999. For more than 40 years, she has served in the education field as a reading specialist, classroom teacher and literacy coach. Perkins is a national and international expert in the field of African-American literacy as well as reading interventions. In 2003, Perkins was appointed by the governor to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. She was named the first African-American editor of a premier journal by the International Literacy Association in 2006 and was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award in 2015. Perkins is currently an associate professor of literacy at the University of Memphis and lead writer for the International Literacy Association Professional Standards.
In addition to the Hall of Fame awards, Jenks Public Schools elementary teacher Michelle Fowler will receive the 2018 Rising Star Award. This honor is given to individuals who have received a bachelor’s degree within the last 10 years and whose life and achievements demonstrate the promise of future leadership and bring distinction to the college. Fowler earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from OSU in 2010. She has since taught fifth and sixth grade as a core classroom teacher at Jenks West Intermediate School, where she was chosen as the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. Fowler leads the school’s Women in Science group and sponsors an after-school science club that was recognized with the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful statewide Environmental Excellence Award for youth. Her service extends beyond the classroom; she is a troop leader for Girl Scouts of the USA and received the Rookie of the Year Girl Scout Volunteer Award in 2017.