The baseball-themed Bruins of the Year event to recognize outstanding district staff was held on Thursday, April 21. Tonya Knollmeyer was named the 2022 Bartlesville Public Schools Teacher of the Year. She teaches AP and Inquiry Physics and Active Chemistry. Knollmeyer told Bartlesville Radio that she used to be an engineer and the award was proof that changing to education was the right move for her. She received a monetary award and two Southwest Airlines tickets courtesy of Spears Travel.
Heidi Lischefski, who teaches Environmental Science at Bartlesville High School, was named the district's 2022 Rising Star Teacher, an award for teachers with one to four years of experience.
The Teachers of the Year and Rising Star Teachers from each school were honored, with each Teacher of the Year introduced by a current or former student. Service pins were awarded for certified employees with 5-35 years of district service. Cheryl Fentress, the only recipient of a 35-year-pin, teaches Honors Biology I and Physical Science at Bartlesville High School, and received a standing ovation.
This year the event expanded from honoring teachers to honoring the district's support staff as well, incorporating the annual Classified Person of the Year awards. BHS Fine Arts Center manager Seth Weimer was honored.