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Dragon teachers

Purcell picks up 14 new faculty members for 2021-22 school year

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Fourteen new teachers will start the 2021-22 school year as Purcell Dragons.

They are:

Elementary – Julia Arnold, Andrea Avance, Britney Epperson, Rebecca Franco, Jacqueline Grimes and Chase Vickrey.

Intermediate – Jazmyn Estrada and Misty Winters.

Junior high – DeAnna Newman and Hannah Thurston.

High school – Carolyn Anyong, Rachel Barnett, Jasmine Quinonez and Bryan Young.

Arnold is teaching first grade. She is a graduate of Edmond North High School and Oklahoma State University. She previously taught third grade at Wayne. She is married to Tyler Arnold.

“I moved to Purcell two years ago and it has become my home,” she said. “I just could not have picked a better place to be teaching.”

Avance is teaching music. She is a graduate of Western Heights High School and the University of Oklahoma. Previous teaching assignments were in Norman, Lindsay and Tecumseh. She and her husband, Dwain, have three children – Caroline, Tal and Clarissa.

“Although I have taught music to every grade level at different times in my career, some of my happiest moments as a mom were engaging my own children in playful songs and music games. I believe music is for everyone and positive experience with music can set children up for a lifetime of success,” she said.

Epperson is teaching first grade. She is a graduate of Grafton High School and Liberty University, both in Virginia. She previously taught first grade in Norman. She and her husband, Austin, have one child, Lyla.

“My favorite part about teaching first grade is seeing the students’ love of reading grow throughout the school year,” she said.

Franco is elementary school counselor. She graduated from Atoka High School and East Central University. She previously taught second grade for Oklahoma City Public Schools. She and her husband, Joseph, have two children – J.J. and Arabella.

“I want to make an impact on the lives of the children in our community and make a difference through my role as the school counselor,” she said.

Grimes is teaching first grade and previously taught kindergarten. She is a graduate of Granite Public Schools and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She and her husband, Chris, have five children – Devin, Colby, Ava, Aubrey and Addilyn.

“This is my 17th year of teaching. I absolutely love teaching kids and watching them learn and grow,” she said.

Vickery teaches physical education and health. He is a graduate of Norman High School and the University of Central Oklahoma. He previously taught at Monroe and Alcott schools.

“I want to be a positive person that students can have in their life,” he said.

Estrada teaches fourth grade. She is a graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Previously, she was a teacher assistant at Education Station.

“I grew up right across the bridge in Lexington and have always loved being a part of a small town community,” she said.

Winters teaches fourth grade and is a first-year teacher. She is a graduate of Bridgeport (Texas) High School and Texas Women’s University. She and her fiance have a daughter, Laiklynn.

“I am excited to make every day in the classroom an amazing opportunity to learn and build relationships with my Dragon family,” she said.

Newman is teaching reading and English language arts to grades six through eight. She is a graduate of the Word of Life Academy and the University of Oklahoma. She previously taught reading, writing, math and special education. She and her husband, Seth, have two children – Whitney and Ethan Taylor.

“I chose to return to Purcell to be a part of this community and make a difference in every child’s life,” she said.

Thurston teaches eighth grade English and reading.  She graduated from Lone Grove High School, Murray State College and ECU and previously taught at Blanchard. She and her husband, Mathew, have a son, Dewayne.

“I am excited to teach English in the community in which I live,” she said.

Anyong is assistant principal at the high school. She graduated from Western Heights High School and has a bachelor’s degree from OU and a master’s from UCO. She previously was principal of the ninth grade center at Western Heights. She and her husband, Jeff, have four sons – Holden, Ethan, Owen and Lincoln.

“When the right people come together to do the right things for kids, that is when we see growth and real success,” she said.

Barnett teaches special education and math and is a first-time teacher. She is a graduate of  Graham (Texas) High School and Texas Tech University. She is married to Josh Barnett.

She chose Purcell to “get professional experience working with people.”

Quinonez teaches English 1 and Spanish 2. She is a graduate of  Pauls Valley High School and ECU and previously taught Spanish in Pauls Valley.

“I’m passionate about teaching English and although I’ve  loved teaching Spanish, I’ve been anxious to teach English again to high school students,” she said.

Young teaches algebra 1 and is assistant baseball coach. He is a graduate of Turpin High School and UCO and previously taught seventh and eighth grade math at Midwest City. He and his wife, Melody, have three children – Mattox, LilyAnne and Brynlee.

“I have taught math for 10 years ... anywhere from fifth grade through algebra 1,” he said. “I am excited to be at Purcell and proud to be a Dragon.”

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