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Teachers of the Year 2020




Cristi graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Throughout the years she has continued to obtain certifications in special education (including severe/profound), history, and psychology. 

Michael and Cristi Williams were married in 1996. They have two children, Kyler Williams who is 19 years old and Dalton Williams who is 17 years old. Cristi has taught at many levels in surrounding towns, but began teaching history at Canute Public Schools four years ago. 

As a child, she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She has many family members who are teachers, including her mother who continues to be an inspiration to her. Her interest in history began with her grandmother and continued to be fascinating conversations up until her recent passing. Cristi's style of teaching is lecture based with interactions of classroom conversations. Although this may be the wrong attitude, she expresses to her students that she is not concerned with how they perform on state testing but how much knowledge they carry with them after her class. The best feeling as a teacher is to have students who share their knowledge outside of the classroom and feel pride that they can explain history. 

So many individuals in her teaching experiences have helped Cristi to be the teacher she is today. Her best advice "Start the hour with a smile and end the hour with a smile". As many teachers are struggling with the current teaching situation, we must remember that students need us more than we may be aware. Reach out to students, even if it's just to say "Hi". She is extremely humbled at being chosen as High School Teacher of the Year. The wonderful group she works with makes each day a blessing.

Lana Merz has been teaching Sixth Grade for 32 years all of which have been at Canute Public Schools. She enjoys teaching her Sixth graders and challenging them to be their best. She states that every day is a new learning experience and a gift that should not be wasted! 

Mrs. Merz attended high school in Canute, went to Saint Gregory's College in Shawnee, and received her B.S. Degree in Education at SWOSU in Weatherford. She is the daughter of the late LeRoy and Loraine Kamphaus. She resides in Canute with her husband, Kevin. They have two sons, Nathan and Kyle, two daughters-in-law, Kaitlyn and Taylor, and one grandson, Liam. Mrs. Merz is a member of Saint Matthews Catholic Church, and is a member of the Canute Lion's Club.