Instructor of Education receives 'Teacher of the Year' award from Northwestern

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Instructor of Education receives 'Teacher of the Year' award from Northwestern

June 1, 2016

Oswald & O'TooleKaitlyn O’Toole, Student Government Association president (left), awards Jen Oswald (right) for being chosen as Teacher of the Year through student nomination.

Jen Oswald, instructor of education, at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, recently received the John Sheffield Teacher of the Year award during the annual Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association Awards Ceremony.

In order to qualify for this award, a student must first nominate the teacher, and then the Student Government Association members review the nominations and determine the award winner.

Oswald received her first bachelor’s degree in social studies/history from Oklahoma Panhandle State University, with the intent of becoming a history teacher.

After working at a daycare for a few years, she realized early childhood education would be a better fit.She attended Northwestern for her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

After securing a teaching job at Beaver Public Schools, she soon returned to Northwestern for her master’s degree.She taught for nearly seven years in grades 3-6 for Beaver Public Schools and she was an adjunct instructor at Northwestern’s Woodward campus for two years before returning to Northwestern full-time in 2012.

Her certification areas include: Early Childhood (PK-3), Elementary (1-8), and Reading Specialist (PK-12).

She is currently working toward her doctorate degree in Reading and Literacy from Capella University and hopes to finish in the summer of 2016.

Oswald wants to provide future teachers with a strong foundation to teach reading and writing. She believes when children have a strong literacy foundation they will be successful in school and life.

When Oswald found out the students nominate and choose the Teacher of the Year it was both humbling and touching for her since this is her first time receiving the award.

“I do it all for the students,” Oswald said. “I love teaching here at Northwestern.”

Oswald has a strong passion for teaching and keeps pictures of her and her students in her office as a reminder. She enjoyed teaching elementary students for years, but she appreciates how easy it is to build relationships with her current students at Northwestern.

“The younger students move up in a grade and they outgrow you, but I can keep in touch with my students here at Northwestern even after graduation…I still get emails asking for advice or just wanting to keep in touch.”

For more information about opportunities within Northwestern’s Division of Education contact Oswald at (580) 327-8451 or