Epic Charter Schools, the largest virtual charter in Oklahoma, has released the names of their ten Teacher of the Year finalists. Teacher of the Year finalists include David Weston of Newcastle, Angelia Reich of Council Hill, Jamie White of Tulsa, Jennifer Lake of Sapulpa, April Golden of Ada, Mari Edwards of Edmond, Christy Harland of Ponca City, Susan Anderson of Broken Arrow, Jody Dougherty of Tulsa, and Taylor Stimac of Hackett, Arkansas.

All of Epic’s Teacher of the Year finalists are Oklahoma-certified teachers, ranging in experience from one year to 23 years of experience.

Teacher of the year finalists are selected based on a variety of factors, with two of the key measures being student retention (parent satisfaction) and student academic performance.

David Chaney, Epic Charter Schools superintendent said, “We’re very proud of all of our amazing faculty and staff. However, these 10 teachers deserve special recognition for their efforts and dedication to the students and families they serve and the high standards they set for their students and themselves. This diverse group of educators are shining examples of the high quality, talented, caring teachers we have at our school.”

Epic Charter Schools was founded in 2011. The school currently employs over 300 state-certified teachers across the state. While coursework is largely completed online, Epic teachers meet with families face to face on a regular basis.

Epic’s Teacher of the Year will be announced Dec. 7 at the school’s annual teacher and administration awards ceremony.

Meet Our Teacher of the Year Finalists


David Weston

Years Teaching: 15

Years at Epic: 5

“My philosophy of education is to encourage the learning and self efficacy of all students. Epic Charter Schools allows me to customize and individualize education for each and every student. I have the ability, time, resources, and support to provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning.”




Angelia Reich

Years Teaching: 16

Years at Epic: 3

“I believe all children can learn when given the right tools at the right time. Every student has a right to learn in an environment that best fits his/her needs. As a teacher it is part of my responsibility to identify the needs of each student and address them accordingly.”




Taylor Stimac

Years Teaching: 7

Years at Epic: 5

“Epic empowers me by giving me everything I need to succeed; they allow you the freedom to teach ‘outside of the box,’ give you the tools to do so, and encourage you every step of the way.”





Jamie White

Years Teaching: 10

Years at Epic: 4

“My ultimate goal as a teacher is to stay part of my students lives even after they complete their schooling with Epic. I fully believe they will each reach their dream and I will still be on the front row cheering them on. Epic gives me the freedom to invest quality time in the education of each of my students thus enabling each individual student to succeed.”



Jennifer Lake

Years Teaching: 23

Years at Epic: 4

“Epic empowers me as a teacher by allowing me to create an individual learning plan for each student. In addition, Epic provides the tools necessary to follow the plan. I get to provide a support system to not only my students but their family. Each student knows that I value and believe in them.”





April Golden

Years Teaching: 1.5

Years at Epic: 1.5

“I want to instill a desire and love for learning in all my students so that they can go on to use those skills to be better thinkers, problem solvers, and citizens; no matter if they go to college or straight into the workforce.In Epic’s model, I have the freedom to teach to every child’s individual learning style.”





Mari Edwards

Years Teaching: 13

Years at Epic: 3

“I work towards inspiring each and every child I come in contact with to love learning and take ownership of their learning. Epic has allowed me to step outside of the traditional teaching model and become creative in delivering various teaching styles in reaching my students.”





Christy Harland

Years Teaching: 16

Years at Epic: 6

“Every student deserves a caring, compassionate teacher who is considerate of his or her diverse needs while holding him/her to high expectations. One who addresses the desire within all, from the highest scholar to the at-risk, to be recognized and valued, understood to the greatest extent possible, encouraged to rise to their greatest potential, and taught with passion, commitment, and love.”





Susan Anderson

Years Teaching: 13

Years at Epic: 4

“Each student has the ability to learn and succeed. A strong partnership between parent, student, and teacher is key to the success of each student. My ultimate goal as a teacher is for students to graduate high school, obtain career training, and become productive members of society.”








Jody Dougherty

Years Teaching: 16

Years at Epic: 6

“I have the opportunity to truly teach each concept, individually, to each student in the way that student learns best at Epic. When a student understands a concept the first time it’s explained, they get to practice it, test on it and keep progressing. On the other hand, when a student needs to hear that concept explained five different ways before they understand it, I can to do that for them.”