Librarian Gina Batie Named Muskogee Teacher of the Year.

May 4—Cherokee Elementary School Librarian Gina Batie said she seeks to put books in the hands of every student.

Muskogee School Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall put a set of car keys in Batie's hand Thursday night after Batie was named MPS Teacher of the Year.

Batie was chosen from among 12 MPS site Teachers of the Year during the district's annual Academic Honors Banquet.

"I'm very in shock, very pleased and very grateful," Batie said upon receiving her award. "These are amazing teachers to be honored with and I'm very very proud to be a Rougher."

A video about Batie shown Thursday said, "anyone who knows Gina knows that she loves a good book."

Batie's dangle earrings spelled out READ, and that's what she said she wants her students to do.

"When students read they are motivated," she said.

Batie, who has been at Cherokee for nine years, said she and other MPS librarians are working to put "Little Libraries" outside their schools. They also give books away at events such as Boo-Nanza. Before coming to Cherokee, Batie was librarian at the former Harris-Jobe Elementary for 11 years.

"My family, we are all readers, we went to the public library every Saturday morning," she said. "My sister is actually a school librarian as well. She is in DeSoto, Missouri ... it runs in the family."

Batie said her students are her biggest joy as an educator.

"I am where I am supposed to be," she said. "I truly do love my job. When you love your job, you're where you're supposed to be and you're happy. There are challenges, and I am supported as a librarian by the district and the school, I have the most wonderful Principal, my team at Cherokee is amazing."

The Education Foundation of Muskogee gave $250 to each site teacher and $500 to the district teacher of the year.