Honeycutt awarded Keota’s ‘Teacher of Today’
John Honeycutt was awarded this year’s “Teacher of Today” for Keota High School.
The award was presented at Keota High School’s graduation ceremony on Friday, May 17.
The teacher is selected based on anonymous votes from all teachers in the district. This is Honeycutt’s second year at Keota Public Schools and his second year to receive the award.
He earned his bachelor of science degree in geology from Wichita State University and his master of science degree in management and computers from Houston Baptist University. He is certified to teach in mathematics from middle school level to calculus and science from middle school up to physics.
He has also published several books and spent years as a businessman and leader before changing careers into education. He teaches science from his own workbooks and curriculum he created based on the standards for Oklahoma. A favorite among students, he instructs students with rigor, but also sprinkles in some fun. He introduces topics in a way that students can relate directly to their interests. He explained how he loves to see the “light bulb” in a student’s head as they come to understand a subject.
Honeycutt collaborates with other high school teachers to connect science with other subjects and skills. Honeycutt’s science students and Doug Cagle’s history students co-researched medical advancements that arose during the World War II period. Collaborating with elementary teacher colleagues, his Earth science students taught district third graders about erosion and the water cycle. “This can be beneficial to both high school and elementary students,” he explained. “It helps his high school students to learn by teaching – and fosters an interest in science with younger students. If we develop a pipeline of enthusiasm in third and fourth grade students, they are more likely to thirst for science knowledge when they reach high school.”
Along with teacher Preston Rowland, Honeycutt has started Keota’s K-Town band. The jazz band played at home basketball games last year and he said he hopes the student-musicians will continue to improve for the upcoming season.
Honeycutt sometimes incorporates life lessons into his classroom. He spent one class period teaching students how to tie a necktie. “It allows us to be human with each other. While that particular lesson wasn’t about science, it was still time well-spent,” he said.
Honeycutt said he felt appreciative and humbled by the honor of winning the 2019 Teacher of Today.
He credits his success to the staff, community and students. “The story is about us,” he explained. “It is about a tight-knit community, its heartland values, and an acceptance of me by the students and parents.”
He said he could not have achieved what he has without the support of the school. “Our superintendent is a strong leader,” he said. “The administration is beautifully supportive.” He also said Keota Public Schools was the perfect fit for him. “I think it’s providence, it was a great fit for what I am passionate about and believe I am a good fit for what they need,” he said.
By Madison Davis / Staff reporter