From the editor: February 2016

Oklahoma education is a big issue.

“Mommy, I’m the teacher.”

I thought it would be a few more years before my daughter, age 2, started “playing teacher.” But play we did — with me as the student.

I can only hope that becoming a real public school teacher will be a viable option when she enters the workforce. For many in Oklahoma, it is not.

Our state is facing an unprecedented teacher shortage, largely because it does not offer competitive teaching salaries. Our feature is the first in a series called “The price of public service” that explores the daily challenges of some of Oklahoma’s most important professions.

This February issue of TulsaPeople also highlights other significant work being done across the city and the globe.

The after-school music and mentoring program Harmony Project Tulsa provides instruments and music lessons to more than 50 preschool and elementary students.

Passionate Tulsan Phillip Hathaway recently began a nonprofit that seeks to improve the treatment of elephants around the world.

Dealing with their son’s heart defects led a Tulsa family to help others with similar conditions.

You might know plenty of Tulsans like these who are making a difference — fortunately there are many — but do you know the six “under-the-radar” restaurants in our food feature? These are some of Tulsa’s best-kept secrets. (Well, probably not for long.)

Despite the challenges facing Oklahoma’s public schools, local robotics and STEM programs are teaching students new ways to solve problems while preparing them for jobs in technical fields.

But what about the girls and boys who will forego professions in the private sector to teach Oklahoma’s greatest asset: its children? Let’s ensure they can enter the teaching profession fairly paid and well respected. 

To the teachers sticking it out right now, thank you. We know you deserve better. We hope help is coming soon.


Morgan Phillips

City Editor


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