2017 Participants

Latia Murray

Latia Murray is a wife and mother of two. She loves her family, and they come first.

She teaches at Elk City high school where she loves working with the students to help them learn to create in media production, yearbook and computer applications classes. The grant from OSM will be used to build a website to showcase student media.

She also uses her communication degree to do freelance work outside of school, which includes being co-founder of a special needs organization that focuses on helping parents of special needs students find the resources they need.


Deborah McGhee

Deborah McGhee has 28 years of experience in education. She began her teaching career as a science teacher/coach in Hartley, TX and currently teaches high school computer classes, yearbook and newspaper at Waurika, OK. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and pursued a graduate degree in educational technology from Midwestern State University.

Deborah has taught biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physical science, middle school science, middle school keyboarding, high school computer applications, webmastering, desktop publishing, business communication information systems, and business information multimedia management. She has also served as a district technology director and assisted faculty with technology integration in the classroom.

Deborah has received over $40,000 in technology equipment through various grants she has written. In 2014, she received the Oklahoma Newspaper Advisor of the Year and was selected as a participant to the 2014 Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. Presently, she is eagerly anticipating enjoying life and family with retirement at the close of the 2020 school year.


Robby Carriger

Robby Carriger is a journalism teacher at Bridge Creek High School.  Bridge Creek is in the process of creating an online media outlet with the help of OSMI.  The outlet will include an online news source, video production, and website and app design.

Robby is also the football defensive coordinator and head golf coach at Bridge Creek.  He went to high school at Plainfield Central HS in Plainfield, Illinois and college at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas before earning his teaching certification through The University of Oklahoma.


Derrick Miller

A former newspaper reporter, Derrick Miller is a journalism teacher at Duncan Middle School and a participant in the 2017 Oklahoma Scholastic Media Initiative summer workshop.

Miller, who grew up in Rogers, Arkansas, is active in the Duncan, Oklahoma, community. He serves on the board for Duncan Little Theatre and is the producer for Teen Theatre. He recently completed his third production for DLT by reprising his role in “Someone Save My Baby Ruth” in the show “35 Years of Memories.”

He also is an organizer for the Reading Down the Plains organization, which hosts reading events seasonally each year. He is also writes stories weekly for the Chisholm Trail News.

At school, Miller has worked to create interactive content for his students and the student population. He advises the Demon Direct online newspaper, The Flame yearbook and the DMS Broadcast Club.

In his free time, Miller enjoys hiking and camping, watching movies, reading and being active in the community. He lives in Duncan, with his wife, Beka, and his two dogs, Whiskey and Huck.


Donna Deaton

Donna Deaton teaches language arts at Wister Public Schools.  Deaton’s many years of teaching experience include 14 years as an instructor at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma, and 12+ years as a high school English teacher. This year Mrs. Deaton will be teaching 7th & 8th grade ELA, creative writing and newspaper.

Donna plans to use her 2017 grant to upgrade the student tablets, purchase Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions and take her newspaper staff to the Gaylord College of Journalism‘s Media Monday events held at OU.

Deaton is a returning OSMI grantee; she has used previous grant monies to purchase a cotton candy machine to use for fund-raising purposes for the Wildcat Chronicle, the online newspaper for Wister Public Schools.

Among Mrs. Deaton’s favorite summer activities is working as an AP Reader and attending the OSMI workshop. “These 2 weeks are the absolute best professional development I have ever experienced. I would encourage anyone who teaches AP classes to apply to be a Reader at next year’s Reading. Readers apply to be a Reader with College Board’s employment partner ETS. It’s an intense, mentally and physically draining 6 days, but well worth it. Check out the AP Reader application.


Jeremy Davis

Jeremy Davis is a teacher at Norman High School. He currently teaches an introductory media studies class, video production fundamentals, broadcasting, and studio broadcasting. Jeremy is a hometown product of Norman, Oklahoma, having graduated from its public schools and continuing residence through college at the University of Oklahoma. Jeremy would study advertising and obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts from the Gaylord school of Journalism. Later, he would continue his education and be granted admission to the Master’s program in the Gaylord College of Journalism. While attending graduate school, he conducted a content analysis on current Pacemaker award winning High School Journalism websites and would apply the practices observed when launching a website for the Norman High School Journalism programs. Leaving his committee members in a state of awe, Jeremy would be awarded his Master’s of Arts in Creative Media Production in the Fall of 2016.

In his personal life, Jeremy enjoys hanging out with his 3-legged pitbull named Abbott, traveling, and collecting video games from the consoles of his youth. His most recent trip included the cities of Milan, Turin, Lyon, and Paris and, through a grant, attending a maker’s education conference in the Bay area. He hopes to bring more of the maker philosophy to his media studies classes in the coming year.


Casey Wilson

Casey Wilson was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. Casey is married to his wife, Sarah. Casey also has a daughter, Collette.  Casey graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2011 with a degree in Professional Writing. While attending OU, Casey was a reporter for the OU Daily.

After graduation, he began taking classes with the College of Education at OU in order to be able to teach high school English. After a semester of student teaching, Casey was hired by Norman High School. He currently teaches English I and is the adviser for the Tiger Tribune, Norman High’s student newspaper. Casey will be starting his fourth year at Norman High this fall.


Irene Runnels

Mrs. Irene Runnels is a Journalism/English/Marketing teacher @Indiahoma Public Schools. She is an experienced teacher who married her high school sweetheart with two children who are also teachers.

As shown in the above photo, She attended the wedding last month in New Orleans of a student who graduated a few years ago. She is currently attending a multi-media training at OU.  “Keeping up with latest tech to be able to teach my Indiahoma High School students about our new online Warrior World 360 magazine that we will be publishing bi-monthly this 2017-2018 school year.”


Jamie Weston

Jamie Weston is a teacher at Ada High School where she currently teaches journalism, yearbook and AP language. Growing up with an avid love of reading and writing, Weston had lifelong career plans involving journalism and media. A 2004 graduate of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Weston put her double major in communications and English to work producing television commercials and graphic elements for an advertising company. In addition, she also worked nights as an adjunct instructor at a local university.

It was this part-time night job that led Weston’s career plans to evolve to include full-time teaching at the high school level. Now she is able to combine her passion for journalism, English and teaching into her current position. While in this position, Weston has been named the 2016 Lois A. Thomas Newspaper Adviser of the Year and the 2016-2017 Ada High School Teacher of the Year.

Among Weston’s favorite activities are spending time with her sons Dalton (12) and Walker (8), reading a great book, criticizing a mediocre movie made from a great book and traveling.


Keely Cox

I am an Army brat that was born in Germany and moved around regularly every 3-4 years.  I loved school early on and reading quickly became a favorite.  My mother used to threaten to take away my library books and that was a threat worse than spanking.  I decided that teaching science was the path that I would follow because even though I have a love for reading, I do not have a gift for writing. I started teaching middle school Science, moved to teaching high school Science, decided to go back to school and meanwhile worked at OMRF as a research tech, OU Medical Center as a lab assistant, OSBI as a Criminal Biologist, and decided that I missed my students. So, it was back to teaching high school Science. I have been back in the classroom since 2005. I will be teaching Physics and Chemistry at Lawton High School this coming school year.


Lisa Snider

Lisa Snider just completed her 10th year of teaching and advising, a career she began in her early 40s after earning an English degree with a minor in Journalism at Cameron University. Snider worked one year at her local newspaper when her dream job opened, advising newspaper and yearbook at her own alma mater, Duncan High School. The job included a side of freshman English.  Currently, instead of English, she teaches intro to journalism, digital communications, and is about to try her hand at a graphic design course.

Snider is married with three grown sons, two of which are married and the third recently engaged. She has a set of nearly one-year-old grand twins, with another grandson on the way soon. Very soon.


Kerry Friesen

Kerry Friesen came to education after working as a graphic designer for three years. He has just finished his third year as the yearbook adviser at Norman High School.

With the grant money, Kerry intends to expand his online presence including a brand new online staff with a new editor. The media department at Norman High will be collaborating to better serve the students.


Meridith Barney

Meridith Barney has been a teacher for 20 years in subject areas that include language arts, science and social studies. She is currently the yearbook adviser, speech and debate coach, and student council adviser at Canton Public Schools. In addition to teaching she raises show cattle and Pembroke Corgis on a ranch near Watonga.

With the grant money, Meridith wants to start an online newspaper for the school to fill the gap left by the absence of the local paper. This paper would also provide an opportunity for students to gain valuable skills experiences that are hard to find in a high school of 100 students.


Darla Tresner

Darla M. Jones Tresner, MJE, is a scholastic journalism veteran educator of 38 years, currently teaching at Bartlesville High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Master of Arts in degree in Journalism and Mass Communications also from the University of Oklahoma.

Tresner advises two monthly newspapers, one online newspaper, four quarterly magazines and a broadcasting program. She retired from advising yearbooks after advising 44 high school, middle school, and university yearbooks.

During her career she has been honored with four national awards, five states and numerous local awards for teaching excellence.


Kelsey Friesen

Kelsey Friesen, 30, is a teacher at Irving Middle School in Norman, OK. She teaches 6th and 7th grade Language Arts (better known as English). She holds a Bachelors of Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. This will be her first year advising a newspaper. The year previously she advised a creative magazine publication called Eastside Stories.

With the grant money, Friesen hopes to create a solid journalism program at Irving. From photography to design to writing, she wants her students to know a little bit of everything that way when they go to Norman High School they’ll be ready to jump straight into their media program.