Amanda Eastridge - Information Technology Center (ITC) Pre-Law Enforcement Services teacher - was named Trade & Industrial division New Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).
This award recognizes the finest career and technical teachers who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities according to the ACTE website. Amanda will advance to the next round where all divisions of applicants are reviewed to select the Oklahoma ACTE New Teacher of the Year.
Amanda Eastridge is a former police chief, patrol officer and Department of Defense Investigator turned CareerTech teacher who utilizes 15 years of law enforcement experience to transform the lives of Law Enforcement Services Program students at Metro Technology Centers. She began a career in law enforcement at 20-years old as a 911 dispatcher working under an impressive chief of police that fueled her desire to be an officer. After several years as a street patrol officer, she became the face of the DARE Program for McCloud Public Schools. A few years later, Eastridge accepted an investigator position with the Department of Defense and spent 18 months deployed to Afghanistan. Upon her return, she was named police chief for Forest Park Police Department.
Eastridge needed a career change when her 8-year old was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and his need for a routine schedule and one-on-one care made a career in police work challenging. With a career focused on training adults, she was hesitant when someone suggested working with young adults as a Law Enforcement Services Teacher at Metro Tech.
Fast forward three years; she has blazed an impressive trail of innovation in her classroom. Utilizing her industry contacts, she formed a partnership with the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) that includes an embedded police officer. She re-designed curriculum that closely aligns with the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) Certification; the A.A.S. degree in Police Science at OSU-Oklahoma City; and the OKCPD Police Academy Curriculum. She assists current students and graduates with employment at OKCPD, Oklahoma County Jail and OU Health Sciences Police Department, to name a few. She created a coalition of attorneys and legal professionals to assist undocumented Hispanic students with legal status in order to gain employment.
"Working with students has changed me. I've developed a passion for high school students, and I am determined to help them succeed."