A pianist, accompanist and vocal coach with a world-wide reputation, an award-winning author and political science professor and the recipient of the 2010-11 National VFW Elementary Teacher of the Year award will be inducted in the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame this year.
Bridge Creek teacher Annette Dake was the first-ever Oklahoma teacher to win the National Veterans of Foreign War Elementary Teacher of the Year award. A 1991 graduate of USAO with a degree in elementary education, Dake also has received the 2009 K-20 Innovative Teacher Award, the 2005 American Stars of Teaching Award for Oklahoma and the 2008 Fund for Teachers Award. Dake earned a M.Ed. in Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma in 1996.
Dake’s teaching methods inspired the Oklahoma Legislature to approve the Oklahoma Kids Fitness Challenge after she coaxed her elementary students into five-mile daily walks. She is an Oklahoma A+ Schools fellow, Bridge Creek service learning coordinator, Veteran’s History Project coordinator, district gifted and talented coordinator, district grant writer, service-learning fellow, service-learning technical assistant and Schools for Healthy Lifestyles coordinator.
She has been a presenter at the National Youth Leadership Conference on service-learning, conducted SmartBoard training in the Bridge Creek School District and at USAO and is a National Board Mentor at USAO.
“She is loved by her students and parents, respected by her co-workers and is an exemplary professional educator. She is what all educators should be,” said Kay Norman, elementary principal at Bridge Creek. “She puts her whole heart into whatever she is working on – whether it is a class project, a student’s need, a grant or professional development.”
Dr. Robert E. England is a professor of political science at Oklahoma State University and a 1974 graduate of USAO with a B.A. in political science. He received his master’s and doctorial degrees from the University of Oklahoma. England is a former graduate student of David R. Morgan. He is the editor of International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management and an editorial board member for the Journal of Social Change.
He is the recipient of the 1992 Oklahoma Center for the Book: Outstanding Nonfiction Book Award for Oklahoma Politics and Policies: Governing the Sooner State (with David Morgan and George Humphreys). He received the Phi Eta Sigma OSU freshman honor society Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996, the Outstanding Oklahoma Political Scientist award from the Oklahoma Political Science Association in 1997, the Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma in 1998 and the Fred Jones Award for Teaching Excellence in 1987-88.
England joined the political science department at OSU in 1982. His fields of teaching and research include public administration, urban and minority politics, educational policy and American Government. He is the co-author of five books and numerous journal articles.
He has been a member of the American Political Science Association, American Society for Public Administration, Midwest Political Science Association, Southern Political Science Association, Southwestern Political Science Association and the Policy Studies Organization.
Margaret Ann McConnel Singer was a Fulbright grant winner and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is a 1960 graduate of the Oklahoma College for Women with a bachelor’s degree in music. As assistant conductor at the New York City Opera, she worked with Plácido Domingo and Magda Olivero. She was the vocal music director for the Newport Arts Festival in Rhode Island. At Tanglewood, she worked with Leonard Bernstein.
Singer was the music administrator of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and worked with Lucianio Pavarotti and Gian Carlo Monotti. She has performed with singers Jan Peerce, Veronica Tyler and Lucine Amara as well as violinist Paul Zukovsky.
She started the Merola Program for training young singers at the San Francisco Opera and is now in charge of the training of coaches at the Paris National Opera. Singer is a regular coach at major opera houses in Germany.
She has been living in Europe since 1986 and currently has residences in Germany and New York. She was solo-accompanist/coach at the Staatsoper Hannover and holds a teaching position at the Hochschule for Music in Karlsruhe, Germany.
“She is one of the true treasurers I found in my life and professional work,” said Frank Corsaro, one of America’s foremost stage directors of opera and theatre and former stage director of the New York City Opera.