Morning Bell: Yukon teacher named state's best
Good Wednesday morning!
TODAY: EPIC virtual charter school has more than 800 teachers, many that started just this year as the school dramatically increased its enrollment. Higher pay and smaller class sizes are why many teachers have left traditional schools for EPIC. I'm spending the next two days with some of these new teachers to learn more about their transition and the impact the school's rapid growth is having on the state's teaching profession.
Teacher of the year named
Yukon Public Schools art teacher Becky Oglesby was named 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year on Tuesday during a ceremony at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
Oglesby, 30, teaches prekindergarten through third grade at Ranchwood Elementary School, where she is known as the "Batman Teacher" for her love of the Caped Crusader.
She was one of 12 finalists for the award and will succeed 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Donna Gradel, a science teacher at Broken Arrow High School. Last year, I wrote about how two previous teachers of the year embodied the fight or flight mentality of many educators across the state.
Tulsa research shows opportunities for improvement
High school students feel unsafe, burdened by systemic education inequalities and worried of the public's perception of their schools, according to Tulsa Public School documents.
“Our students do not feel uniformly valued, understood or welcome in our schools. Students vividly described the divide between magnet schools and neighborhood schools through the city,” the documents said, reports the Tulsa World. “Many students talked about their school’s “ghetto” reputation and the unfairness of being judged by people who have never set foot in the school.”
The documents — which are being used to help inform the groups starting to redesign four TPS high schools — illustrate how educators, parents and students perceive the high school experience in Oklahoma’s second-largest school district.
Enid to explore new middle school configuration
Enid Public Schools Board of Education discussed plans to start an EPS middle school configuration study during its regular session Monday night, reports the Enid News & Eagle.
"We are beginning to study, explore and discuss possible different options for a possible middle school configuration that is different than we currently have," Superintendent Darrell Floyd said at the meeting. "Currently we have three middle schools configured with sixth, seventh and eighth grade at each of the three sites. There are all different kinds of ways to do that, and we may get through this study and do nothing, we may get through this study and end up revising it slightly, or we may get through this study and end up revising it in a larger manner."
Former McAlester AD passes away
Former McAlester Public Schools athletic director and longtime educator Billy Ray Holt died Saturday at the age of 68, reports the McAlester News-Capital.
Holt retired in 2014 after working at McAlester since 1990, including 15 years as the athletic director, following a career in education and coaching that spanned 41 years.
Teens arrested after school threat
Four teens were arrested Monday afternoon, accused of threatening to kill the principal and shoot up the school.
Sergio Alexander Gruver, 17; Zedekiah Khalfani Lopez, 16; Cedrick Dywan Lynch, 16; and Cedreonna Dywaeisha Truitt, 15, were all arrested on complaints of threatening an act of violence and threatening an act of terrorism, according to the police report.
Truitt was reportedly involved in an altercation with another student at Emerson South High School, 2219 W Interstate 240 Service Road. As the fight was broken up, the other three were yelling that they were going to kill the principal, throwing up gang signs and making gun gestures with their hands, the report states.