The five Heart of Oklahoma Superintendents spoke last Thursday afternoon at the monthly chamber of commerce luncheon, held at the Mid-America Technology Center.
Wayne Superintendent Dr. Toby Ringwald led things off in the State of the Schools luncheon telling those in attendance about the $1 million bond that has enabled the school to renovate the main buildings adding things like new windows and LED lighting at the elementary.
A ribbon cutting for the newly refurbished buildings was held Friday afternoon after the pep rally, prior to the Bulldogs hosting the Konawa Tigers.
Dr. Ringwald reported enrollment is up slightly at Wayne.
Purcell Superintendent Dr. Sheli McAdoo said teachers in her district try to teach students the responsibility to give back to society when they get older.
“We’ve had a great start to the year and are up a little in enrollment,” she said.
Among improved opportunities for students are an archery program and the outdoor classroom, STEM opportunities, an aviation program and the new Esports lab.
“The outdoor classroom provides a nice niche for kids who don’t do other activities,” Dr. McAdoo said.
Purcell and Lexington are working together on the aviation program, she said.
“Our state of the art Esports lab is for the high school this year. We plan on introducing the junior high next year and on down to the fourth and fifth grades as the years go on,” McAdoo said.
With the recent incident at Choctaw in their football game with Del City, McAdoo said Purcell is beefing up security procedures at home football games.
“And we added some fencing at the intermediate and elementary playgrounds limiting access and getting in and out,” she continued.
With safety in the forefront of everyone’s minds, she said every bus in the district has cameras.
Lexington Superintendent Chad Hall spoke about the new safe rooms at his school and reported the valuation for the district is up 13 percent.
“That means we can get back to progressive practical projects,” Hall said with the additional funding.
He also told the group they have changed some of their buses over to CNG.
“With their help we have added a CNG station for our bus fleet and they are running a bus maintenance facility in Goldsby. We no longer have to go to Oklahoma City for maintenance.
“That has helped us stretch dollars,” he reported.
Hall said Lexington’s enrollment is up slightly but still below pre-pandemic levels.
Hall is excited about the aviation program noting they have an ex-military pilot as the instructor.
Lexington also has archery and the STEM in the library provides some early entry-level engineering.
“I’m excited about growing that,” he confirmed.
In addition to the archery and Esports, Lexington is kicking around the idea of having corn hole where kids can get opportunities for college scholarships.
Washington Superintendent Chris Reynolds began his remarks with a thank you to everyone who helped when homes in his district were torn apart by April tornadoes.
He reported Washington is up 37 students over last year.
“We’re in a growing community but the growth has slowed down,” he said. “And I can say we have plenty of housing for the first time in a while and we even have rental property.”
The bond at Washington has allowed them to build a storm shelter, start a fine arts facility and new concession stands on the west end of the football field along with a new band facility.
Among other projects are a gym/auditorium at the elementary building that has a new principal in Heather Barton. Washington also has a new high school principal in Wade Rigney, who came over from Seminole.
A grant Washington received allowed them to beef up security officers on the campus.
Reynolds confirmed Washington started an aviation program last year. And speaking of last year Reynolds told about the prolific year athletes in the district had – winning state titles in football, softball and baseball and a runners-up finish in girls basketball.
Mid-America Superintendent Mike Eubank hit cleanup and talked about training the career tech center offers in health care careers such as CNAs and LPNs.
“If you want to become an RN come here first and then go for your degree,” Eubank said. “It can cut two years off your college time.”
MATC, which is in the midst of a tremendous remodel and make-over project, now has a plumbing program that Eubank said filled up immediately.
MATC has added 30 nursing students and offers a broadband technician class.
The school offers 35 full time day-time programs and all but four are at capacity.
Included in the remodel are a safe room that can house the entire student body and will eventually have a single entry door for the main building for safety reasons.
Included among other things in the 29,000 new square feet is meeting rooms, office space, rest rooms and a student commons area.
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