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Shawnee Public Schools Receives $30,000 Grant From TSET

 

January 10, 2019

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Shawnee Public Schools received a $30,000 grant from the TSET Healthy Incentive Program because of the health and wellness policies the district has in place for students and staff. The grant will be used to further those initiatives. The grant was presented by Sharon Howard (left), program manager of the TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grants. Also pictured are (from left) are Mark Betterton, board member; Bobby Canty, board clerk; Larry Walker, board member; Keith Sandlin, board president; Dr. April Grace, superintendent; Kristen Wilson, board 2nd vice president; April Stobbe, board 1st vice president; Misty Heath, board member; Lisa Cobb, TSET HLP consultant for Pottawatomie County; Jon Greenwood, prevention director for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery; and Julie Bisbee, TSET interim executive director.

Shawnee Board of Education members Monday night approved continuation of Superintendent Dr. April Grace's three-year contract; accepted a $30,000, first-ever grant from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET); and heard a performance by a group from the fast-growing Shawnee High School mixed choir.

The session at the school administration building was the board's January meeting, and concluded students' and staff's first day back from the Christmas holiday break.

Board President Keith Sandlin announced the board's approval of Dr. Grace's contract but added no further information following the executive session. It was the meeting for the board to make its annual evaluation of her work and consider her contract.

Dr. Grace is completing the first year of her current contract.

No action was taken regarding the purchase of land for a new grade school in northwest Shawnee but Dr. Grace announced that a closing date on the purchase from the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office is expected sometime this month.

"We are excited to see students back," she added.

Sharon Howard, RN, program manager of the TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grants, presented the $30,000 check for the grant to the board. The grant will help Shawnee Public Schools continue to promote health and wellness throughout the district, said Cherity Pennington, district communications and library services coordinator.

Every site will receive a water bottle refill station. Additionally, the schools will be doing Lunch and Learn sessions.

Shawnee High School was the school recognized for January. SHS principal Matt Johnson introduced Justin Lee, director of choral music, and group of mixed choir members who performed for the board.

After their presentation, Lee thanked the board and administration for their support of the arts in Shawnee Public Schools.

Lee's wife Melissa is choral director at Shawnee Middle School.

The choral music program has tripled in size since the couple began work in the school district. Shawnee High School has about 117 students in its choir and the middle school has about 170.

Callie Hall, a high school senior, member of the SHS choir and recent Academic Letter Jacket recipient, led the invocation and flag salute at the beginning of the meeting.

Michael Kemper, with Jenkins and Kemper CPA firm of Bixby, reviewed his firms audit of the district's 2017-18 fiscal year. The audit showed no significant deficiencies, Kemper said.

Sandlin read a proclamation declaring this month as School Board Recognition Month. The board includes Larry Walker, Office 1; Sandlin, Office 2; Kristen Wilson, Office 3, second vice president; April Stobbe, office 4, first vice president; Mark Betterton, Office 5; Misty Heath, Office 6; and Bobby Canty, Office 7, clerk.

In other action, the board approved school calendars for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Spring break will be March 18-22; graduation will be May 20; and students' last day of the current spring semester will be May 24. The first day of school for the fall 2019 semester will be Aug. 20.

The board also approved the following year calendar. The only significant changes will be a three-day Thanksgiving break instead of five days and Christmas break will be full two-week holidays during the next two calendar years.

Activity accounts were approved for two new Shawnee High School organizations, a meteorology club and botany club.

All personnel items were approved after the executive session, including adjunct employment of Don Sumner as head of the ninth grade boys' basketball program.

 

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