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Shawnee ECC Team Of Teachers Will Receive Award


August 8, 2019

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Shawnee Early Childhood Center teachers who received the Southeast Region SKIE Award from the K20 Center are (from left) Haley Michael, Cassie Flora, Brandy Swinford and Katie Thompson.

Shawnee school board members at their August meeting Monday night were informed that four Shawnee Early Childhood teachers will receive a $500 team check as a regional awardee and state finalist at a K20 Center's Innovative Learning Institute luncheon at OU in November.

Additionally, the board approved Shawnee High School's offering its students two new 21st Century courses: introduction to robotics and computer science, and introduction to aerospace engineering principles, a drone and aerospace engineering course where students will learn to fly drones.

The four Early Childhood Center teachers who will receive the Southwest Regional Supporting K20 Innovative Educators Award are Cassie Flora, Haley Michael, Brandy Swinford and state Teacher of the Year finalist Katie Thompson. They will be among teams considered for State Awardee, which includes a $1,500 prize as well as a $1,000 cash award for their school's efforts to introduce technology to pre-K and kindergartners.

Dr. April Grace, Shawnee school superintendent, made that announcement.

The new high school introduction to robotics and computer science course offers credit in both science and computer science.

Students in the new drone and aerospace course will also learn how to design gliders, explore aerospace dynamics and even prepare for the FAA drone pilot certification test.

Shawnee will be one of only a few schools in Oklahoma to offer a drone program and possibly is the only one in the state offering such a course, Cherity Pennington, school district communications and library services coordinator, said Tuesday.

Meggan Wilson, executive director of academic services, introduced Michelle Wallace to the board as the district's new career development and partnership advisor. Wallace has been working with the district's Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) initiative, part of which connects community business partners with high school student interns.

"We anticipate having about 15 to 20 students who will be earning high school credit in internship positions in the community this school year," Pennington said.

Meggan Wilson also told the board Shawnee Public Schools provided all county middle school teachers who participated in the Pottawatomie County Celebrate Teachers event in Tecumseh Monday, with several professional development sessions on a variety of subjects, including STEM, teaching students with diverse needs, inquiry learning, technology integration, renewable energy, classroom management, art integration and others.

The board, in executive session, voted approval of both the master contract with Shawnee Association of Classroom Teachers (SACT), and Negotiated Agreement with Shawnee Federation of School Employees (SFSE), pending ratification by SACT and SFSE, respectively, for the 2019-2020 school year.

In other actions, the board voted to adopt the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration Blended/Virtual Learning Framework. "Because virtual learning options are expanding in Oklahoma public schools, this framework gives guidance for schools to consider when developing, implementing, and evaluating high-quality, research-based blended/virtual instruction," Pennington explained.

Shawnee High School and Jim Thorpe Academy already offer blended as well as regular classes in certain areas to a very few students, she said.

The board approved a $62,766 bid derived from the Oklahoma State bid list for the lease purchase of a 14-passenger activity bus. It is described as not a bus for transporting students on bus routes, but a van that could be used by small groups attending special activities.

A seventh grade student at Pleasant Grove School who had requested approval to participate in football at Shawnee Middle School was granted that approval by the board.

Shawnee FFA has received a 3-Star National Chapter Certification, the highest honor a chapter can receive at the National level, it was announced.

A number of out of state trips were approved for administrators, faculty and staff.

They include Todd Boyer, to National Athletic Director Conference, National Harbor, Maryland, Dec. 12-17; John Wiles, to National Association of Pupil Transportation Conference, Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 31-Nov. 5; Dr. April Grace to AASA National Superintendent Conference, in San Diego Feb. 13-15;

And, Meggan Wilson, Jenny Jasper, Keely Tolin, Michelle Wallace, and Dr. Grace, to Board of Regents meeting, New Orleans, Aug. 27-28, and Dr. Grace to AASA Women in Leadership Conference, Alexandria, Virginia, Oct. 21-22.

Ann Worden, principal of Shawnee Early Childhood Center, offered the invocation at the beginning of the meeting. Brent Houston, district chief finance officer, led the flag salute.

Following an executive session, board members toured the Stucker Facility, a 2016 bond issue project that is nearing completion just south of the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Athletics Center.

It includes a wrestling gymnasium, basketball practice facility, concessions area, public restrooms and sports teams dressing rooms.

When severe weather is warned, it will also be used as a storm shelter for large numbers of persons at the high school at that time.

A grand opening of the Stucker facility is planned for either late this month or early September.

Shawnee Public Schools will open for its fall semester Aug. 20. Elementary enrollment was last week. Shawnee High School's opening football game will be Aug. 30 at Choctaw High School. SHS softball and volleyball teams have games scheduled for next week.


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