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Happy New Year

From the Superintendent’s Desk

In my public remarks recently I commented that the view from my office is pretty remarkable some days. Literally, I can see the side of a building out one window, and the Stine House and grain elevators out the other. More importantly, figuratively, I have a view rivaled by any other in the community.

I see Woodward’s best and brightest students going about their daily work that will have an impact on the rest of their lives.

I see truly gifted teachers who get up early and stay late to create the next generation of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. 

I see our maintenance and custodial staff who work every day behind the scenes to make sure our facilities are safe and attractive.

I see bus drivers excited to go on their afternoon route and hear what the kids say about their day at school.

Teachers, administrators, support staff…almost 300 individuals working toward a common goal: a better future through education.

We also recognize that we are not alone in our endeavors, and we frequently find ourselves leaning on the support of our community.

Our schools and student organizations generate thousands of dollars in fundraisers every year that folks all across this community support.

Recently, Bruce Benbrook and the Stock Exchange Bank announced a gift of $100,000 to Woodward Schools to start a STREAM-based after school program. This will allow WPS to provide after-school snacks, help with homework, and engaging, fun lessons focused on Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math. What a humbling blessing and a true lesson in leadership and generosity!

As we prepare to welcome our students back to school on January 8th, I know many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to make this year better than the last. We, as an organization, are doing the same.

We resolve to engage the stakeholders in our community through surveys, forums and discussions to help determine the future of our schools and our community. Last year saw the failure of two bond issues, effectively doubling the number of bond issues that have failed in the history of our school (that I am aware of anyway). We will find a way to work with our patrons and community partners to keep Woodward and Woodward Schools moving forward.

We will also stay focused on our three goals: increase student achievement, close the achievement gap, and build and maintain safe, attractive schools.

Attending a conference recently I heard mention of the Ubuntu philosophy, which states simply: “ I am because we are.” It’s a humanist philosophy that came out of South Africa. When I hear those words, “I am because we are,” I think of my hometown and the sense of community that we enjoy as a Boomer Family. We look for, and frequently see, the best in our fellow man. We look for, and frequently find, ways to help each other, especially the less fortunate. That is who we are.

Speaking of our roots in this part of the country, I had an opportunity to dive into my own ancestry recently as I had my DNA test done and have been fleshing out family trees going back hundreds of years. It is amazing how much information and how many artifacts you can find online now, and you really start to get a feel of the history of each family. Perhaps my favorite family story so far is my great-grandmother, Anna (Jordan) Frost. She came down from Iowa at the turn of the century with her two brothers and staked her 160 acre claim 8 miles north and 4 miles east of Woodward. Her brothers helped her build a house and storm shelter and dug a well. During the week she taught at Mooreland and Curtis schools, spending her “free time” working on her homestead.

What a great reminder of our ancestors who settled this rough, unforgiving country. I admire the grit and fortitude that brought them here in search of a better life and laid the foundation for generations to come. Those stories make us who we are, and I am proud to say we are Boomers!

Happy New Year to you and yours, and as always, if you have questions, comments or concerns for me, my office door is always open.

 

 

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Woodward Public Schools1023 10th StreetWoodward, OK  73802

PH: 580-256-6063Fax: 580-256-4391

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The Woodward Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or veteran status.

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