Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pryor, SW E and Putnam City

What a week of local visits. I spent time in Pryor with the local officers and a number of new teachers and OEA members. All of them are excited about school getting started and want to be to get their share of signatures for the HOPE initiative. Suzanne Kull, the local president does a great job.(1st picture)

At the first SW E zone meeting held by OEA Director Connie Jensen, OEA members from Little Axe, Blanchard, Noble, Newcastle, Blanchard Support Professionals, and the Professional Educators of Norman were all geared up for beginning school actives including their roles and responsibilities with the HOPE campaign. (2nd picture).

After leaving the Zone meeting, I went to Putnam City West to say hello to our members who were getting ELL-English Language Learner training by NEA and OEA staff. The training is a part of our "Community Conversations" we've been having at West for a year and a half. It is a program making a difference for the kids, teachers and community our critics don't give us credit for the work we do. Doing so would acknowledge we are an active part of our communities.

I did have some sad news when I found out from a PC West teacher, one of my colleagues, and friend from Stillwater, had taken a job with Chesapeake. He told our mutual friend he has two kids getting ready to go to college and they need more than what he can provide them on his teaching salary. Another quality teacher leaves our profession because of financial issues.

The week ended on a high note when I got to address Putnam City's teachers and administration at the PCACT back to school meeting after receiving greetings from their new superintendent, Paul Hurst. Paul brings a great deal of leadership and responsibility to the position. He was recently the superintendent in Tahlequah.

During my presentation, I told everyone about the HOPE campaign and by the time we were finished, 1500 people were on their feet pledging to "stand-up" for kids by committing to sign the petition and getting all of their family members and friends to do the same.

I was extremely energized by the people in PC and look forward to watching their success in the position drive.

The day ended with my wife's faculty at their back-to-school dinner. We had a great time with everyone and Katherine collected her peers signatures on the petition. Lake Park is a quality school with special people who are committed to our children. Go Lions.

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