Go to about 2:35 and you can see the studnets of Edwards Elementary. They even get a special shout out at the end (4:05).
I’ve watched this several times now, and I’m not going to lie: I get a little emotional. My daughter is only two years out from attending Oklahoma City Public Schools.
The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools created this video for their annual campaign. They go to many schools and interview all kinds of people – students, volunteers, teachers, administrators. I saw several faces I recognized from spending a week at John Marshall High School. One of those was Ashley Bahtahou. (You can see her at about 1:35 into the video.) I didn’t interview her, but I saw her so many times throughout the week. She’s one of those students who is involved in everything, and you can tell that she’s respected and admired by other students. She was phenomenal during track practice. She was fast, sure, but she was so encouraging of her other teammates. She’s a neat kid.
What she said in the video was so striking to me because it’s the same thing I’ve heard over and over from students and teachers throughout the district: our reputation doesn’t reflect reality. Set aside the reputation and whether you think it’s deserved. To me, the saddest thing is that those kids all know what the city thinks of them. They know what the community says about Oklahoma City Public Schools. Children shouldn’t feel like the world around them expects them to fail. They should feel like everyone expects them to succeed.
Sometimes there are things that just can’t fit into a story but that reporters really want to share. I wanted to share this little bit that was left on the cutting room floor from my nDepth story about Webster Middle School. (Click here to read it.)
The students in Claudette Justice’s English class hurried to summarize the beauty and vastness of nature in 17 syllables before the bell rang. Justice had already taught them how to address a letter, and the second half of her class was dedicated to haiku poetry. A girl counted syllables as she talked to herself: “I love su-shi.” She paused. “Hmm. But I don’t.”
When you plant a seed
and water it and it grows,
then pops out a tree.
Need to use to stay alive.
Forever be my love.
Birds chirping a song
they sing and hum all day long.
Soaring in the sky.
The tree shape I drew
from a little drop of paint
looks like a dancer.
Hear my heart beating.
I’ll stay with you forever,
keeping a promise.
The dog was singing.
He sang a song I once knew
so I sang along.
Bark bark yes it’s me
Owner please give me a treat
Yum yum delicious
The green leaves are gone
missing all the memories.
Autumn, please don’t come.
Thank you to John Marshall for sharing their fabulous photos with us from their May 10 graduation ceremony. Principal Aspasia Carlson said it was a wonderful night. Star Spencer and Southeast honor their graduates tonight, and a full list of Oklahoma City Public Schools graduation will be in The Oklahoman tomorrow.
Look at this fabulous young ladies and gentlemen. The leadership class from John Marshall High School made a trip to the Petroleum Club to have a lunch and learn all about etiquette. A majority of the students at John Marshall are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches. How was this exciting outing paid for? The John Marshall staff. They donated to the trip and sponsored students.
I spent a week in John Marshall High School last month, and my story about my time there ran April 15. (Click here to read it.) After spending so much time covering a story, reporters always lament that there are things left out. There are a couple of anecdotes I wished I could have fit in, but there had to be room left in the Sunday paper for the comies and the crossword. I was already way – way! – over my limit. So I’m going to share two of those little asides here. To me, they really illustrate the humor that Principal Aspasia Carlson uses with her kiddos.
Students milled around the breakfast tables, eating particularly slowly. One boy claimed he was eating breakfast late because he slept in.
“Do I need to call your mom?” Carlson asked him. He smiled when he knew he was caught. “What’s your number?” Carlson said. “I’ll call and wake you up.”
And one more …
Carlson came out of her office to find a boy slouching in a chair next to the copier.
“OK, I just heard the bell ring,” she said. “Where are you supposed to be?”
“I’m getting my transcript so I can go to college,” he said with a grin.
Carlson laughs. “OK,” she admits, “that’s allowed.”
First of all, Sonic announces they’re giving you $4,000 for special projects. Then you find out Royal Ivey’s showing up with the checks. I’m pretty sure Friday was a great day at Wilson Elementary in Oklahoma City. Sonic funded seven classroom projects through its Limeades for Learning Program. The projects were posted through www.DonorsChoose.org. Here are the winners:
- Candice Pride: Power Play the Old Way to a Healthier Lifestyle ($573.08)
- Susan Bumgarner: Let’s Find Out About Everything! ($399.56)
- Cindy Riedl: Kindle a Fire for 21st Century Learning! ($601.40)
- Elizabeth Ejtehadi: Math Manipulatives Create Math Masters! ($468.45)
- Linda Baker: Kindle a Fire for 21st Century Math Students!! ($1,161.61)
- Gregory Eskridge: Teaching with Technology ($469.60)
- Deborah Brashier: Picture Our Possibilities ($287.48)
Here’s some news out of the capitol:
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives would implement better intervention efforts when students are identified as needing counseling.
House Bill 2641, by state Rep. Lee Denney, creates the Twenty-first Century Successful Living Act. The legislation would require the Office of Juvenile Affairs and the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services to identify an evidence-based counseling curriculum for schools.
“This legislation will allow schools to be more proactive dealing with students who are in need of counseling to help them resolve the issues that may prevent these kids from succeeding in school and becoming productive citizens,” said Denney, R-Cushing. “Hopefully, we can put a lot of troubled youth back on the path to being model students.”
Under the bill, the Office of Juvenile Affairs would make the counseling available to students and school districts through designated youth service agencies.
If the bill becomes law, each of the existing 41 youth services agencies would train two staff and deliver services to approximately 75 students, for a total of 6,150 students served in the coming fiscal year.
During the second year of the program, the number of students served would double to 12,300. During the third year of the program, the agency expects to serve 18,450 students.
House Bill 2641 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 70-15 vote. It now awaits a hearing in the state Senate.
TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma-based Crowe & Dunlevy law firm has selected first-year University of Tulsa College of Law student DeVon Douglass as the first recipient of its $2,000 minority scholarship. The Minority Scholar Program provides this assistance for a minority student who qualifies based on academic achievement, financial need and commitment to the law.
“We are proud to support diversity of the legal profession through our Minority Scholar Program at TU Law,” said Susan Huntsman, a director with the firm’s Tulsa office and member of the firm’s diversity committee. “DeVon is the first of what we hope to be many students whom Crowe & Dunlevy is able to help pursue successful careers in the field of law.”
Douglass is active in the Black Law Student Association at TU Law, serving as the group’s historian. Her professional experience includes serving as a student representative with LexisNexis and as a file clerk for the Saint Louis County Courthouse. During her undergraduate career at Missouri State University, she served as president of the Association of Black Collegians. She received a bachelor of arts in sociology from Missouri State.
The Minority Scholar Program scholarships may be renewed for a recipient in each of the two remaining years of law school, based on satisfactory progress and performance. Crowe & Dunlevy plans to award one scholarship each year, resulting in three recipients simultaneously receiving assistance from the program.
Crowe & Dunlevy has made the commitment to provide funds for the program for the next five years at TU Law. The firm offers similar scholarship opportunities at other law schools.
Two students who attend Douglass High School suffered minor injuries when the bus they were riding in collided with a car Thursday morning. They were taken to Mercy Hospital. The driver of the car received four tickets.