On Feb. 13, some Broken Arrow citizens will be able to cast their vote for the Zone 3 school board member as the seat becomes open.
After five years of service on the Board of Education, current Zone 3 Board member Dr. Theresa Williamson’s term is expiring.
The Broken Arrow Board of Education is an elected Board, and its members must tackle the enormous job of governing Oklahoma’s sixth largest school district while also preserving core democratic values. The Broken Arrow Board is responsible for establishing policies under which the school system operates. While acting within the framework of Oklahoma and federal laws, the Board is responsible for taking into consideration the unique needs of the community.
Two candidates have filed for the Zone 3 seat: Dr. Theresa Williamson and John Cockrell. Both candidates live within Zone 3 boundaries.
Dr. Williamson has been a teacher and administrator in the Broken Arrow school district, and she currently serves as a counselor at Will Rogers Jr. High School in Tulsa.
Mr. Cockrell is a Broken Arrow firefighter and is an active leader in the Broken Arrow Youth Wresting Program.
To allow the public the opportunity to become familiar with both candidates, Dr. Williamson and Mr. Cockrell will participate in a public forum at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Centennial Middle School cafeteria.
Only those citizens who live in Zone 3 will be permitted to vote in the election on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The last day to register to vote is Jan. 19.
Zone 3 includes Creekwood Early Childhood Center, Arrowhead Elementary, Country Lane Intermediate, Country Lane Primary, Creekwood Elementary, Centennial Middle School and Broken Arrow High School.
Zone 3 Boundaries:
Begin at 31st & 145th south to 81st & 145th—east to Elm; at 71st, jogs east to County Line; at 51st jogs back west to Lynn Lane and then North to 31st. The northwest portion of Broken Arrow’s School District Zone 3 is actually in Tulsa City limits.
Beginning Jan. 23, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) is making it simple for adults to earn their high school equivalency diploma (GED or HSE) through free preparation courses.
“Having either the GED or the HSE diploma is important for those without a high school diploma because it can expand employment opportunities, increase wages, or allow students to go to college or other institutions of learning,” BAPS Virtual School Director Chris Hunt said.
These courses, which are offered in partnership with Union Public Schools, will take place at BAPS’ Option Academy every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Under certain guidelines, courses may be available online.
“Union has a very established Adult Education Program, and we are fortunate to work with them to offer this opportunity to our community members,” Hunt said.
Prospective students may enroll at the Options Academy every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Options Academy at 918-505-5270 or visit www.unionalc.com.
The Broken Arrow Public Schools transportation department has honored three drivers with BA’s Best Bus Driver awards.
Bus riders wrote and submitted essays to nominate their favorite drivers, and the winners were recognized at an employee appreciation banquet.
Nancy Mathis won the elementary division thanks to an essay by Reina Spino, a student at Wolf Creek.
Reina wrote in part, “She is so nice, thoughtful, kind and safe. I really love you and it feels like you are a part of my family. She is nice and happy all the time, [she is] like a joy all the time [and] like a friend to me.”
Oneta Ridge student Hope Wells nominated her driver, J.W. Berry of Bus 146, in the middle school division.
Hope wrote, “Our bus driver has personally learned all of our names. He is nice and friendly when he greets us as we get on the bus.”
Hope also recognized Berry for going above and beyond to make sure his students found the bus after school.
She wrote, “There was this one time he parked in a different place, but he got out of the bus and stood by the school’s door and caught all of us to tell us where the bus was. He enjoys his job and now I enjoy my ride.”
Bonnie Hummel, in her 10th year as a Broken Arrow driver, won the high school category. She was nominated by Michelle Renaud-Tussey on behalf of her son, Austin.
“Not only is Bonnie joyful, she is kind and thoughtful in her gestures while providing transportation for Austin,” Renaud-Tussey wrote. “In the many years Austin has been riding the bus to and from school, this would have to be the most impactful. Bonnie takes the time to greet Austin cheerfully. Even when [he] doesn’t reciprocate, she continues with her cheerful manner.”
Renaud-Tussey also shared that Hummel’s personal touch affects more than her son.
“What stands out the most is that each and every day when she picks him up and circles the bus around, she always slows down long enough for Austin and me to offer each other a final goodbye for the day!” she wrote. “As a mom, this makes my heart happy…it’s a wonderful way to start each day. Thank you, Bonnie!”
Marvita Vick earned an honorable mention award thanks to a submission from Early Childhood Center student Stratton Miller. Stratton submitted a “Marvita tree,” with ornaments filled in positive traits.
Do you think this sounds like a job for you or someone you know? Broken Arrow Public Schools is currently hiring bus drivers, aides and mechanics.
The district offers flexible schedules, paid training and year-round pay. Interested candidates can apply through the employment tab at www.baschools.org/careers. For more information, contact the transportation department at 918-259-4550.
Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) athletic department will host its third annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser in support of the district’s Special Olympics team Jan. 24, at 5 p.m., at the BA Golf and Athletic Club swimming pool.
Those taking the cold-water plunge are asked to raise a minimum of $50 to help support the Special Olympians’ trip to the Oklahoma Olympic Games this spring.
Last year’s “Freezin’” raised more than $7,000. The event provided funds to outfit each Special Olympic athlete in a team uniform and warm-up gear, along with helping offset travel costs.
“We are so blessed to be part of a district who views all students as athletes and capable of achieving great things,” said Katie Fly, special education teacher and BAPS Special Olympics coach. “With the help of this event, our students experience the support of their peers, teachers, coaches and community members. The uniforms and warmups allow these athletes to arrive in style and compete as any other Broken Arrow athlete.”
More than 100 participants took the plunge last year, as donations eclipsed year one’s mark by more than $2,000. It was the first year students participated in “Freezin’ for a Reason.” Students may jump into the water again this year for a $10 donation to BA Special Olympics. Adult “Plungers”may take part in the fundraiser for a $50 donation.
More than 70 Broken Arrow Special Olympians in grades 3-12 are expected to participate in the 49th annual Oklahoma Special Olympics Summer Games in Stillwater, May 16-18. The team’s annual trip to Stillwater is solely funded by fundraisers throughout the year.
Participants may bring their donation and registration form to the BAPS Athletic Department any weekday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or bring donation and registration form the day of the event. Cash or checks only please. Make checks payable to BAPS.
Local businesses, groups or organizations that would like to donate or participate in “Freezin’ for a Reason” may contact the athletic office at 918-259-5910.
The BA Golf and Athletic Club is located at 1651 E. Omaha St. (51st Street) between Lynn Lane and County Line Road.
Pre-kindergarten is an exciting time for children, and the district’s Early Childhood Centers (ECC) are making the transition easier for parents by providing an informational meeting that will focus on what to expect as the new school year approaches. The annual “All Things Pre-K” meeting will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center located at 81st and Main St.
“We will discuss information about the early childhood programs, enrollment information, curriculum, daily schedules and all of the nuts and bolts of Pre-K,” Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Karla Dyess said. “The Pre-K principals will also be present to answer any and all questions that the parents might have.”
“Our program is designed to be a collaborative effort involving parents, students and teachers, and by working as a team, I have no doubt that we will be successful in our mission to create a foundation for life-long learning in our youngest Broken Arrow Tigers,” Dyess said.
For more information, please contact the Elementary Education Administration office at 918-259-7725.
This month is School Board Recognition Month – a time designated to salute the work of more than 2,700 elected school board members for their untiring dedication to public education.
“At Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS), we are privileged to have five committed individuals who play a vital role in serving our students, staff and community,” BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said.
The five members are Steve Allen, President; Cheryl Kelly, Vice President; Jerry Denton, Clerk; Steve Majors, Deputy Clerk; and Dr. Theresa Williamson, Member.
“Each of these individuals develop policies and make tough decisions on complex education and social issues impacting the entire community,” Dunlop said. “They bear the responsibility of a $112 million budget, which serves more than 19,000 students and 2,000 district employees. They carry out the truest form of representative government in our democracy – volunteer public service.”
The Board is responsible for establishing policies under which the school system operates while acting within the framework of Oklahoma and federal laws. As citizen leaders, individual school board members contribute hundreds of hours each year to leading the district, whether it be crafting policies, listening to staff and student concerns, or recognizing outstanding programs.
“I hope each of you will help me take a moment to express appreciation for each of them and the effort they invest in improving our district,” Dunlop said.
Learn more about each member by visiting www.baschools.org/BoardofEducation.