The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 6, 2013

EPS to launch fundraising effort for students

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Plans are being made for Enid Public School Foundation to launch a major fundraising effort to cover the concurrent fees for students who take college-level classes at University Center on the Enid High School campus.

Superintendent Shawn Hime revealed that information to members of Enid Public Schools Board of Education at Monday evening’s meeting.

“For our students in poverty, we could give them a leg up and they could leave already qualified as a college sophomore,” Hime said.

Classes will begin at University Center in the fall 2013 semester. EHS will pay for the textbooks students need for the concurrent composition, college algebra, psychology, sociology, economics, U.S. history and government classes, and check the books out to the students who enroll in the classes, Hime said.

Neither Hime nor board members were pleased when the board looked at the district’s budget for fiscal year 2014.

“I will say this is unequivocally the worst budget in my career,” Hime said as he pointed to numbers on the white board on the meeting room wall.

Although the state’s share of the education budget will grow from $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2013 to $2.4 billion for fiscal year 2014, the percentage of the overall state budget allocated to education is notching down to 33.8 percent.

“I was one who told my peers we have to take our hit — there’s no money. When the money’s there, they’ll take care of us,” Hime said.

Board member Ernie Currier said schools need a more powerful lobby.

Hime said federal funding also may drop.

“On the federal side, we have sequestration,” Hime said. “Sequestration is the word of the year.”

Across-the-board federal budget cuts — called sequestration — may mean a 5 percent reduction in federal funding for schools.

“We are again for 2014 going to see a reduction in federal money,” said Karl White, chief financial officer for EPS.

White said enrollment growth probably will keep the district “in OK shape,” but caution and frugality will be necessary.

In personnel matters, hired on a regular contract was Michelle Hilterbran, social studies, EHS.

Hired on second-year temporary contracts were Kayla Heim, speech pathology assistant, Monroe Elementary School; and Rebecca Wright, speech pathologist (part time), Glenwood Elementary School.

Hired on first-year temporary contracts were Sarah Brodt, elementary teacher; Melanie Christner, library media specialist; Jennifer Mangio, special education; Leann Mills, special education; Rebecca Powell, elementary teacher; Emily Stuckey, English; Hollee Terry, elementary teacher; and Ashley Weibling, library media specialist.

Hired pending certification were Tanner Bryan, science; Erika Christner, mathematics; Shanae Fourkiller, elementary teacher; Elena Gartland, elementary teacher; Paige Hampton, elementary teacher; Krysta Haworth, elementary teacher; Elizabeth Kuykendall, elementary teacher; Alaina Smith, elementary teacher; and Jamee Sturdevant, elementary teacher.

Retirements include David Astley, special education, Sequoyah; Susan Bartlett, Title I math/instructional coach, McKinley Elementary School; Sondra “Kay” Dragoun, language arts, EHS; Donna Gay, Title I math/instructional coach, Adams/Taft  Elementary schools; Sherrie Henderson, Title I, Coolidge Elementary School; Marsha Lines, vocal music, Prairie View/Coolidge Elementary schools; and Patricia Ritter, special education, Harrison/MS.

Resignations include Michael Bluey, mathematics, EHS; Jory Dick, special education/head wrestling coach, Emerson Middle School/EHS; Carolyn Edwards, English, EHS; Susan Hegarty, fifth grade, Adams; Billy “Will” James, social studies, Emerson; LouAnn Jones, social studies, EHS; and Meredith McKay, first grade, Taft.