Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward School Board members tended to mainly routine issues Monday evening during their first meeting of 2014.
In the consent agenda, members approved financial reports, treasurer's report, field trip requests and other items regarding financial encumbrances for December of 2013.
The real meaty content took place during the open forum, which is always at the beginning of the school board meeting.
Academic bowl coach and Woodward Middle School math teacher Abbie Wasson praised her Middle School Academic Bowl team for their commitment and dedication to learn the material and fearlessly compete.
Many of the academic bowl team members were in attendance at the meeting.
According to Wasson and assistant academic bowl coach and 8th grade history teacher Chelsea Roberts, the academic team this year is remarkable because it has competed against six other school's academic teams this year and won all of the meets.
In the regional competition recently, the team went 6-0 and scored 1,360 points.
The Area Academic Bowl competition will be held Jan. 29 at the High Plains Technology Center.
In her remarks, Wasson almost glowed as she spoke about how proactive her students were in finding information. She said when they got a questions that stumped them they would make a note of the question and then later, on their own, look the information up in case they were ever faced with the question again.
"This is a big deal because it is the first time in quite a while that they have done so well," Wasson said. "They are just a really great group to work with because they are really good about going and finding information on there own."
In his remarks, Woodward Superintendent Tim Merchant also praised the middle school students, noting that it is students like the ones who were before him in the meeting who inspire him in his duties as their superintendent.
Merchant announced that Woodward School District received an additional $584,355 in state aid because of the increase in enrollment in Woodward Schools.
"That is a good thing. This year, we have hired an additional 11 teaching positions," he said. "Right now, we are 3,024 enrollment I think. But with the growth comes growing pains."
Merchant added that even though the Early Childhood Center was built for more than 750 students, the facility has 800 enrolled.
He said he is working on plans to provide more room for music and movement classes at ECC by utilizing some portable classrooms no longer in use at the high school.
In other business board members went into executive session primarily for the purpose of hiring as well as discussing Merchant's annual performance review.
Hired in the session were: Rowynn Ricks, ECC special education paraprofessional; Alexandra Sanders, ECC library paraprofessional; Keri Thompson, Caitlin White and Kali Watson; ECC duty paraprofessionals; Rachel Warnick, ECC RSA paraprofessional; Shirley Madara, ECC cafeteria worker; Sarah Fanning, Woodward High School counselor secretary; Luke Broadbent, Woodward Middle School ISD supervisor; Becky Tyree, Horace Mann 2nd grade teacher.