In what some Woodward board of Education members called “the longest agenda on earth,” Monday evening, board members dealt with the “desperate” teacher shortage and approved an official resolution that could help Woodward’s Boomer Stadium become the playoff destination for all of Northwest Oklahoma.
Board members also approved a handbook regulation that created a “dollar rule,” which regulates the length of shorts and skirts worn in the middle and high schools using a lengthwise dollar bill from mid-knee to the bottom of the hem.
Much of the agenda was simple and included routine contract approvals for such necessities in the fast approaching new school year as food items and supplies from vendors like Mid-America Wholesale, Ben E. Keith and US Foods as well as Earthgrains and Hiland Dairy. Board members also approved a three year contract for Superintendent Kyle Reynolds.
While most of the items were somewhat routine in nature, some prompted discussion.
For instance, eliciting the most discussion was a resolution approved by board members that stated their mutual support for a project to renovate Boomer Stadium by installing Astroturf, expanding the track to eight lanes and resurfacing the track.
Going into its third year of work on the part of some private citizens, fundraising efforts are underway again and getting them closer to the goal of turning Boomer Stadium into a destination sports complex, according to C.J. Montgomery, who spoke on behalf of the citizens.
The group aims to secure their vision toward a stadium that would not only provide a quality sports complex for the local team but would also provide thousands in possible economic benefits to Woodward if it draws other events and teams. The overall project, though it hasn’t been bid yet, could cost more than $1 million, Montgomery said.
Early on, the group had commitments for up to $250,000, Montgomery said.
However, fundraising efforts were put on hold after the Woodward tornado to allow people in the community to focus totally on that priority, he said.
“And we held off also, during the school bond election so that we weren’t confusing people with what we were raising funds for,” Montgomery said.
Now, fundraising efforts are back underway, he said.
“This started when Chris Keeton was the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce several years ago and he allowed the Chamber to go out and start the ball rolling,” Montgomery said.
With the needed $100,000 pledged by the school Monday night along with a resolution that made public their support for the project, renovations could begin moving forward soon, Montgomery said.
“Ideally if fundraising goes well, we could begin the renovation after football season is over,” he said.
Another issue that drew some conversation was the approval of the updated High School Student Handbook. A request for clarification regarding some of the new rules was made by school board member, Glenn Billings.
Specifically, Billings asked for more information on the recently added regulation regarding the length of shorts that will be permitted to be worn.
According to Woodward Education Association representatives, Chanda Peters and JoLynn Love, some shorts styles, such as those offered by Nike, have been getting shorter and shorter and they felt a limit needed to be placed on the shorts some students were wearing to school.
Other rules, which garnered some request for clarification included hair color regulations (must be a natural color), the use of cell phones while on school property (only during lunch hour and before and after school or between classes) and the posting of anything considered derogatory on social media during sports season.
In other business, a dire teacher shortage has created a need to fill numerous teaching positions with teachers who the school is working at getting certified through a procedure known as emergency certification, according to Woodward Superintendent Kyle Reynolds.
The process requires a bachelor's degree and for the applicant to meet all other criteria, such as background checks and the interviewing process as well as some course work, Reynolds said.
According to Deputy Superintendent Jerry Burch those who have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in teaching or coaching should apply.
Monday night a number of teachers as well as other staffing positions were locked in, with some pending emergency certification: Hired Monday night were: Chad Smith-MS Band/HS Assistant Band Director, Sara Acosta-MS English teacher (pending emergency certification), Korie Ham-MS science teacher (pending emergency certification), Edward Donahue-MS reading teacher/coach, Amie Shackleford-MS social studies teacher/coach, Jody Flemming-MS ISD supervisor, Holly Shirkey-ECC library paraprofessional, Meagan McCoy-ECC Kindergarten teacher, Vicky Schroeder-ECC 1st Grade teacher, Amy Harrington ECC 1st Grade teacher/coach, Sarah Roach-ECC Kindergarten teacher, Rachel Bilbo-ECC Kindergarten teacher/coach (pending emergency certification) Bridgette Taylor-ECC Pre-K teacher (pending emergency certification) Anita Hernandez-ECC assistant principal, Susan Jarnagin CH counselor, Shembra Reed-HS English teacher, Thomas Cannon-HS science teacher, Charles Roach-HS social studies, teacher/coach, John White-HS science/math, teacher (pending Oklahoma certification), Norene Barker-HM 3rd Grade teacher, Cherie Moss-HM 3rd Grade teacher (pending Oklahoma certification), Judy Nixon-Bus Driver.