Board recognizes Altus Swim Team, Wrestling, and Academic All-State achiever

Jason Angus

March 11, 2014

The Altus Public School District Board of Education was reorganized to include newly elected members, also several students and athletes were recognized for high achievements, during their monthly meeting on Monday in the Conference Room of the Administration Building.

The Board welcomed newest Board Members, Stephen Barnett and Kelly Duncan, and also recognized previous member Darrel Moss. “We also acknowledge Darrell Moss’ 10 years of dedicated service to the Altus School’s system. He was an excellent Board member and loved the schools,” said Board member Dr. John Thomas. The Board then reorganized the School Board appointing Keith Phillips as President and Debora Phillips as V. President. Phillips then continued to present the remaining agenda items as President of the Board of Education.

The Board received and acknowledged a District Audit Report for 2013 from CPA Linda Ahlschwede of Johnston and Ahlschwede, P.C. Certified Public Accountants of Oklahoma City. “We are happy to report that there were no significant audit findings, no misstatements, and no disagreements concerning the audit. Your staff is always a pleasure to work with. Not only are they very helpful, they are also very knowledgeable and very professional,” Ahlschwede said.

During Superintendent reports and comments, Superintendent Roger Hill informed that Choice of School will be held for all elementary schools from April 28-May 5. Pre-k Enrollment will be at the High School Library on the following dates: Sunset on April 29, from 4-6 p.m.; River’s on May 1, from 4-6 p.m.; Roosevelt, Washington, and Will Rogers on May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Altus High School Principal Dr. Mark Haught recognized Altus senior Han Do for being an Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic All State achiever. Of 450 who apply across Oklahoma, the foundation chooses 100 based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and essay and writing abilities. “I am pleased to introduce to you tonight, Han Do,” Dr. Haught began. “She is a senior at Altus High School. She is unassuming, you’ll have to ask her about her accolades, but she wont tell you. But she is a seven time All-Region flutist, very accomplished member of That Altus Band, and a solid leader at Altus Schools everyday. She is on track to being one of our academic top ten. And who knows where she’ll be from there. We’re proud of her.” Do will be recognized with other Academic All State achievers in a banquet in OKC, where she will be awarded a $1000 scholarship.

Then, Public Affairs Specialist Amanda Davis recognized Certified Excellent Schools within the District. “In January we were notified by Certified Healthy Oklahoma that we had six of our schools here in Altus that were Certified Excellent Schools which is the highest status that you can receive in Certified Healthy,” Davis said. Those schools are Roosevelt Elementary, Rivers, Washington, Will Rogers, and Altus High School. Awards will be presented at their schools and they are eligible to receive grant money. Altus Intermediate School was a “Merit Award” winner and received a certificate and is also eligible for grant money. Altus Junior High was not awarded by Certified Healthy Oklahoma due to an error during application processing. “Had the application not gotten lost somewhere, they should have been as well,” Davis said.

Athletic Director Jeremy Reed, hired in February, congratulated the State performers of the Altus Swim Team and Altus Wrestling Team. “Our swim team was State Runner up by five points,” Reed said. “Very accomplished, very exciting to watch those kids, to hear about those kids competing. And our wrestling team finished 3rd as a group.” Reed then introduced Swim Team Coach Linda Wiginton who recognized each athlete individually, noting that the team broke the school record and the State Record in the 200 Free relay.

Reed then commented about the wrestling team stating, “As a team they were 11 - 3. They only lost to the 6A Champions, Still Water, and 5A runner up, Lawton…Equally impressive, in my opinion, was the overall the GPA of the wresting team was 3.35.” Reed then recognized each wrestler individually.

Next, the Board approved certified personnel retirements including Paula Baden - Math at Altus Intermediate School effective May 23, Robert Bostic - Social Studies at Bulldog Academy effective May 23, and Bruce May - Assistant Superintendent effective June 30. The also approved certified personnel resignations including Ryanne Foret -3rd Grade at Washington effective May 23, Gena Moser - Speech Pathologist for the District effective May 23, Stephanie Robertson - Special Education at AHS effective May 23, and non-certified resignations Michael Burgener - 8 hr Bus Driver for the District effective Feb. 26, and Tammy Darden - Teacher’s Aide at Sunset effective March 6.

“Regarding the retirements, we will miss all of these people, but Bruce May spent 38 years in the Altus School system, and 11 of those years he served as the Assistant Superintendent here in this building,” Superintendent Hill said. “Since joining this administrative team last year, Bruce has been a right hand person to me, helping me and advising me on my roles and responsibilities so I thank Bruce for all that he has done.”

Board President Phillips added, “Growing up as a young man, Coach May, is what I call him all the time, he was definitely a great influence on my life… I appreciate everything he did for me.”

The Board also approved certified new hires: Matt Terry - P.E. for the District, Rachel Terry - Business at AHS, Lorie Vargas - Elementary at District, Todd Vargas - Science at AHS, all effective June 18. The Board also approve substitute teachers Aleida Burchett and Cole Childers, volunteers Tamera Hughes with Track, and Zack Morgan with Tennis, and extra duty Bobby Thomason with the Junior High Boys Tennis Team.

The Board also approve Dr. Haught to attend the National Merit Corporation Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago, Ill., on May 12. They also approved Ag Teacher Bruce Farquhar to attend the National FFA Proficiency and Stars Travel Seminar in Costa Rica, June 12-20. They also approved incentive pay for contracted bus drivers for the 4th nine weeks of the school year, and approved new breakfast and lunch prices for students and adults for the 2014-15 school year.