The Altus Public School Board of Education met Monday for their regularly scheduled monthly session to discuss district matters and honor several students from the Altus High School band, choir and academic team for recent accomplishments,
In attendance was Superintendent Roger Hill, Board President Stephen Barnett, Clerk of the Board Karen Sanchez, and members Dr. John Thomas, Debora Phillips, James Patterson and Kelley Duncan. Altus Air Force Base Ex-Offico member Air Force Col. Lance Whitfill was absent from the meeting.
Barnett opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Hill followed with recognition of the AHS band students who earned OMEA — Oklahoma Music Education Association — all-state honors.
Band members Kayla Miller, Uriel Perez, Asher Shoopman and Tyler Tidwell were selected for symphonic band while David Alexander and Ethan Hastings were selected as all-state alternates.
“We’re just really proud of them. From the first round to the final round of All-State there were approximately 2,000 students and so to have four students make all-state and to have two make alternates, we’re very proud of them,” AHS Band Director Mary Runyan said. “Looking at the program, I was very proud of the fact that in schools similar to ours, Del City had one student selected, but Duncan, Ardmore, Lawton and other schools like ours did not have any all-staters.”
The AHS choir also had five musicians attend the all-state clinic.
Those students are Dreema Abila, Mikayla Bush, Carly Stork, Mikendell Reuter and Mackenzie Wood. Abila and Bush were also selected to the ACDA — American Choral Directors Association — National Honor Choir. Freshman Allison Cope did not make all-state, but also was selected to the ACDA National Honor Choir.
“I’m very proud of the students that got to enjoy the all-state experience. It’s something that they won’t forget because it’s not just a celebration of their accomplishments of getting through the auditions, they get to make music with some of the best musicians in the whole state,” AHS Choir Director Nick Young said. “They get to talk and just be around people who are just as passionate as they are.”
The AHS academic team recently competed in the State Academic Team Competition and earned a third-place finish. It is the second time the AHS academic team has been to state, but it is the first time they have placed.
These students are Team Captain Reece Henry, Amy Phan, Caylan Steed, Abby Dantzler, Kayla Jencks, Mara Kennedy, Kody King, Ryan Oden, Jaxon Sealey, Ethan Thaggard, Michayla Cheney, Avery Huckabee, JD Wright, Shelby Ho and Clayton Birdwell.
“This is my first year as the academic team coach and it was an awesome year,” Cindy Bailey said. “From practice all the way to state it was just awesome. I say that any day you learn something new is a great day. They kept me hopping every time I mispronounced a word. We even practiced against the high school teachers and won and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Once recognition was given, the board moved on to approve a list of new hires.
Lindsey Holub was approved for a four-hour special education position at the Altus Early Childhood Center, Charles King was approved as a two-hour cafeteria clerk at AHS, and Michelle Ware was approved as the insurance clerk at the administrative center.
The board approved sending Cindy Allen and Nicole Walker to attend the National Migrant Education Conference in Orlando, Fla. from April 30-May 3.
Todd Vargas, Dusty Davis, Matt Terry, Linn Marshall and Mike Torres were approved to attend the Naval Academy Football Coaches’ Clinic in Annapolis, Md. from Mar. 29-31 with the event being paid for by the 12th Man Club.
The board also approved Vargas, Davis, Marshall, Jamie Reyn, and Torres to attend the Coaches’ Clinic in Dallas from Mar. 10-11.
Mitch McLaughlin was approved to attend the Dallas-Fort Worth Sports Medicine Symposium at Southlake, Texas from Mar. 24-26.
The board had no new business and voted to adjourn the meeting.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.