From the Desk: Community will be part of the future

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When you are used to something (good or bad), you can take it for granted and expect it to happen.  Because of this, I want to begin with congratulations to our Bluejay football team.  They are an outstanding group of people led by a dedicated coaching staff.  With the success achieved in the recent past, some not closely connected to our program could take their record for granted.  I can assure you that many hours are dedicated to making that success occur.  It doesn’t “just happen.”    

Guthrie Superintendent Mike Simpson
Guthrie Superintendent Mike Simpson

I had hoped this paragraph would be announcing receipt of a $50,000 grant from Cox Communications submitted by Upper Elementary Principal Susan Davison, on behalf of her school.  Over 200 applications were submitted and after an arduous selection process, Guthrie was among three finalists.  While the grant was awarded to Edmond Public Schools, I truly appreciate the work of Ms. Davison who had assistance from Letha Bauter, Assistant Principal at Fogarty and Carmen Walters, Executive Director of Elementary Education.  We were hoping to use the money for classroom technology enhancements including computers and Ipads.  We will continue to look for creative ways to fund educational technology and other initiatives that enhance the outstanding efforts of our staff.

This brings me to a more critical issue within our district, which is a plan for the future.  The Board of Education and I are in the beginning phases of the formulation of a long range plan to address technology, transportation and facility issues.  It is no secret that our community has not supported the passage of bond issues when it came to a vote of the people.  Since my family and I became a part of this community, I have asked anyone I could find the question—WHY?  I’ve gotten many responses that usually point to personalities of people who were involved at the time or opinions that are far removed from our students and their needs.  Maybe this mindset has been taken for granted.  I’ve yet to encounter anyone that believes our students shouldn’t have better than what we currently provide.  The ultimate goal of this process is to yield a plan which is accepted and supported by the community.  When the community takes ownership of the plan, it goes beyond the personalities of the leadership and addresses our most important needs that best serve students.

As we go through this process, the community will be involved.  Several opportunities will exist for community input as well as the creation of a Long Range Planning Committee composed of a cross section of our community.  This committee will assist in the formulation of the plan following in-depth tours of our current facilities as well as tours of other school districts.  I would welcome your input by email as well.  You can reach out to me at guthrie.supt@guthrieps.net .

As the holiday season gets in full swing, I want to encourage you to attend the many community events Guthrie has to offer.  Winter sports begin soon and I can’t wait for the winter concerts.  The band concert is on Tuesday, December 18th with the vocal concert following on Thursday, December 20th.  Both concerts are at the Masonic Temple and begin at 7:00 p.m.   Finally, I would like to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons from all of us at Guthrie Public Schools.

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