The Duncan Chamber of Commerce gathered for its monthly breakfast at the Simmons Center on August 4, where Duncan Public Schools (DPS) took the stage with school goals and achievements.
City Manager Kimberly Meek opened the breakfast with an update on the City of Duncan. He spoke about the city’s new site, which will soon be operational and will replace the underground cables.
DPS Superintendent Dr. Channa Byerly then updated the school’s projects with the staff and administrative teams.
Byerly said one of the goals is to share the achievements at DPS with the entire district, from staff to students.
During this time, Byerly introduced Emily Pritchard, the new Pathways instructor for the internship program.
Byerly then brought up principals Kelle Jeffrey, Brandi Peters and Smith Steigler to share their school’s proudest moments as well as goals.
Jeffrey said that with Duncan Prec, they not only have a four-year program, but also a three-year program.
“We try to integrate them into the general curriculum by the age of four,” he said.
Peters said he and Platon installed new carpet at their school last year, as well as a new sign.
The Steiglers, Horace Mann, its staff and teachers see their role as more than just a job.
“They’re excited for the kids to come in a few weeks,” she said. “I was impressed with them.”
Byerly then welcomed the next three principals: Maria Martinez, Cassie Berthold and Corey Goldsmith.
Martinez said they are working with Mark Twain on community outreach and beautification of their building.
“It makes it inviting and welcoming,” he said.
Berthold said he was proud to work as a team with Woodrow Wilson to create a positive learning experience.
He said their goal is to continue to nurture children socially and emotionally.
Goldsmith said she and Emerson want to engage more with the community, closing the gap to bring students up to grade level in learning, and continue to work on Sensory Wind when kids walk between buildings. .
High school principals Christy Glascock and Tim Hightower then presented their goals.
Glascock said she works to give more hope and encouragement to students struggling with anxiety and depression.
“I try to involve them in sports and events,” he said. “Anything at school brings back school pride.”
Hightower said they recently purchased a double convection oven and the science classrooms are also thriving.
“Not only do they feed Duncan High School, but they distribute throughout the district,” he said. “All our science classrooms have better lab tables and chairs.”
DMS also got a new marquee badge over the summer.
From there, Byerly welcomed Middle School Principal Lisha Elroy and Assistant Principals Kevin Kelly and Rodney Strutton and spoke about their goals.
Elroy talked about the start of the black box theater, the new aviation program and promoting school spirit before Kelly shared how she has implemented school security and a card reader system, door locks, and a new school resource office. Strutton said they look forward to being more involved with the community and forming partnerships to help each other.
After the major updates, Assistant Superintendent Merry Stone said she will address teacher quality and retention by supporting teachers who are new to the program, starting with certified emergency teachers, as well as those new to the district.
Ken Shaw then provided an update on the status of the project along with the Hope equipment and construction.
Crews are currently building a black box theater and safe room at the high school.
Shaw said they started with ADA Access, fencing projects, LED projects and tennis and softball parking.
“The tennis locker room has a foundation,” he said. “We look forward to delivering (the materials).”
Shaw said they have finished installing the final air conditioning units at the high school, and upcoming projects include the high school auditorium, field house and roofs.
To donate something in the school district, email [email protected]
The next Chamber Breakfast will be held on September 1.
Upcoming dates to remember:
• Free fair on August 6
• Aug. 8 Chisholm Trail Heritage Book Club
• Aug. 12: Kids Food Auction – 6:30 p.m., Duncan Golf & Tennis Club
• August 13: KangaU Grand Opening, 11-2pm, Chisholm Mall
• August 17: Fuqua Pool closes
• August 17-20: Free fair
• August 18: Walk to Remember
• August 27-28: Heart of Oklahoma Youth Rodeo (HOYRA)
• September 6: Sprinklers will be closed
• September 9-10: Wine’n at The Chisholm Trail