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At an exceptionally brief Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 8th, Superintendent Rob Armstrong announced several recent donations made by local organizations to various SPS groups. First United Bank Mortgage Company gave $100 to be used in SHS teacher Karli Myers’s classroom, the Neal and DeDee Kneger Giving Fund gave $1,000 to the Liberty Elementary STEM program, and the Kante Group gave $10,000 to the eSports program.
Armstrong said that representatives from the SPS Administration have had several meetings with Ben Kante and Roger Hendrick from the Kante Group to discuss the group providing paid internships to students in the Chieftain TV program to help produce programs at its new production studio at the SeneGence Event Center in downtown Sapulpa. Previously the Kante Group has hired professionals from Tulsa for the job. This new arrangement will benefit both the students who will have the opportunity to gain significant hands-on experience in the field and the Kante Group who will cut expenses for labor while giving back to local students.
Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby explained that the SeneGence Event Center has an immense, permanent, 12 feet high by 33 feet wide LED “Zoom wall” with over 50 million pixels, in addition to a broadcast-quality production studio that the students will be able to use.
Mr. Armstrong was happy to formally announce to the Board that the two school bond propositions on the ballot last Tuesday totaling $1.645M passed with a large majority of support. As reported by Sapulpa Times, Proposition 1 passed with 80.15% of the 670 total votes and Proposition 2 with 79.59% of 676 total votes. Proposition 1, for $1,195,000, will fund school improvements, including things like new furniture, roofs, and HVAC systems, and Proposition 2, for $450K, will go toward new transportation.
The administration has performed a review and analysis of how each of the precincts in the district voted, and said that several of them had “yes votes” of 90% or more. The BTW and Good Shepherd precincts had the highest, with well over 90% yeses. They also identified the two lowest-percentage precincts, so in two years, they can strategically target those areas better to prepare for the big bond vote to rebuild the Junior High and High School.
Mr. Armstrong made a recommendation to the Board that they approve a resolution to determine the maturities of, and set a date, time, and place for, the sale of the GO Bonds. The Board set the sale for March 31st at noon at the Administration Building. Armstrong said that the monies will be available to spend sometime in May, and that teachers and principals will meet with administrators this week to discuss their respective needs and to start the process of allocating the funds.
Another piece of exciting news Armstrong shared with the board is that for the first time since 1999, both the Boys and Girls basketball teams will advance to the state tournament. The girls will play Shawnee Thursday at 2 p.m. at Tulsa Memorial and the boys will play Coweta Thursday at 4 p.m. at Owasso.
Other superintendent comments included a big congratulations to the students and faculty involved in the “fantastic” recent musical, Spring Break is next week, and there are only nine weeks left until the class of 2021 graduates.