Sapulpa Schools honors community service award winners, retirees, and milestone employees

(SPS) The End of Year Assembly was a time to celebrate employees who are retiring from the district, as well as those who have ten or more years of service. Sapulpa Public Schools also presented Community Service and Distinguished Service Awards at the annual assembly to wrap up the school year.

Community Service Awards are presented each year to an individual or an institution that has contributed to our district.

Recipients included Rachel and Josh Porter, and Rebecca and Jon LaFevers, who engaged in civic advocacy to spread the word about the importance of last year’s pivotal bond election.

Left to right: Robert Armstrong, Josh Porter, Rachel Porter, Rebecca LaFevers, Jon LaFevers, Johnny Bilby. The Porters and LaFevers recieved Community Service Awards for their civic advocacy toward the Chieftain Stronger Bond.

Mike Naifeh and Mike Hoehner of Wimpy’s Sandwich Shoppe received the Community Service Award for their commitment to serve our students free lunch, as well as feed staff members on special days. We know we can count on Mr. Naifeh and Mr. Hoehner to support our schools and pay it forward in a big way.

Mike Hoehner, of Wimpy’s Sandwich Shoppe, stands with Johnny Bilby and Rob Armstrong.

Distinguished Service Award recipients included Coach Nicky Cooper, Vocal Music Assistant Bruce Wilkin and SPS Superintendent Rob Armstrong.

“Coach Cooper is highly deserving of this special recognition,” said head girls’ basketball coach Darlean Calip. “She is a role model, a mentor, and a loyal co-worker willing to jump in and help at any time. She has a grateful heart and is loyal to the district and her co-workers.”

Distinguished Service Award: Nicky Cooper.

Coach Cooper is the Junior High P.E. teacher, adaptive P.E. teacher, Assistant Coach for the Lady Chieftains Basketball team and assistant golf coach. She has been at Sapulpa Schools for 17 years and radiates positivity and boundless energy.

“I have been blessed to know many good people throughout my life, but Bruce Wilkin is absolutely one of the best,” said Choir Director Gina Myers. “Bruce genuinely loves people and seeks to do good for everyone they’re around every single day. He never misses an opportunity to help someone out, to make someone laugh, to provide for a need, and to be an encouragement to all. I tell students they will always do well in life if they ask themselves and follow the rule: ‘What would Bruce do?’”

Distinguished Service Award: Bruce Wilkin with students and former students, friends and family.

Bruce Wilkin has served as Vocal Music Assistant for 20 years at Sapulpa High School, having taught music for 30 years at Tulsa schools. He is the organist at First Baptist Church of Tulsa. Sapulpa sings a sweeter song because of Mr. Bruce Wilkin’s incredible dedication. Choir students and former choir students joined him on the stage as he collected his award.

Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby then presented a surprise Distinguished Service Award to Sapulpa Public Schools Superintendent Rob Armstrong.

“Mr. Armstrong has shown extraordinary commitment, leadership, and dedication to our schools and our community. His tenure has been marked by steadfast guidance through significant changes and crises, ensuring stability and continuity for our district,” said Mr. Bilby of Mr. Armstrong.

Robert Armstrong hugs his grandkids after receiving the Distinguished Service Award.
Superintendent Rob Armstrong (far right) poses with his family after receiving a surprise “Distinguished Service” Award from Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby.

Mr. Bilby pointed out Mr. Armstrong’s exceptional leadership during the teacher walk-out it 2018, including tireless advocacy for educators at the state capitol.

Mr. Armstrong offered steady guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping our district adapt quickly to safeguard the health and well-being of the district while maintaining educational standards.

Most recently, through unwavering dedication, Mr. Armstrong helped achieve the passage of the historic bond issue which will pave the way for critical improvements in Sapulpa Schools’ educational infrastructure.

“The benefits of this bond will be felt for generations, and provide our students with state-of-the-art facilities and resources to thrive in our ever changing world,” said Mr. Bilby.

Mr. Armstrong was joined by his wife, Krista, their children and their spouses, and his three grandsons on stage. Congratulations and thank you for your service!

Retiring employees included Bruce Plummer and Lori Garden.

Lori Garden, R.N., is the nurse who takes care of us all, got us through COVID, and has done so much to keep us healthy and happy. She joined the district 11 years ago covering Freedom, Jefferson Heights, Liberty and the Middle School. For the last four years – she’s been at the Middle School, Bartlett, the Junior High and High School.

Lori started working as a nurse 30 years ago and worked at many hospitals including the ICU at Saint John, Labor and Delivery at Saint Francis, and Radiation Oncology at Hillcrest.

Her fondest memories working at the district include working with our special education multi-students. She will miss them and her co-workers the most as she leaves us.

Mr. Bruce Plummer retires as Dean of Students at Sapulpa Middle School. Mr. Plummer is a Sapulpan through and through.  He graduated from Sapulpa High School  and has spent 31 incredible years at the Middle School, teaching Math, English, P.E. and coaching 7th grade basketball and varsity softball. In fact, he’s spent his entire education career right here making a difference for our students and his co-workers.

He says he will miss talking to the Middle School students and hearing all the stories they have to tell as twelve and thirteen-year-olds can definitely weave a tale.

Congratulations and thank you to these retirees for all they’ve done for Sapulpa Public Schools. 
Employees celebrating 10 years of service:

Rob Armstrong
Amber Cline
Karen Diehl
Jon Dorris
Richard Haynes
Ronald Hill
Megan Hurt
James Mills
Kevin Mozarko
Alison Owens
Justin Owens 
Kelsey Philpott
Megan Plummer
Chris Pressler
Sandy Pressler
Erin Ulibarri-Muniz
Emily Webb

Employees celebrating 15 years of service:
Rebecca Clostio
Cindy Hubert
Raelyn McDonald 
Julie Rhoades 
Tabitha Speakman 

Employees celebrating 20 years of service:
Shelley Adams 
Tiffany Admire
Carla Baghestani
Crissa Gantz
Jeremy Lusk
Candice McClanahan
Deborah McMunn
Terri Sellers
Donna Shaban
Nancy Traczyk

Employees celebrating 25 years of service:
Becky Braswell
Connie Kling
Kristine Lawson
Kaylee Romeo
Donna Wells

Employees celebrating 30 years of service:
Kay Lynn Honeywell
Ann Pfeiffer 
Amy Warner

Employees celebrating 35 years of service:
Lee Wilson
Linda Warner

Meredith Espinoza celebrates 40 years of service and Charlie Dugan, pictured with Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Bilby and Board Member Melinda Ryan, celebrates 45 years of service!

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