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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cody Simmons Reflects on the Transition from Principal to Superintendent

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Although he began his student teaching in Waurika back in 2004, his history with Waurika schools goes back further than that. 

His family have deep roots in Jefferson County. 

After beginning his student teaching, he was hired soon thereafter in January of 2005 as the second grade teacher at the Elementary. 

For the past eight years he has served as the Elementary Principal. 

By now, everyone is probably aware that Cody Simmons is the new Waurika Public Schools Superintendent beginning July of this year. 

Over the past couple of weeks the reality of the role has sunk in. 

He says he has been getting more familiar with the high school.

Cody said he recently met with the high school principal and the athletic director. 

He is becoming more familiar with the high school.

The adjustment for him will be managing the overall school system rather than just the Elementary. 

He says he is looking forward to the new experience. 

Simmons says that one of his expectations for the upcoming year is to close the gap between the Elementary and the High School. 

He would like to see the school system be more of a whole than separate parts (Elementary, Middle School, and High School).

During his time as principal, the Elementary has achieved “Blue Ribbon” status. 

That status is determined by the test scores over three consecutive years. 

Simmons is a busy man.

 

Besides being a full time school administrator, he also enjoys mowing yards, working out, and most of all spending time with his family. 

He says right now they are enjoying ball games several nights per week. 

Simmons is also deeply involved in the community.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Park downtown. 

He is quick to give credit to others who have assisted in the success of the park. 

Craig Williams, he says was gracious to add his professional touch to the landscaping. 

Simmons also attributes the success of the Elementary, including its “Blue Ribbon” status, to the hard work and dedication of the teachers. 

“I feel like the teachers here are all high quality enthusiastic professional teachers. Whenever you surround yourself with [people like ] that good things will happen,” Simmons says .

Beating the Odds

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By Lauren Hobbs

He has been beating the odds his entire life.

When his mother Tracy Woods was 6 months pregnant with him it was discovered that he  had one kidney larger than the other which led to a birth defect.

After many test he had surgery a month before he was 2 years old to fix his kidneys.

At the age of 3 his mother noticed he was not hitting the developmental milestones he was supposed to.

He was tested for autism and was diagnosed with pervasive development delay with autistic tendencies.

The doctor’s said they were not sure if he would ever be able to speak.

Click the above ad to visit Terri’s Facebook page!

Braden started headstart at age three.

While he was in Kindergarten he had the good fortune to be taught by Jeri Donn McCauley.

Tracy still get’s tears in her eyes when she talks about McCauley.

McCauley was like a God-Send. She would never give up on Brandon and continued to push him to do better.

Woods continued to improve.

Through his elementary school years he was winning school competitions and science fairs.

In his freshman year be began to really shine.

He was the new comer of the year on the academic team.

He placed 5th in the USAO interscholastic in Oklahoma History.

He placed 4th in American History at the Cameron interscholastic meet.

In his sophomore he place 1st in American History at the Cameron interscholastic meet which qualified to attend the tournament of champs in Oklahoma City where he tied for 3rd place.

Also during his sophomore year he qualified for the National Honor Society.

His junior year he was a member of the Beta Club, and he was the 3rd runner up for Mr. and Mrs. WHS.

Woods senior year has been productive and rewarding as well.

He has been named an ambassador for the Red River VoTech, which allowed him to give tours to prospective students.

He was also named to the National Technical Honor Society through the Red River Vo-Tech.

Woods was the runner up in Social Studies at the Beta Club Convention in Norman.

He earned an “Excellent” rating at the Oklahoma Scholastic Media Online Critique column.

On top of all of that he made honorable mention at the All State Academic Bowl.

He also scored a 30 on his ACT.

Woods participated in the Sooner Discovery program.

Woods has been accepted to attend Oklahoma University this coming fall where he has been awarded a $10,000.00 tuition waiver.

While attending OU, he may also try out for the band.

When Woods graduates at the end of this semester he will be recognized as an Eagle Scholar.

Braden Woods continued so defy the odds and overcome them, it only stands to reason that he will continue to do so in the future.

We wish him continued success as he advances with his life.

Impact of Ryan’s Coach West Goes Far Beyond Athletic Circles

 You might expect when a sports writer is asked to write a tribute to someone the focus would be on that person’s accomplishments as a coach or player.

 But, this article will be focused more on the person than his accomplishments.

Last week a large crowd gathered at Ryan’s First Baptist Church to say goodbye to legendary Ryan coach and principal, Raymon West.

Most anyone that has been under the instruction of Mr. West would probably choose to focus on the man because   

his contribution to the lives of people went far beyond the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond if they were tasked with writing a tribute.

As Bro. Mark Kunkel, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Terral, said numerous times while conducting the service, everyone was mostly there to honor the man Mr. West and not Coach West.

However, well over half the crowd identified themselves at one point in the service as having been coached by Coach West.

And certainly his coaching ability is not to be overlooked, but each person who has come under the influence of Mr. West would probably be quick to agree with Bro. Kunkel and this writer that his greatest achievements were what he poured into our lives.

You see the goal of Mr. West was not really to produce great athletes – although that did happen. His goal was to prepare high school students for life.

And, for the most part he was a master at teaching life lessons.

Mr. West was tough. He was a disciplinarian. However, he correctly knew that making life a bit difficult in the athletic arena would serve each person well when they began to tackle life as a young adult.

And, some of those lessons not only served us well as young adults, but throughout our life time.

As was noted in the funeral service, Mr. West cared deeply for people. He endeared himself to most every athlete he ever coached and those he taught.

The compassion Mr. West had for people carried over to his retirement years as he served people through his church and was frequently present when a need had to be met in the community.

Everything Mr. West did was with great passion – his family, ranching, teaching and coaching.

Mr. West’s accomplishments in the coaching profession should not go without mention. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988. Most everyone knows he coached the 1965 Cowgirl squad that won the Class B state championship – the only state title in school history. He coached the Cowgirls for a total of 13 seasons.

He coached the Cowboy basketball team for 15 seasons and took the 1962 squad to the state tournament – one of only two boys’ teams to advance into the state tournament.

Mr. West’s contributions to the football program are more notable than most people might think. He coached football on three different occasions – in 1958, 1962-1963 and 1977-1980. The 1962 squad just missed out on a district title and finished 8-2 which tied the 1929 football team for the second most wins in a season up to that time.

 It is likely that one of the key decisions made by Mr. West while serving as principal and head football coach at Ryan was moving from 11-man football to eight-man football following the 1977 season. The decision probably saved the football program and he coached the Cowboys to the playoffs in the first year of eight-man football.

Mr. West also coached baseball in the early years at Ryan.

In the four sports coached by Mr. West, he led squads to 14 conference championships, three county championships, seven bi-county championships, 10 district titles, three regional crowns and one state championship.

No tribute, however, would be complete without personal stories because Mr. West had a profound impact on my life.

Late during my eighth-grade year and Mr. West’s first year back at Ryan after having coached at Burkburnett, Texas and Duncan, he noticed right away that my athletic genes were just about non-existent.

Mr. West came to me and asked me if I would be interested in being the student trainer, which I did after football season that year. He sent me that following summer by bus to Baylor University to attend the National Athletic Trainers Association annual convention.

I was definitely way out of my league (can you imagine a kid who just completed eighth grade going on a trip like that alone?), but I learned a few things and spent the rest of my high school days helping with all sports. Mr. West saw potential in me that I did not see in myself and giving me that responsibility helped me stay connected to sports.

As you can imagine we spent a lot of time together during basketball practices. During that time I learned a lot about basketball, but did not fail to pick up one or two life lessons along the way.

One of those came one afternoon after Ryan had suffered a loss in a game that was not well-officiated. And, as I have a tendency to do even today, I was griping about how poorly the officials called the game the night before.

I suppose Mr. West had heard enough and he looked at me and said, “You worry about the things you have control over. We have no control over the officiating.”

That little tidbit has remained with me through the years and has been invaluable in my life’s journey.

In the years following whenever I would make my way to Ryan I would try to make sure I came in contact with Mr. West.

A side note – most anyone coached by Mr. West were all afraid to ever call him anything but Mr. West or Coach West. It was always difficult to address him as “Raymon.” But, that is the kind of respect he commanded and deserved.

Many others and in particular his family could share similar stories about how Mr. West impacted their lives. I am just fortunate I had the opportunity to be the one to write this article.

I believe it is pretty easy to come to one conclusion – there will never be another Raymon West.

Ryan FFA News September 27 2018

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Front Row (left to right): Ethan Burden, Riley Ross. Back Row (left to right): Rylee Townsend, Alicen Williams, Madisen Rhoades, Savannah Lashley, Pacen Wiest, Mike Regher, and Ms. Welchel

 OKC, OK- On September 16, 2018, Members of the Ryan FFA chapter volunteered their time at the Oklahoma State Fair in the Agtropolis building. Members had the opportunity to work “Farmer for a day” station, this activity allows our members to interact with children from around the state of Oklahoma while teaching them about agricultural practices. Each member that attended did a tremendous job representing our chapter while advocating for agriculture.

Alicen Williams and Riley Ross work the cashier station at the “Farmer for a day” activity.

 

Ethan Burden teaches a child how to gather
eggs from chickens.

 

Mike Regher shows a child how to properly plant a corn seed.

 

Front Row (left to right): Ethan Burden, Riley Ross.
Back Row (left to right): Rylee Townsend, Alicen Williams, Madisen Rhoades, Savannah Lashley, Pacen Wiest, Mike Regher, and Ms. Welchel

FCCLA Attend District Leadership Meeting

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On October 26, nineteen Members of Waurika FCCLA traveled to Duncan to attend the South 4 District Leadership Meeting.  This years meeting, held at the Simmons Center, was centered around a carnival theme.  Around 500 members from 20 schools enjoyed the keynote delivered by hypnotist Johnie Fredman.  For their service project, the group donated over 500  needed items to Oklahoma Kids Korral, a home for children battling cancer begun by Toby Keith’s Foundation.  Family, Career and Community Leaders is a student organization that focuses on leadership, service and personal development, and is a part of Family and Consumer Sciences education.

Brad Scott Serving on Duncan Regional Hospital Board

Duncan Regional Hospital is fortunate to have many passionate people serving on its boards who are willing to share their time and talent. We are pleased to announce the addition of Brad Scott to the DRH Board of Directors.

A fifth-generation Jefferson County resident, Brad graduated from Waurika High School in 1990. He attended Oklahoma State University graduating with a degree in agricultural economics. He returned to Waurika where he owned the Farmers Insurance Agency for 19 years. Three years ago, he sold the business to devote his time to running his and his family’s ranching business.

It was through his grandfather’s legacy of serving in the Oklahoma legislature for 30 years (the longest-serving member) Brad learned the importance of service. He ran for state representative while at OSU. “I won 3 out of 4 counties and lost the overall election by 117 votes,” said Scott. “It was a great learning experience for me.”

His commitment to service continues through his role as City Manager for Waurika. He has held this position for two terms and will serve in the role as long as he is needed. “I love our community,” shared Scott. “Our town looks as good as it has in 20 years. Main Street looks phenomenal as does the new Veterans Park.”

Additional boards, he has served on include the Oklahoma AgCredit, Jefferson County Hospital Authority and First Christian Church of Waurika.

Brad has been married to Elizabeth for 22 years, and they have two sons, Lodge, a freshman at Oklahoma State University and Houston, who is in 8th grade.

While welcoming a new member, it is also time to say thank you to Scott Stone as he steps off the Board of Directors.  Scott, a Duncan attorney, has served on the board since 2009.  During this time Scott served on several board committees including Compliance, Governance, Institutional Development, and Professional Affairs. Additionally, he served as Board Secretary for two years and as Chair for two.

“It’s truly an honor to welcome Brad to the DRH Board of Directors. He brings a lot of different talents and a passion for Jefferson County to the board that we need in our growing organization.  As well, we want to thank Scott Stone for all his work, direction, guidance and dedication to DRH over the past 9 years. It was an honor to have him on our board,” said Jay R. Johnson, President and CEO, Duncan Regional Hospital.

Winter Weather Hits Jefferson County

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Winter weather has hit Jefferson county!

Below are some of your pictures taken over the past couple of days!

Thanks for your submissions.

Tammy Richardson took this picture!
Nanette Foster took this picture at Grady, Oklahoma.
Marie Hardie took this picture at the Hardie Ranch.
Gayla Keeter took this picture of her fish pond.
Decole James Myers took this picture of the Red River.
Courtney Nobles took this picture 2 miles south east of Waurika.

Christina Fowler took this picture of downtown Hastings.
Alecia Prewitt took this picture of Monroe Street in Waurika.

Waurika School Board Hires Bryan Plant as New Teacher and Hires Pat Cook as the New Elementary Principal

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 It was a bitter sweet meeting for Roxie Terry as he finished his last school board meeting as the Superintendent of Waurika Schools. 

He looks forward to retirement. Terry said he wants to enjoy time with his family and friends.

In other business, the school board hired a teacher and a new principal for the Elementary school.

Bryan Plant

Bryan Plant, a graduate of Waurika, was hired to teach the second grade.  

He has taught school at Fox and Elmore City and is looking forward to teaching here in Waurika during the 2018-19 school year. 

Pat Cook

Pat Cook has been teaching in Waurika Public Schools for the past 16 years. She was hired by the board as the new Elementary Principal. 

After the meeting she expressed that she is excited about the upcoming school year and looks forward to working with the students and the teachers. 

The board approved a one year contract with Craig Computers for computer maintenance. The contract was approved for around $15,500.00.

The contract for lawn maintenance for the school and the athletic fields was awarded to Joe Masoner. 

Allied Lab Inc. of Lawton will handle the drug and alcohol testing for the school during the next term at the same price as last year’s agreement.

Mr. Hodges reported that starting next summer the OSSAA has mandated 9 days around July 4 when coaches can have no contact with athletes. This will allow the coaches and the players to have some time off. Hodges said this is something he voted for and will be good for everyone. 

Last but not least, the board approved a new policy allowing the Waurika Schools to add “weighted” classes to the curriculum. This will encourage more students to take challenging classes. (More about that in another issue).

FCCLA Helps with Regional Food Bank

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Twenty-five members of Waurika FCCLA traveled to Oklahoma City on September 28 to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  The group was assigned to pack food items for the Back for Kids program.  While there, they packaged over 600 bags, or over 2,000 pounds of food.  Waurika Public Schools benefits from the Back Pack for Kids program.  The students said they enjoyed volunteering and knowing that their efforts will benefit Waurika school children.

Cameron University to present Disability Awareness Fair

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Cameron University will present the 11th Annual Disability Awareness Fair on Thursday, October 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the McCasland Ballroom, located in the McMahon Centennial Complex on the Cameron campus. The event is open to the public at no charge. The Disability Awareness fair will inform participants about services and resources available on campus and in the community for persons with disabilities.

 

The Disability Awareness fair will feature interactive stations where participants can learn more about disabilities such as visual impairments or learning disabilities in reading comprehension. In addition, various community organizations that provide services and support to those with disabilities will be present to share information and answer questions.  Cameron’s annual disability awareness event is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and members of the community to gain an understanding of what it means to live with a disability.

 

For more information, contact the Office of Student Development at 580-581-2209 or via email at student_development@cameron.edu.

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