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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 .

Patrick Dudley Re-elected as School Board Member

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Election Results

Patrick Dudley 207 votes

Tony Roberts 95 votes

The voters re-elected Patrick Dudley Tuesday.

The early voters last week voted for Dudley with 34 votes to Roberts 9 votes. In absentee voting Roberts garnered 5 votes while Dudley received only 2.

Here are the results precinct by precinct:

Precinct 1

(Waurika Methodist)

Patrick Dudley 71

Tony Roberts   28

Precinct 2 

(Jeffco Fair Bldg)

Patrick Dudley 55

Tony Roberts   40

Precinct 3 (Hastings)

Patrick Dudley 15

Tony Roberts     3

Precinct 4 (Addington)

Patrick Dudley 7

Tony Roberts   4

Precinct 5 (Wau. Sr. Ctr)

Patrick Dudley 10

Tony Roberts    4

Precinct 6 (Ryan)

Patrick Dudley 2

Tony Roberts   0

Precinct 8 (Fair Building)

Patrick Dudley 10

Tony Roberts    2

Precinct 9 (Ringling)

Patrick Dudley  1

Tony Roberts    0

Students Recognized for Highest Waurika School Honor

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Recently some much deserving students of Waurika High School were recognized during the presentation of the 2018 Mr. WHS and Ms. WHS.

This year’s election was Senior Michael Bryant as Mr. WHS and Senior Dalee Barrick as Ms. WHS.

According to Mr. Lunn at this year’s ceremony, it is the highest honor bestowed on students of Waurika High School. The winners are selected by a committee that only knows the students by their submitted resumes. It’s truly unbiased.

Back Row: Seth Cathey-third runner up, Aaron Nitka-second runner up, Braden Woods-first runner up
Front Row: Hayden Brown,
and Michael W. Bryant, Jr.-Mr. WHS
Back Row: Alexandria Jennings, Dalee Barrick-Ms. WHS, Kylie Waters
Front Row: Karlee Bethiaume-first runner up, Emily Waid-third runner up, Samantha Horner-second runner up, Madison Roberson

Here are the list of candidates and their resumes.

Juniors

Hayden Brown 

Hayden is a dedicated student at Waurika High School. Hayden has participated in FCCLA and FFA, and also been a part of the cross-country and baseball teams.

Hayden has been a very active member of his local FCCLA chapter. He has spent his time being involved in many service activities including raising funds for Toys for Tots organization, participating in Autism Awareness Fundraiser, and raising funds for Operation Christmas Toys.

Hayden has donated his time by volunteering to teach elementary students about Halloween safety, working at the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City, and assisted children with crafts the Waurika Public Library.

Hayden attends the First Baptist Church in Ringling, OK. He has volunteered to  help with various activities around their church including being an assistant at Vacation Bible School, working as their worship sound technician, and lending a hand in the church nursery. He also spent a June participating in Super Summer with the Oklahoma Baptist University.

Hayden is also a hard worker, having spent his high school  years working cattle, tutoring students, working at Walmart, and serving as a lifeguard at the community pool. Hayden has also been a regular student on the Principal’s Honor roll.

Alexandria Jennings

Allee is a dedicated member of Waurika High Schools. Allee is a member of FFA and has participated in cheerleading, cross-country, basketball, fast-pitch softball, and track.

Allee has been an active  member of our local FFA chapter. She has attended many activities to further her role as a member and leader such as state convention, FFA camp, and banquets. She has showed her dedication and hardworking by showing pigs for FFA. She has spent hours working and training with her animals, which has required dedication and persistence.

Allee has earned many awards as a high school student including the letter W award in athletics, being a state qualifier on the opening and closing team, and earning the Greenhand award for Waurika FFA.

Allee continues to exhibit her work ethic by babysitting and working for Headrick Insurance Agency in the summer. Allee has also been a student on the Principal’s Honor Roll.

Aaron Nitka

Aaron has been a member of FFA, Beta Club, and Student Council. He has participated in scholastic meets and the drama club play. Aaron has also been on many teams at WHS including cross-country, baseball, basketball, football, golf, track, and Academic Team.

Aaron has had many leadership roles including being a treasurer for FFA, president of his class, and quarterback of his high school football team.

Aaron has earned many awards during his high school years including academic awards for physical science, biology, algebra 1 and English 2. He has also earned athletic awards such as Southern 8 All-Conference Pitcher and Southern 8 All-Conference Quarterback.

As an active member of the FFA, Aaron has spent time planting flowers at the nursing home, helping elderly members of our community move furniture and volunteering at the Parker Ranch Bull Sale.

Aaron is also a hard worker outside of the classroom having worked at the Waurika Golf Course, Redstone Ranch, Price Cattle Co., and Colt Morrison Cattle Co.

Madison Roberson

Madison is a very active member at Waurika High School. Madison is a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, Student Council, and National Honor Society. Madison has also been active in scholastic meets, cheerleading, cross-country, baseball, basketball, football, golf, power-lifting, fast-pitch softball, and track.

Madison has been very active as a leader in her school. She has been an officer for the class every year, vice-president of FFA, vice-president of student council, and a captain for her basketball team. She has volunteered her time through these groups to participate in the angel tree and canned food drives.

Madison has received many athletic awards including basketball Southern 8 Offensive Player of the year, Oilfield Defensive Player of the year, Southern 8 Most Valuable Player, and third place in shot put at the state competition.

Madison spends her time outside of the classroom remaining veery active. She has worked for the summer reading program at the Waurika Public Library, Eagletown Daycare and Waurika Quik Mart.

Emily Waid

Emily is a very involved student at Waurika High School. She has been a member of the Academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, gifted and talented program, student council, National  honor society, band cheerleading, cross-country, basketball, and track. She has also been involved in scholastic meets and the drama club play.

Emily has held many leadership roles at WHS including being a class officer, student council representative, FFA sentinel, FFA secretary, and Beta club secretary. She has developed her role as a leader by attending the FFA Made for Excellence conference, State and National FFA convention, FFA alumni camp and serving as a Hugh O’Bryan Youth Leadership representative.

Emily has received many awards such as being a state qualifier for the FFA opening/closing team, placing on the meat judging team, and division champion doe goat at the Jefferson County Livestock Show. she has received academic awards for animal science, algebra 1, and English 1. She was also a member of the district champions in basketball and received an excellence rating in the solo band contest. Emily has also received Leadership Training for Christ medals in bible bowl, teaching, and drama. Emily is a regular student on the principal’s honor roll and superintendent’s honor roll.

Emily has spent a vast amount of time volunteering in her community. She has worked the Church of Christ Golden Age Banquet, FFA Christmas Angel Tree, Benny G. Adkin’s Day, and on the Chris Kidd for Senate Campaign, among many other activities.

Emily also demonstrates her work ethic at the Eagletown Daycare in Waurika. She also spends her time outside of WHS, as an active member of the Waurika Church of Christ.

Kylie Waters

Kylie is an active member of Waurika High School. Kylie has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, 4H, student council, and national honor society. She has been a strong member of many teams including cross-country, basketball, fast-pitch softball, and track. Kylie has also participated in the drama club play.

Kylie has held many leadership roles such as class officer, FFA officer, cross-country manager, school newspaper educator, and serving on the prom committee in her junior year.

Kylie has been the recipient of many awards. She has received awards for her yearbook articles, beef production, and article merit. Kylie also received an honorable mention in basketball and the letter W award in 3 sports.

Kylie dedicates her time outside of the classroom to volunteering and working in the community. Kylie has volunteered painting pens, working the Veterans Day program, the annual 5K run, back to school bash, canned food drives, hurricane Harvey relief effort, Christmas caroling, and serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Seniors

Dalee Barrick

Dalee is a very active and dedicated member of Waurika High School. Dalee has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, Student council, National Honor Society, cross-country, power-lifting, and track. She also performed in the drama club play.

Dalee has been a leader to her peers and held many leadership roles at WHS. She has been a student council representative, class officer, Waurika FFA Jr. Officer, National Honor Society president, beta club vice-president, FFA president, and editor of both the Eagle Yearbook and the Eagle Talk newspaper. She has also served as a member of the speech team and co-captain of the academic team.

Dalee’s list of academic and extra-curricular awards is lengthy including, but not limited to, academic awards in English 1, physical science, and algebra 1, third place creed speaking, grand champion heifer at the Waurika Livestock show, breed champion heifer at the Jefferson County Livestock Show, second in class Maintener Heifer State Fair, first place OYE Futurity Show and second place in the opening and closing ceremonies for FFA.

Dalee has also participated at the state talent competition for both Beta Club and FFA. Dalee was an honorary junior last  year and will be valedictorian of her graduating class.

Dalee has been a concurrent student her senior year, taking classes at Cameron University. She recently received the Outstanding Freshman English Composition Award for Cameron University.

Dalee is very involved in Waurika Church of Christ. She attends camps and leadership conventions through her church, allowing her to be a role-model for the younger members of her church.

Karlee Bethiaume

Karlee has attended Waurika Public Schools her entire life. Karlee has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, Gifted and Talented, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Scholastic Meets, Newspaper, Yearbook, fast-pitch softball, and Skills USA.

Karlee has served her peers as a leader in many different organizations. She has served as a treasurer for beta club, reporter for National Honor Society, vice-president for her senior class, and editor of the yearbook. Karlee has also volunteered her time at VBS and Sunday School, assisting younger children.

Karlee has been the recipient of many awards at Waurika High School. Some of these awards include distinguished merit online news reporting, excellent sports photo, superior online news photo, academic award for English II and English III, Skills USA local, second place hair and second place make-up.

Karlee is a young adult with a very admirable work ethic. She took classes at Cameron University while being enrolled as a high school senior. She also works for the summer reading program at Waurika Public Library and at the Duncan AMC Movie theater while reaming a full time student.

Michael W. Bryant, Jr. 

Michael is a very involved member of Waurika Public Schools. Michael is a member of the anaemic team, FFA, gifted and talented, jazz band, student council, National Honor Society, band, cross-country, basketball, football, and power-lifting. Michael also performed in the drama club play.

Michael is a very dedicated student. He took a concurrent college course at Cameron University during the final semester of his senior year. Michael has attended many scholastic meets participating in music, pre-calculus, algebra 2, and government competitions.

Michael has received many awards and honors in band and athletics. Some of these include being a state soloist, 5 time state qualifier in concert band, football all-district, baseball all-district, and cross-country state qualifier.

Michael dedicates his time outside the classroom to volunteer throughout our community. He has participated in the annual community wide cleanup, the o youth summer baseball program, picked up trash in and around the school, and hauled dirt to level the new church land. Michael also serves as a fill-in teacher at Sunday School and usher for his church.

Seth Cathey

Seth has been a student at Waurika Public schools all of his life. Seth has been involved in FFA, Beta Club, Student Council, National honor Society, band, cross-country, basketball, football, golf, power-lifting, and track. Seth also took concurrent classes at Cameron University during his senior year while remaining an active student.

Seth has served as role model for his younger peers. He has done this through his leadership roles as a student council representative, class officer and captain of his football, golf, and basketball teams. He has also demonstrated his leadership through the volunteer work and community service he participates in. Some of these activities include community cleanup, summer reading program, Smithsonian server, church usher, hurricane Harvey relief effort, and gathering supplies for our alumni serving in the military.

Seth has received many athletic and academic awards as a Waurika Eagle. Some of these awards include football All-District offensive receiver, 8 man All-Star linebacker, basketball Oilfield Conference 1st team, golfer of the year at Oklahoma State University golf camp, state golf regional qualifier, powerlifting state qualifier, state qualifier in 3 track events his junior year, state qualifier in 2 track events his senior year, and state champion in the 4×400 relay. Seth is also an Eagle Scholar of his senior class.

Samantha Horner

Sam is a very active student at Waurika High School. Sam has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, 4H, Student Council, National Honor Society, cheerleading, scholastic meets, cross-country, basketball, golf, and track. Sam is a very disciplined student. She completed 12 hours of concurrent enrollment at Cameron University during her senior year.

Sam serves as a role-model to her peers and Waurika High School. She has served as president of Beta Club and her senior class, treasurer for National Honor Society, student council representative and captain of Waurika Cheer. Through these leadership roles, Sam has fulfilled the opportunity to volunteer for her school and community. She has participated as a public library volunteer, mentor for incoming 6th grace students, mentor at middle school cheer tryouts, leader for little eagle baseball camp, and a spokesperson for our local efforts to support the hurricane Harvey relief project.

Sam has earned many awards and honors. She has received FFA awards and 4H awards such as Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Swine Showmanship. Sam was the recipient of leadership awards of the highest honors such as the Hollis Dickey Leadership Award and the HOBY Leadership Conference Ambassador honor. She has received academic awards in physical science, biology, US History, Oklahoma history, anatomy, and the OSU Academic Excellence Scholarship. Samantha has also been homecoming queen and will serve as valedictorian of her senior class.

Samantha continues to display her work ethic outside of the classroom, working hard to receive her certification of veterinary assistant. She also works for Sam’s Show Pigs which she founded to breed, raise and sell show pigs. She currently works at Chisholm Trial Animal Hospital where she is gaining knowledge that will help serve her in her future career.

Braden Woods

Braden is a very involved student at Waurika High School. Braden has been involved with the academic team, FCCLA, Gifted and Talented, Student Council, National Honor Society, band, Beta Club, and National Technical Honor Society. Braden has also performed in the Drama Club play and participated in scholastic meets.

Braden displays a strong dedication to his academics. Braden spent the summer before  his senior year participating in Sooner Discover at the University of Oklahoma. This opportunity allowed him to take college courses while living on campus as a college student.

Braden has performed many leadership roles during his time as a Waurika Eagle. Braden has held office for his class for two years, served as a student council representative for two years, served as officer for FCCLA for two years, served as vice-president of the National Honor Society, Ambassador for Red River technology Center and captain of his academic team.

Braden has received a multitude of awards and honors as a high school student. some of these awards include superior rating at district band competition qualifying for state, principal’s honor roll, superintendent’s honor roll, 1st place in American history at Cameron University interscholastic meet, class academic awards for computer 2 and American history, Mr. WHS third runner-up, and runner-up at Oklahoma Beta Convention in social studies senior division.

Braden also displays a passion to work and volunteer outside of the classroom. some of this volunteer work includes Waurika Library Summer Reading Program, Relay for Life, Band Carnival, Chamber of Commerce banquet set-up, and NHS blood drive. Braden is also gaining work experience by working part-time at Small Town Creations.

Waurika School Board Launches Superintendent Search

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Waurika Public Schools has selected the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to assist in its search for the next superintendent, and school board members is including the community in the search process.

“Waurika has a lot to offer and we are obligated to our kids and our community to maximize our recruitment efforts in order to find the best candidate,” school board President Kimberly Gholson said. “OSSBA provides an organized plan to accomplish a critical task of obtaining a top leader who will inspire and make a difference in our district.”

The board hosted a community forum on Tuesday. An online survey will be available through March 16 so parents, school employees and other community members can share what qualities they believe are important in the next superintendent. The survey is posted on the school district’s website.

Gholson said board members will use information gathered via the survey and employee forum to help guide its decision making. The board hopes to select a new superintendent in April or May 2018.

Waurika High School students receive science and technology award

 Science teachers from across the state and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) are honored for the April 2018 Oklahoma Science & Technology Month. Students nominated by their teachers will receive certificates of recognition signed by Governor Mary Fallin and OCAST Executive Director Michael Carolina.

The annual event is designed to showcase Oklahoma’s outstanding students who excel in STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Students from each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties have been recognized during the special observance since its inception 24 years ago.

The students being  honored, however, are not aware of the awards and will not receive their certificates until the awards assembly later this month. 

The following teachers and students are local participants being honored:

TEACHER

Deborah McGhee

STUDENTS

Landry Forsyth, 9th Grade Physical Science

Hannah Owens, 9th Grade Physical Science

Sara Ballard, 10th Grade Biology

Nicole Burton, 10th Grade Biology

Aaron Nitka, 11th Grade Chemistry

Dalee Barrick, 12th Grade Chemistry

Science & Technology Month is an opportunity to promote education in science and technology related courses and to emphasize the importance of these fields to Oklahoma’s economy.

“We all know the students who excel in the math and sciences now will be the innovators who will lead the way for our future. It is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to encourage, teach, remove barriers and find a way for our students to achieve levels of greatness that will drive the industry of tomorrow,” said Carolina. 

OCAST is the state’s technology-based economic development agency created in 1987 to expand and diversify Oklahoma’s economy and foster new and higher quality jobs. For more information about OCAST or Science & Technology Month in Oklahoma, contact OCAST at 866-265-2215 or visit the web site at www.ocast.ok.gov.

Waurika and Ryan Students Enjoy the Prom

This past weekend Waurika and Ryan enjoyed their annual proms. Below are the pictures.

Waurika Senior Class.
Photo by Curtis Plant
Ryan Senior Class.
Photo by Sheree Hanson
Waurika Junior Class
Photo by Curtis Plant
Ryan Junior Class
Photo by Sheree Hanson
Ryan’s King and Queen
Joseph Martin & Abbie Bolin
Photo by Sheree Hanson

Dalee Barrick is one of Waurika’s Valedictorians

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Dalee Barrick is one of the Valedictorians of this year’s senior class of Waurika. 

Barrick has a deep love for agriculture. 

She will be attending Oklahoma State University and majoring in agricultural communications. 

Her time serving in her church and spending time with her friends from her youth group at the Waurika Church of Christ is really important to her.

Barrick loves to sing and has participated at the state talent competition for both Beta Club and FFA. 

She recently received the Outstanding Freshman English composition Award from Cameron University. 

When asked about her favorite memories from high school she replied, “I suppose my favorite memories from high school weren’t necessarily at the school itself. Through these last four years, I have developed deep friendships with the people in my Church of Christ youth group. We have spent many nights doing anything from studying the Bible to playing cards and roasting marshmallows in my back yard. I have never been a student with gobs of friends. However, the friends I have are true ones. You can’t beat that.”

She has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, Student council, national honor society, cross-country, power-lifting, and track. She also has participated in the drama club play. 

Barrick has served as a student council representative, class officer, Waurika FFA Jr. Officer, National Honor Society president, Beta Club vice-president, FFA president, and editor of both the Eagle Yearbook and the Eagle Talk Newspaper. As our readers know, she is also a frequent contributor to the Waurika News Journal & The Ryan Leader.

Besides that she has also served as a member of the speech team and co-captain of the academic team. 

Her academic awards include English 1, physical science, and algebra 1, and third place in creed speaking.

Her accomplishments in the livestock show arena include  Grand Champion heifer at the Waurika Livestock show, Breed Champion heifer at the Jefferson County Livestock show,  second in class Maintener Heifer State Fair, first place OYE Futurity Show and second place in the opening and closing ceremonies for FFA. 

Barrick has completed classes at Cameron University while finishing her Senior Year at Waurika. 

When asked about her favorite genre of music she states, “I can listen to just about anything. When it comes down to it, I think I’d have to say it’s a pretty even tie between 80’s – 90’s country and anything Frank Sinatra ever sang. Two completely different sounds, but I love them!”

She doesn’t necessarily have a favorite color. She says, “When I was younger, I thought my favorite color was purple, but now that I’m older I can’t say I have a favorite color necessarily. They all have a purpose, so I guess I love them all!”

To the younger students says, “I pray that the students of Waurika below me find their place just as I did. Join a school club, do your best in class, and let God be in your life. I can assure you if I hadn’t had done these things, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Dalee Barrick will enjoy a fruitful and successful collegiate experience. 

Her desire to serve God and her fellowman will be assets that will carry her far in life. 

Thunder Reading Challenge

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Ace Dyer, Bella Morrison, and Lundee Brackett are the 1st grade winners for the Thunder Reading challenge for the month of March! 

Waurika Senior Michael Bryant Leaving His Mark on the Community

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Michael Bryant Jr

He can solve a Rubik’s Cube in about a minute, hit a pop-fly to center field, and this coming fall he will be playing on the field at Oklahoma State University as a member of the Cowboy marching band. 

Although he was born in Houston, Texas, Michael Bryant, Jr. has attended school here in Waurika his whole life.

He has participated in band, football, baseball, the academic team, FFA, the Beta Club, and is a member of the National Honor Society. 

So why did he try out for the OSU marching band? It’s not because one of his favorite colors is orange.

The simple answer is that he has a deep love for music. Two of his favorite genres is country and classic rock from the vinyl era. 

Although he can play the tuba, he favors the trumpet because of its versatility. 

Bryant tried out for a place in the marching band back in February and was informed the day of the try out that he had been accepted. 

He will attend band camp a week before the official move-in date in order to prepare for the marching season. 

He says his most memorable moments while attending Waurika High School are the times he competed with the band at state competitions. 

Even though he has many accolades and achievements under his belt, some of the qualities he possesses that makes him memorable among members of the community is his genuineness, maturity, and ability to communicate with people from all levels of society. 

His plans are to major in Agriculture and possibly go on to become a Veterinarian.   

Whatever he chooses to do in life he will go far. 

Waurika Band Members Receive Honors

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 Five Waurika High School band students competed at the State Solo and Ensemble contest recently held at Oklahoma State University.

Four of those came home with Superior medals.  

Riley Hobbs, a senior,  got a 1 on his baritone solo and the Clarinet Trio, consisting of freshmen Hope Cummings, Brooklyn Barnes, and Regena Bradley also received the top rating.  Michael Bryant, senior tuba player, got a 2 on his solo.

Band Director Everett Hodges said, “This is the most we have ever had make I’s at state. All of these worked hard and had very good performances.  Once again, I would like to thank Starr Herron for her extra time put forth in accompanying these students.”

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