Nathan Hale Weekly

February 16th, 2016

Vision Statement

To provide a safe and supportive environment where rigorous foundational knowledge is acquired and applied.


If you have been an educator in Oklahoma for any length of time, you are aware that a voucher system for use of state education funds has been talked about for several years. Last year a bill in our state house of representatives that would have implemented such a system was voted down. A new bill is now in play, and it has the full support of our governor. The terminology has changed slightly. Instead of being called vouchers, the bill calls for the implementation of ESA's (education savings accounts). The authors of HB 2003, Jason Nelson (R-Oklahoma City) and Clark Jolley (R-Edmond) say the bill is "structurally the same" as the one introduce last year with a few "technical adjustments."

For those of you unfamiliar with vouchers or ESA's, this system is all about choice. A parent could choose to take money instead of enrolling their child in a public school and put that money to use at a school of their choice or toward the cost of home schooling. The advantage for parents is obvious, the ability to choose where your child gets to go to school. The reality for public schools could be very damaging. Already underfunded, we stand to lose a lot of money if such a bill were introduced.

I usually don't get in to politics in this public of a setting, however; today I will share my personal opinion on the matter. As a parent, I appreciate the right to choose. Those of you reading this are nearly all educators and parents (or plan to be). Like me, you will make sure that your child or children get the education they deserve. I was deliberate in making the choice on where my children attend school. No doubt you all do the same. But I have some questions. What about those students who don't have a good home life? Who chooses for them? Who accesses their voucher/ESA to ensure that they get the best possible education? I choose to work at Nathan Hale in order to ensure that ALL students, not just those with a good home life, receive a quality education. So those questions that I have manifest themselves into some very serious concerns. I am concerned that schools will become for profit organizations. Parents will want to send there children to the schools with the best reputation and best test scores. In turn, I foresee schools with good reputations only accepting students who have parents like you and me. Parents willing to give more than just a voucher. For profit schools, will have the ability to demand parental involvement, and solicit parent donations for supplies. This brings me back to my question about the unfortunate student that does not have the support from home that many of us provide for our children. Who is going to want their voucher/ESA? Will quality schools and educators be made available to them? I fear that this would not be the case. I fear that for profit schools that cater to those students could fall into the hands of people who are more concerned about money than students. Where does the money go if a kid is kicked out of school? Who is responsible for those student records? What happens when a school suddenly doesn't have enough money to keep the doors open?

In a perfect world, each child would have the love and support they need from home and all of those questions and concerns would be easily erased. However, that isn't reality. My ultimate fear is that this system could kill the institution we know as the public school. I fear that that vouchers/ESA's would widen the divide between the haves and the have-nots. I am not against choice, but we need to think critically about whether or not this system will allow ALL children an equal opportunity to learn.

Congratulations to Patti Duncan!

This week our own Patti Duncan received news that she had been selected as the Bart Betow Memorial Music Education Award winner. Patti has been invited to attend the Harwelden Awards luncheon on March 4th. Nominations for this award are made based on dedication and service to music education. It is no surprise that Patti was nominated, but to win such a prestigious award is quite the honor! Congratulation to Patti Duncan!
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Winter Guard

Congratulations also goes out to the Ms. Bates and the Winder Guard. They took third place in the Scholastic Regional B division at the Winter Guard & Percussion of Oklahoma Fort Gibson Festival!
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Career and Technology Education Month

February is Career and Technology Education(CTE) Month. The week of February 8-12 is Business Professionals of America(BPA) week. Our business teachers will be focusing their lessons on soft skills this week. On February 26th BPA members from Hale will travel to Eugene Field elementary school to participate in the 3rd Annual Literacy Event sponsored by Reading Partners. Our Hale students will spend the day helping the elementary students work on their reading skills.

Ashleigh Slack, an FCCLA member, has been chosen as Hale's representative for CTE Month. Ashleigh's photo will be posted to social media on February 25th. If her photo reaches the most people through sharing and liking our school will win a trophy! Additionally Ashleigh has been asked to speak at the February 16th School Board meeting about how Career Tech courses have impacted her life

Coming Attractions

  • February 11 & 12- American Fidelity
  • February 19-A Day Schedule
  • February 20-Community Service Saturday (8am-1pm).

Mrs. Shari Riser

I started at Nathan Hale in 2005 as the Registrar. I did that for one year before I asked to take on the Principal’s Secretary’s position.

I am a graduate of Booker T. Washington HS, and Langston University (BBA)

I am the proud mom of two sons. Marlon, 21 a PVT in the US Army, and Michael, 16 a Sophomore at Union HS. I have been married to Mark Riser for 11 months.

I have to admit that I enjoy all the people that I work with, and love my job. I love to read, talk to my mom, hang out with family and friends and I am a self-described shopaholic.

Counselor's Corner

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will be accepting applications for 9th-12th graders to be Junior Ambassadors who will be actively involved in the fight against hunger. Junior Ambassadors host food & fund drives, create awareness of hunger issues impacting our area through special events and serve as community liaisons of the Food Bank. Transportation to and from monthly meeting and special events is required. Students can get applications from Mr. Evans.

FAFSA Night is Thursday, February 18, from 6 pm to 7 pm. We will work on FAFSA’s, financial aid, scholarships and college applications

Important Spring Reminders

  • FAFSA Applications (Seniors) January(Get those Taxes Done).
  • EOI Optional Retest March 28th – April 8th
  • ACT Test- STATE (11th Grade) March 29th
  • ACT National Test April 9th deadline March 13th
  • ACT National Test June 4th deadline May 8th
  • EOI’s April 11th – May 13th
  • Seniors Finals- May 2-3
  • AP Testing May 2 - May 13th
  • Graduation (Seniors) May 18, 2016 5 p.m.

Community Service Saturday

Saturday, February 20th, will be another community service day for Hale High School. We encourage you to invite your students to school on Saturday for tutoring, community service projects, and food. Teachers, we would also recommend that you come to offer your students an opportunity to get their grades up or practice for the EOI. EOI testing is fast approaching, and this would be a great day for students to get some practice for those test. As always, the Serve Group will be there to provide breakfast and lunch.

Library News

Every year our library adds more and more digital resources for staff and students. New this year are audiobooks and they are so easy to borrow. The app Follett BryteWave K-12 Edition will need to be downloaded. The first time you use the app it asks for the following information; Location (Oklahoma), School (Hale High School Tulsa), Username, and Password. Username is your 5X2 and the password is your TPS Employee number.

Once you are in you can browse audiobooks or ebooks and click the checkout button if you want to borrow a title. Happy Listening!

Mathematics Department

Danny Gibson is native to Bellingham, Washington -- pretty much Canada.

Graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Major in Computer Science, minor in Pure Math.

Besides teaching I enjoy running, reading, biking, and anything computer related.

Stoked to explore and to meet more Tulsans that enjoy the same!

Jennifer Borvtvit Mapes

Born: Del Rio, Texas

Raised: Midwest City, Oklahoma

Raised as an Air Force brat to a Tech Sergeant who served 42 years in the Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Bachelors-Pastoral Ministry, Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Masters-Secondary Education-Math, .University of Phoenix

Masters- Administration, Southern Nazarene University

Doctorate (in progress) - Administration, University of Kansas

Aside from teaching Math on the high school level, I am also an adjunct college professor of Mathematics online and on campus with the University of Phoenix teaching now for 9 years, the University of Kansas for almost 1 year, and for Tulsa Community College for almost 1 year.

Thomas Pedroza teaches Geometry and Algebra 2 in the Special Education Department. This is his second year at Hale; originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Thomas attended Columbia University with degrees in Italian Literature and Philosophy. Thomas is an exemplary volleyball player and is passionate about literature even more than math. He’s held his students to view themselves as graduates and holds them to that expectation.

Kyle DeBoy is in his first year teaching Geometry and Algebra I. In his time outside the classroom, he works in the Nature Center as the school garden leader and PA announcer for the Rangers basketball teams.

After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2011 from SUNY University at Buffalo, he worked as part of the US Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa (2011-2013). He is now following in the footsteps of his late father, who was a 6th grade teacher.

Kyle’s greatest accomplishment up to this point is being crowned as SUNY Buffalo’s 2010 Chicken Wing eating champion. Step up

Colin Sato: I’m a late bloomer and a slow thinker: learned to read at 9, ride a bike at 14, like a girl at 16, understand what math is about at 22. Once I realized that math is the poetry of reason, I just loved it.

I like to cook, rock climb, do programming, read, pet my dog, play soccer, and be skeptical of cultural assumptions. I went to DePaul University, in Chicago, where I majored in math, physics, philosophy, and English.

I hope to be a teacher for all my life.

Steven Dickherber has taught at Nathan Hale High School for the last three years and plans to continue for several more.

He is passionate about making Hale better more than anything else.

He just set up a desktop at his house with a TV as a monitor, so when he isn’t teaching he enjoys playing video games to nerdy to list here.

He tried working out with Thomas but only made it for two weeks – which is why he will always have spaghetti noodles for arms.

Devante Williams was born and raised in south Louisiana, in a close-knit town outside of Baton Rouge.

He attended Loyola University New Orleans, a small Jesuit university.

This is his first year teaching Algebra at Hale.

He is a lover of gumbo, red beans, and jambalaya- all Louisiana favorites.

In his spare time, he enjoy hikes at Turkey Mountain overlooking the Arkansas "River."

Michaele Kastler graduated from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas with a degree in Mathematics. She received her master’s in Educational Leadership from PSU in 2002.

This is her first year at Hale High School. She has lived in Oklahoma most of her life.

She is married, has two grown children and two grandchildren. She is the oldest member of the math team! She loves teaching math and at times gets way to excited to do math every day!

Katie Mackey teaches Algebra I in the Special Education Department. Katie is from Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of THE Ohio State University where she majored in Math and Language Arts Education. After teaching Pre-Kindergarten and working as a para in a high school ED classroom, she joined Teach for America and moved to Tulsa. Besides teaching, Katie enjoys snorkeling, horseback riding, and stand-up paddle boarding.

Kat Stock: I am from Central Pennsylvania. I went to Temple University

and graduated in 2014. This is my first year teaching and I currently teach

Algebra 1. I have two dogs that I love to take hiking different places

around Tulsa, open to suggestions.

Wishing You A Happy February Birthday!

Ken Evans - 1st
Katerina Stock- 1st
Katherine Wakefield- 13th