SPS Board Highlights

May 6, 2019

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Shawnee Early Childhood Center students led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Board meeting. Pictured are (bottom row, from left) Keely Fleming, Halle Swinford, Brantly Stafford, Chelsea Kendall, Turner Stephens, Carson Hutchcraft and Principal Ann Worden. Shawnee School Board members pictured are (top row, from left) Bobby Canty, Larry Walker, Misty Heath and April Stobbe.
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Shawnee Public Schools employees were honored for 20 years or 40 years service. Pictured are (bottom row, from left) Dr. April Grace, superintendent; Ardrey Effinger, Horace Mann clerical staff, 40 years of service; Deborah Nagle, Sequoyah child nutrition, 20 years; Pamela Hodges, Shawnee Early Childhood Center kindergarten teacher, 20 years; Rosemarie Bushong, Horace Mann Title I teacher, 20 years; Nancy Brooks, Central Office clerical staff, 20 years; Tammy Keller, Horace Mann third grade teacher, 20 years; Caria Kennedy, Jefferson third grade teacher, 20 years; and Board Members April Stobbe and Misty Heath. Top row, from left are Board Members Mark Betterton, Bobby Canty and Larry Walker.
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Shawnee Public Schools retirees for 2018-2019 were honored at the meeting. Pictured are Dr. April Grace, superintendent; Eugena Swofford, Shawnee High School special education teacher, 27 years of service with SPS and 36 years of teaching; Norma Smith, Will Rogers crossing guard, 21 years of service with SPS; Charmé McCabe, Shawnee Early Childhood Center kindergarten teacher, 21 years of teaching all with SPS; Kendal Copeland, district testing coordinator, 25 years of service with SPS and 31 total years of service; Richard Butler, bus driver, 34 years of service with SPS; JoAnne Abel, SECC kindergarten teacher, 23 years with SPS and 24 years of teaching; Shelley Wall, Will Rogers library media specialist, 23 years with SPS and 26 years of teaching; and Board Members April Stobbe and Misty Heath. Top row, from left, are Board Members Mark Betterton, Bobby Canty and Larry Walker.
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During the meeting, Sequoyah Elementary was honored by Oklahoma State Department of Education Special Education Project Coordinator Bethan Langlois (far right) for achieving OTISS Model Site Status for the third year in a row. Also in the photo are (from left) Trina Waller, Denise Williams, Dana Farriell, Katelyn Fasig and Principal Terri Lemos.
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Students from Horace Mann's SPS Kids 21st Century After-School Program gave cookies that they had made prior to the Board meeting. The cookie making was part of learning activities the students have been exploring on the chemistry of cooking. Students giving cookies are (from left) Diego Flores, Aaron Fabian Garcia, Izzabella MacTavish and Chelsea Coleman.
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Kim Paxson Hired as Sequoyah Elementary Principal for 2019-2020

Kim Paxson was named the new Sequoyah Elementary principal for 2019-2020 during the Shawnee Board of Education meeting Monday evening.


Paxson has been serving as an assistant principal at Shawnee Middle School since 2017. Her tenure at Shawnee Public Schools also includes four years as an art teacher at both Will Rogers Elementary and Shawnee High School. While at SHS, Paxson was named Shawnee Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2015. She was also one of 12 finalists for Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year.


Before becoming an assistant principal at SMS, Paxson served one year as an assistant principal and athletic director at Cimarron Middle School in Edmond. She also taught art from 2004 through 2011 at Moore High School.


Paxson is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and has received more than $22,000 in grant funds for her classrooms.


She is a 2000 graduate of Shawnee High School and a 2004 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University where she studied art education. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership in 2016 from East Central University.


Kim and her husband, Kevin Paxson, head baseball coach for Shawnee High School, are the parents of first grade triplets, Brody, Jax and Carter.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. April Grace recognized the following during her report to the Board:
  • SMS 7th grader Clara Timmons placed 1st in individual performance at the Oklahoma National History Day contest. She is now eligible to compete at the National History Day contest in Washington, D.C., in June. Clara is also one of the three SMS students chosen to travel to Nikaho, Japan, this summer.

  • This is Teacher Appreciation Week.

  • Shawnee FFA member Kaylee Peace was awarded with her State FFA Degree and the Ag-Ed Career Passport.

  • The Shawnee Wrestling Road Crew took 1st place in the high school division of the OKC Memorial Marathon Relay. Since they also beat Gov. Kevin Stitt’s relay team, they have been invited to the Governor's Mansion for an awards celebration. The wrestlers who ran in the relay are Johnny Taber, Sam Anderson, Jose Cervantes, Hunter Rochelle, Angelo Reyes and Spencer Rochelle.

  • SHS received the $65,000 Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust grant from the K20 Center. The grant will be used for technology and professional development.

  • The SHS Wind Ensemble received superior ratings on stage and sight reading at the 6A OSSAA state contest. This is the highest honor a band can receive at the contest.

  • Native American students from Will Rogers Elementary School placed 3rd with their performance of a song in Potawatomi at the 17th Annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair at Sam Noble Museum.

Gretchen Slate Presents Professional Development Survey Data

Gretchen Slate, coordinator of special services/instructional coach and chair of the professional development committee, shared with the board the results of a faculty survey on their professional development preferences. Slate and Dr. Grace both noted that SPS faculty overwhelmingly responded to the survey and have shown a strong committment to engaging in professional development activities. Some of the areas of professional development that teachers indicated an interest include content specific training, effective teaching strategies, classroom management, trauma informed teaching, Oklahoma standards, and effective collaboration between special education and general education teachers.

Board Reports

During Board reports, Misty Heath thanked Dr. April Grace and other administrators for attending the Native American Senior Banquet the previous week. During the banquet, each SPS senior received a tribal stole that they will be able to wear during graduation ceremonies.
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Senior Tara Winter is congratulated by Dr. April Grace and tribal leaders during the recent Native American Senior Banquet.

More Board Meeting Votes

  • The Board approved all consent docket items and contracts/agreements on the agenda.
  • The Board approved the bid for the purchase of one bus that will be equipped to accomodate students with special needs.
  • All certified and support personnel recommended for hiring were approved.