McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

February 27, 2014

Welcome mat rolled out: State Board of Education, Barresi visit Enid High School

ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools and Enid High School rolled out the welcome mat for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi and the State Board of Education’s visit to Enid Thursday.

The state board met in the EHS auditorium. About 30 onlookers showed up to watch the meeting. Among them were EPS administration members, teachers and school board members. A handful of parents and other residents also turned out for the meeting.

Willa Jo Fowler, longtime EPS board of education member, said she went to observe the process of a state board meeting as a local school board member and as president of Oklahoma State School Board Association.

The meeting was opened with the sweet strains of the Enid High School Select Choir’s rendition of the national anthem.

“A great big thank you to Enid Public Schools,” Barresi said, adding it takes a lot of planning to make it possible for a state board meeting to happen in a school.

“We are looking forward to the tour of the high school after the meeting,” Barresi said.

EPS Superintendent Shawn Hime spoke about Enid being one of the fastest-growing districts in the state.

“We pride ourselves as a school of choice,” Hime said.

After working through an agenda primarily made up of policy reviews and tweaks, and getting a legislative update from the state board’s chief of staff, the meeting adjourned.

Hime and EPS officials gave Barresi and state board of education members a tour of the high school and University Center, home to dual-credit and advanced-placement courses.

They also hosted state board members’ lunch and talked with them about the programs and classes at University Center.

Barresi said the first university center she visited was at Union Public Schools.

“We talked about college, career and citizen-ready,” Barresi said. “This is at the heart of it.”

She called University Center at EHS “emblematic” of the principle of high schools producing graduates ready to succeed.

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