About Me

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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Worship Leader Remarks this Sunday

First OCHS graduating class being led into the Cox Convention Center for the graduation ceremony.
Note: Each Sunday at my church, one of the laity acts as Worship Leader. This Sunday was my turn. One of the duties of the Worship Leader is to deliver a brief statement on any topic the Worship Leader chooses. I chose to review my first year as a teacher at Oklahoma Centennial High School since this was the Sunday following our first graduation ceremony.

Last Wednesday evening, I was a part of Oklahoma Centennial High School’s first graduation ceremony. My special thanks to Gail Vines for helping make this a memorable event. As most of you know, this is my first year at OCHS after 13 years of teaching at old John Marshall High School.

It has been a great year, one of my best. I have gotten to take part in many firsts. We organized our first chapter of the National Honor Society, and, along with Brother Bob Bearden, completed our first service project by taking part in the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

Along with this, fellow OCHS teacher Mark Lyle and I developed the “Bison Chess Club” to which several Mayflower members donated “seed money.” I am happy to report to you all that we held our first school chess tournament. Our students have been so enthusiastic about the club that some have asked about the possibility of keeping the club going during the summer months. I can’t tell you what joy that brings to a teacher’s heart.

We look forward to greater things next year because we will at last be moving into our own building. For the past two years OCHS has been using the old John Marshall facility, but next year we will move to our permanent home over on Kelly just north of Britton in what was formerly Eisenhower Junior High, but now with MAPS for Kids money, is being remodeled into a brand new school

I covet your prayers for our students. Researchers say that the number one predictor of a student’s success is the student’s economic environment. The number two predictor is the economic environment of the student’s school population. Our students are largely drawn from the Britton, West Village, and North Highlands neighborhoods. Anyone who knows those parts of the city knows that our students come to school with a couple of strikes against them already. My job is to show them out to get a hit with a two-strike count.

I cannot change the situation into which my students were born. I have control over just one thing: the world I create for them in my classroom. My mission, the sacred mission of all my fellow teachers who call Mayflower our church, is to make that world one of nurture, growth and learning.

I know I speak for all my colleagues in expressing our appreciation for the historical support that this church has given to public education. Fellow teachers, let’s enjoy our summer and renew ourselves for the tasks which lay ahead when once again we will be called on to touch the future

1 comment:

Dr. Jan said...

What a blessing you are to all of us in public education. Keep on keeping on, brother.