Smith Brothers’ Sale! Ends September 5th
Additional 10% off our everyday 40% off prices! Choose your favorite fabrics, leathers, trims, & wood finishes to create your own design. Outstanding craftsmanship, friendly service, & fine furniture from: Smith Brothers • Simply Amish • Millcraft • Valley View Oak Schwartz Woodworking • Stanley • Hooker • Riverside American Drew • Charles Schneider • LaCrosse Sleepers
Haggard 's Furniture 3415 N. May | 942-1985
www.haggardsfinefurniture.com Free metro delivery - including Edmond! Mon-Fri 10 am to 6 pm & Sat 10 am to 5 pm
Amish-made in the USA
6 PIZZA & GLASS?
Father-and-son team Chris and Micah McGahan give us an inside look at their new Edmond glass blowing studio, Bella Forte and Italian Jim's Pizzeria.
FEATURES 20 Our Sisters' Closet
27 Gourmet Salsa
Time to clean out your closet for this Edmond resale shop benefiting Oklahoma's battered women.
Edmond couple Mamma Dee and Jerrie Sporn turn up the heat with their award-winning gourmet salsa.
22 Grass Tagging
28 Gifted Kids
Spray painting your grass? These logos for your lawn are taking school spirit to a whole new level.
Is your child gifted? Check out what characteristics local educators are looking for.
Glasswork...By the Slice
16 BUSINESS Dance Phase
A Dog Named Mona First Watch Dining On The Go
Sears Hometown Store
Back to School
HGTV's Edmond DesignStar
32 MY EDMOND OUTLOOK
Cardboard Boat Regatta Competitors
To advertise, call Laura at 405-301-3926
13431 N. Broadway Ste. 104 OKC, OK 73114 Office: 405-341-5599 Fax: 405-341-2020 www.edmondoutlook.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Volume 7, Number 8) Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. ÂŠ 2011 Back40 Design, Inc. Articles and advertisements in Edmond Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by Edmond Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Edmond Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.
GLASSWORK...BY THE SLICE by Nathan Winfrey
Chris McGahan creating a wall platter
Rene Sims, Front House Lead, Italian Jim's Pizzeria
Micah McGahan creating a Bella bowl
ave you ever seen art created from the comfort of a pizzeria table? Most likely you haven’t. But that’s all about to change. Fifteen years ago, Chris McGahan and his wife, Linda, set out on a new adventure: opening a tiny pizza shop called Italian Jim's. Before they knew it, repeat customers were driving dozens of miles for pizza made from unique recipes passed down from Linda’s father, Jim, the restaurant’s namesake. Perhaps it was that same adventurous spirit that led the McGahans to take their restaurant in a direction that no one could have guessed. Italian Jim’s Restaurant has come to Edmond and features an expanded menu that includes steak and other tantalizing options, but the most distinctive change is the presence of the Bella Forte Glass Studio. For years, McGahan and his son, Micah, have sold their artistic glasswork, but this is the first time the studio and restaurant have been under the same roof. Furthermore, glass-blowing has been integrated into the dining experience. Visitors can watch the father-and-son team fire, stretch, and mold glowing-hot glass while they eat. They can
even schedule time in the “hot shop” and pick out colors for a piece made in front of them. “We’re the only place in the United States that you can make all that happen in one place,” McGahan says. Glass-blowing lessons were a birthday gift from Linda seven years ago, and since then McGahan has taught Micah. Together, they’ve filled the restaurant with gleaming chandeliers and pendant lights inlaid with dazzling designs, as well as a variety of colorful glass decorations. Redento raffinato, which means “redeemed elegance,” is a signature creation that resembles a large yet graceful vase, but may appear almost floral in design. “It takes a long time to be able to make something like that – you have to break a lot of glass,” McGahan admits. “I love the response of people when they see its beauty and I love to be able to do something that very few people can do.” Optimal glass-blowing temperature is 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, and patrons at Italian Jim’s can watch the glass get that hot while they eat. Before the glass gets “cold,” which is 1,000 degrees, McGahan and his son use iron “punty” rods to put the glass into a furnace they’ve named “Hell’s Fridge,” which
gets up to 2,400 degrees. Glass-blowing is considered an Italian art. Six years ago, McGahan dreamed of combining glass-blowing with a pizza restaurant. “We have been pursuing that diligently ever since,” he says. “Bella” is Italian for “beautiful” and “forte” means “loud” or “strong.” McGahan describes their work as “beautiful glass that is loud in presentation and color and strong in design.” The first place to carry Bella Forte glass was the Dean-Lively Gallery in Edmond. It was that relationship that lead to Italian Jim’s moving from Yukon to its new Edmond location. Owner Barry Rice was in the process of restoring 15 and 13 S. Broadway to historical integrity. “Our vision of urban loft décor and his vision meshed perfectly,” McGahan says. Over the last year, they’ve taken out two suspended ceilings, one of which was nearly 60 years old, to expose the original, riveted trusses. They’ve also taken down part of a wall to restore the large door used when it was a garage. The door now swings open to show what’s happening in the glass studio.
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While the space the McGahans moved their business into was being upgraded, so was the restaurant itself. The new front-of-house manager makes sure things run smoothly. Kitchens at earlier Italian Jim’s locations sported little more than a pizza oven and a makeshift table. Now, they have a char grill and an improved baking oven. They have a cook line and an executive chef – U.K.-born Stephen Gooding, who worked with world-famous chef Gordon Ramsey, an infamous perfectionist, for two years. Gooding also worked as a staff cook at Buckingham Palace in England for two years. The variety on the new, expanded menu reflects these changes. “We’ve radically changed our operation, but we still do the pizza like we’ve always done it,” McGahan promises. “That hasn’t changed.” Pepperonis in neat rows; green, red, yellow bell peppers cut into rings and high-quality cheese that nukes just fine in the microwave the next morning are traits all lovers of Italian Jim’s pizza expect. “We do not buy premade pizza sauce and we do not buy frozen dough that someone else made,” he says. “Our goal is to make the best-quality pizza for a fair price.” And McGahan keeps his business a family affair. “We could not make this operation work without my wife and kids,” McGahan says. His son, Micah, and his daughters, Kim and Krista, have helped with the restaurant since it started in 1996. “Without (Linda), I would not be in the pizza business. Without her, I would not be blowing glass,” he admits. “Without the people around me, I would be in complete obscurity.” “Ever since we started in the pizza business, even before I thought about glass-blowing, our desire was to have our pizza place be more upscale,” McGahan recalls. He and his family made the decision to let go of the Yukon location and focus all of their attention on the new place. “We did not want to dilute the family’s efforts,” he says. “This is our home.” Italian Jim’s and Bella Forte are open Monday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and located at 13 and 15 S. Broadway.
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FIT FOR A KID by Emily Anderson
Myrick emphasized that his goal is not to make sure kids are at a certain body fat or weight. He acknowledged that obesity is a real issue and wants Phyz Edmond to have an impact on this epidemic, but he doesn’t want kids to feel singled out if they are overweight and coming through the program. “The main thing we're trying to accomplish is building healthy and balanced lifestyles. The idea is that the children will see exercise as tough, but also fun and enjoyable.
Tanner Holliman running front hurdles
ids now have a Fitness Center to call their own. Edmond resident Brandon Myrick started a kids program through his indoor Phyz Edmond fitness facility for kids who want a workout program to gain an edge for their sport or to simply stay fit. “Edmond is a family oriented city,” Myrick says. “I've lived in the OKC/Edmond area my entire life. Many kids in this area need a structured fitness program whether they play sports or not. The parents in this area value activity for their kids, but sports alone aren’t enough. That's where Phyz Edmond comes in.” Myrick was introduced to sports at a young age and played baseball, basketball and tennis growing up. He became fascinated with fitness and weight training going into his freshman year in college. “I was only in decent shape when I played sports, but it wasn’t enough. I started weightlifting and enjoyed getting stronger and healthier. I've always been very personable so I checked into how I could combine these aspects to make a career. I got my foot in a local
A community music program for students grades 4-12 who love to sing!
Auditions - Aug. 15, 22, 29 5:30-7:30 p.m. at First Christian Church of Edmond
974-5754 • www.yccok.org
YOUNG CHOIRS OF
gym and never looked back,” Myrick recalls. “When it came to this business, I asked myself ‘what is a need that isn't being met?’ Once I realized there was this specific need for the kids, I researched to see if anyone
"I want them to leave with a big smile on their face. " else was doing it. I found a few good places on the East and West coasts but not here. Then I started trying to put my model together.” Myrick says Phyz Edmond is not just about making the kids of the community more physically fit. He said kids want and need a place where they can be encouraged, be respected, work hard and have fun. “I simply want to pour into the lives of the kids in this community. I want them to leave every day with a big smile on their face and feel better about themselves than when they walked in. My own personal gain doesn't fit into the equation. It's all about the kids.”
This will lead to a positive experience which will lead them to stick with it through adulthood,” Myrick said. A membership with Phyz Edmond covers the kids bootcamp class and a yoga class twice a week. Myrick teaches the Phyz Fit personally and it covers speed, agility, strength, and cardio. The yoga class is taught by Lisa Veach. Myrick’s classes and the yoga classes are an hour each. Kids can take advantage of getting a full exercise program four times a week. Eventually, Myrick would like to expand the program to areas all around the metro. “There are much larger plans I would love to implement, such as facilities, programs, equipment, but I have to wait until I have the resources to do so,” he said. “I believe 100 percent in the vision and I know it's going to be a huge success.” He also currently does one-on-one personal training and bootcamps for adults out of his two studios at Phyz Edmond. “I've worked with adults for the last seven years and I really enjoy working with them. Healthy parents will yield a healthy young generation as well,” Myrick said. Phyz Edmond is located at 21477 N. Western between Covell and Coffee Creek. Look up Phyz Edmond on Facebook and Twitter or go to www.PhyzEdmond.com. Photo: (Left to Right) Brandon Myrick, Alex Davis, Korbin Jones, Tanner Holliman, Rachel Schaefer, Jacob Burns, Jackson Ford, Kiean Veach and Dallas Myrick
A DOG NAMED MONA Dear Readers, Thank you for the numerous e-mails, cards and calls concerning the death of my husband, Carl. I so appreciate your kind words and prayers. During this time of overwhelming grief, I am sharing some of my “classic” stories that have never been published in my Edmond Outlook column. Hope you enjoy them. by Nathan Winfrey
e should have known that our son, Aaron, was too young for a pet, but being young and naïve ourselves, my husband and I thought the lab puppy would be a perfect companion for our two and half-year-old son. We were wrong. Bridgette was already six months old and had outgrown that cuddly puppy stage. Instead, she was the picture of ADD in the dog world, running, jumping, knocking Aaron down, scratching his legs with her claws. She didn’t mean to hurt him; she was just being a pup, a rowdy one. Needless to say, Bridgette found a new home. So it was more than a little surprise when my husband came home from work one day with a doghouse and a two-year-old mutt named Mona. The one thing we didn’t need was another dog. Carl explained that the family was moving out of state and couldn’t take the dog with them, nor could they find
“While we were waiting for that special family to come along, Mona slipped right into our hearts.” a family to take the motley looking canine. When his co-worker mentioned putting Mona to “sleep,” Carl decided to take her, being certain we could find her a good home.
Louise Tucker Jones
I wasn’t so sure. The gray, black and white mongrel was a strange looking mix—half schnauzer and half beagle. She wasn’t exactly photogenic with her low, round belly and bearded chin, but she was congenial and loving so I accepted Carl’s plan. We definitely needed to find her a home. But somewhere along the way, while we were waiting for that special family to come along, Mona slipped right into our hearts. I would often look out the kitchen window and see her lying on her belly, legs extended on the cool concrete of our back porch. She barely took notice when Aaron plopped down on her back for a “horsey” ride. He pulled her ears as if she were a furry stuffed toy and Mona simply nuzzled closer to him. They became inseparable companions, roaming our half acre yard and sitting in the middle of our small orchard sharing apples that fell to the ground. Once, the front gate was left unlocked and Aaron wandered out of the yard. Nearly hysterical when I found him missing, I ran toward the traffic area calling his name over and over but he didn’t answer. Finally, I yelled “M-o-n-a!��� She barked and I could see Aaron on the other side of the highway with Mona shielding him from crossing back over the street at the sound of my voice. I darted across the busy thoroughfare and scooped Aaron into my arms, so thankful for his safety. The three of us made our way back to the house. Mona had definitely found her forever home! When we moved to another town, Mona moved with us. When we took trips, Mona went along. When
About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Contact her at: LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.
we stopped for Cokes, Mona had to have a small portion of crushed ice and during thunderstorms or fireworks, Mona hid under the bed. I wish every boy and girl could have a dog like Mona. She brought love, joy and a ton of memories to our family. Aaron is now grown with children of his own, and yes, they have a loving dog. And in case you’re
Louise's son Aaron with Mona
thinking about getting a cuddly puppy for your little one, you might want to rethink that. Preschoolers and puppies aren’t always a good mix. But you might find a gentle, two-year-old mutt at the animal shelter who is longing for a family and a home. In fact, you just might get lucky and find a dog like Mona.
Hip & Swanky has everything you’ll need to head back to school in style including cute and trendy dresses, jewelry, hats & boots. Located at 1247 E. Danforth (Kickingbird Square) 341-3066 www.hipandswanky.com
Stop by Anabelle’s this month for all your school spirit needs or that perfect back to school gift! Join us on August 11th for our Back-to-School Night starting at 5 and open late till 9 p.m. with lots of great specials and sales! Located at 1201 NW 178th • 359-1189 Find us on Facebook!
Save yourself the hassle of enduring a hot car, traffic, parking, crowded aisles and long check out lines at the grocery store each week by calling Un-Grocery! We’ll take your shopping list to the store of your choice and deliver your groceries right to your door. Visit our website for rates and services or call us at 471-9144. No minimum required. Mention this ad for $5 off!
It’s summer! So who wants to be stuck indoors cleaning? Leave the chores to us. We’ll take care of all the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, dusting, bed linens & more! We offer years of experience and competitve rates. For a free estimate call 740-6004.
Oasis Pools & Spas offers quality maintenance, repair and remodeling for your swimming pool or spa. Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, our trained technicians will keep it running beautifully. Stop by our store and enjoy 15% off all toys, pool floats and games with this ad. Exp. 8/31/11 1333 N. Santa Fe • 340-6442
Spend the Dog Days of Summer at Paint Your art Out! • Private Parties • Onsite Events • New Original Art Each Month • Adult Art Party Sessions Nightly • Paint Your Pet Sessions Available Each Month Bring you, your friends and a bottle of wine and we’ll supply the canvas, paint, wine glasses and fun! Located at 100 N. Broadway in Edmond • 513-5333 • Register at www.PaintYourArtOut.net
Make a difference by shopping at Our Sisters’ Closet, an upscale Edmond resale shop benefiting battered women and children in Oklahoma. We stock only quality resale women’s wear, shoes, purses and jewelry at incredible prices. You can shop, donate clothes, money or just volunteer. We’d love to see you! Located 3 blocks North of 2nd, half way between Broadway & Boulevard at 101 E. Hurd. • Open Tues - Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 348-2442 • www.ywcaokc.org • Find us on Facebook!
Beaucoup Boutiques is Edmond’s new boutique market! You’ll find over 25 vendors offering an array of gorgeous clothing, purses, hand-made jewelry, children’s items and decor with even more vendors to come. Interested in renting booth space? Call us! 471-9127 14400 N. Lincoln (between Memorial & 33rd) 242-6451 • www.beaucoupboutiques.com
Visit Edmond’s only plus-size consignment shop, ReDesigning Women, for quality clothing in sizes 14 & up, shoes and accessories at great prices! With new inventory arriving daily, you’ll want to shop often. Open Tues. - Sat. 11 10 a.m. to www.edmondoutlook.com 6 p.m. at 2nd & Kelly • 844-0505
FREE HOAGIE! BUY 1 HOAGIE GET 1 FREE Of equal or lesser value - not valid on deli menu. With purchase of 2 drinks. 1 coupon per person - Exp. 08/31/11
Now serving Boar's Head meats & cheeses on all hoagies. Also available by the pound!
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Edmond Rd. & Santa Fe 348-2214 Mon-Sat 10:30-9, Sun 11-3
325 N. Walker (Downtown OKC) 605-3131 Mon-Sat 10:30-9 Delivery Available
FIRST WATCH by Melanie Phillips Clemens
Nijim Dabbour, Regional Manager Offer valid on select products. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer code must be used when placing the order. Offer expires: 8/31/11 Code: EDOU0552
3209 S. Broadway in Edmond
Call 844-0909 www.EdibleArrangements.com
Daily Happy Hours 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. 1/2 Off All Appetizers! $2 Beer & Sake $4 Wine by the glass
nswering the call for a café that only served
early breakfast, brunch and lunch, First Watch opened its doors 28 years ago and now has 87 cafés nationwide. In January, First Watch debuted in Oklahoma City under the ownership/management of Ghassan Dabbour. As a restaurant franchisee, Dabbour wanted to spend more time with his family and traded 18 years in a 24-hour restaurant business for the mornings he loves. “While visiting friends in Kansas, we ate at First Watch and enjoyed it immensely. I called corporate before leaving the parking lot and told them I saw myself doing this and here we are,” said Dabbour. First Watch has fresh food and low-calorie options that meet the demands of a nation becoming more health-conscious. “Healthy choices is a trend I want to be a part of. We cook it fresh every day starting at 6 a.m.” And First Watch boasts excellent customer service which includes greeting every customer with a fresh pot of coffee and a smile. “We like to impress our customers with an experience that’s memorable and different,” he said. Nijim, Dabbour’s son, is regional manager and Noalle, Dabbour’s daughter, is the assistant manager and a cook. “Our em-
ployees are the channel between me and my customers so I create a good environment for them. We help one another by treating the restaurant as one station and we all serve the customers,” said Dabbour. With a motto of “If we can, we will,” there are no substitution charges for anyone wanting to ‘tweak’ their order and no charge for sharing meals. They’ll even bring extra plates. Quick service has food at your table within 10 minutes of ordering and a specials board is visible to every table. “Our menu is set by corporate but we have fun with the specials board featuring some of our own creations,” said Nijim. “We love the ‘wow’ effect when customers order our Fruity Chicken Salad with diced green apples, raisins and water chestnuts. It truly is an explosion of deliciousness,” said Nijim of one of his favorite menu items. First Watch is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is located at 2328 W. Memorial, between Pennsylvania and May avenues in Quail Springs Marketplace across from Quail Springs Mall. For more information, call 748-EGGS (3447), visit www.firstwatch.com or find First Watch on Facebook and Twitter.
DININGON THE GO by Krystal Harlow
Kang's Asian Bistro
This mobile smoke house is serving up the finest smoked brisket and pork ribs you'll ever eat. They specialize in corporate events, holiday parties, weddings and all types of catering, but you’ll also find them setting up shop in and around Edmond throughout the week. Grab a pulled pork sandwich or a bowl of their famous brisket chili and choose from mouthwatering sides like homemade potato casserole, cole slaw or seasoned green beans. To find out where they’ll be next, check out their calendar at thesmokinokies.com or call 615-6830.
Kang’s Asian Bistro understands the demands on your time and the importance of having a great meal quickly. They use only the highest quality ingredients and prepare your meal fresh to order. Try their famous Baby Gecko roll stuffed with fresh salmon, cream cheese, jalapeno, spicy mayo and scallions or the Grilled Beef Tenderloin wok’d with steamed asparagus and a sake soy reduction. Place your order online at kangsok.com or call 285-8300 and pick it up at their convenient drive up window. Or Kang’s will even deliver it to your door! 2080 E. 2nd Street
Enjoy fine dining on the fly with takeout, catering or a quick, sumptuous lunch or dinner at Mr. Sushi. At this favorite Edmond hot spot, each delectable sushi and sashimi selection is made fresh to order. Indulge every craving with a wide assortment of sushi, sashimi, Nigri Sushi, Temaki and specialties like the crabstick Volcano Roll topped with baked seafood and a trio sauce. Best of all, the prices are as palatable as the menu! Call 285-7310 or stop by their convenient location at 214 S. Santa Fe Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Visit mrsushiok.com.
Millie’s new ‘Hot Meals to Go’ option is the perfect dinner solution for your busy schedule. Every Tuesday and Thursday, shop the ‘Hot Meals to Go’ menu online for your meat entrée, roll and choice of veggie, rice or potato, then call by 1 p.m. to place your order (no online orders) and pick up between 5 and 6 p.m. Meals are $8.62 per person, including tax. While you’re there, pick up Easy Bake Entrees from the freezer and ask about catering for events. Open Mon. – Sat. at 1333 N. Santa Fe. Visit milliestable.com or call 330-9156.
First Watch In a rush, but in the mood for great café dining? The fresh, made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch specialties at First Watch are just the ticket! With their 10-minute ticket service on dine-in or takeout, you’ll enjoy pancakes, omelettes, soups, sandwiches and exciting specialties like Crepeggs and the Chickichanga in short order. Now through Aug. 31 Take $2 Off your order (with ad, dine-in only, limit one per visit) Open daily 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at 2328 W. Memorial. Call 748-EGGS (3447) or visit firstwatch.com or find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Daylight Donuts on danforth Still the most affordable treat around, Daylight Donuts on Danforth now offers even more delicious options! Visit edmonddaylightdonuts.com, to place an order online and pick it up at the drive-thru the next day. Orders of 5 dozen or more receive 10% off – perfect for schools or offices. Check out their new Birthday Donut Letters customized with your child’s name or party theme for classroom birthdays. All donuts are hand-cut, hand-dipped in house each morning with over 50 choice varieties. Stop by 730 W. Danforth near Hobby Lobby Tues.-Sun. 5 a.m. – noon.
Breakfast & Lunch, Mon - Sat 6:30 am - 2:30 pm KIDS BACK IN SCHOOL? TIME TO TREAT YOURSELF TO BREAKFAST OR LUNCH AT COLBY’S GRILL!
With this ad -1 per table Exp. 8/31/11
511 S. Broadway
Buy 1 Entree Get 1 FREE! *LUNCH ONLY*
of equal or lesser value with ad & purchase of 2 drinks Mon-Fri 10:30 am - 4 pm One coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Exp. 8/31/11
844-7667 M - Th: 10:30 am - 8 pm F - Sat: 10:30 am - 9 pm
Serving Ice Cold Beer!
Edmond Rd. & Santa Fe
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834 W. Danforth Rd.
(SE Corner of Kelly and Danforth)
M - Th 11am - 8pm Fri - Sat 11am - 9pm Sun 11am - 3pm
With ad - Minimum $10 purchase Dine-in or carry out only - Exp. 8/31/11
121 E. Waterloo, Ste 13 www.edmondoutlook.com 15
DANCE PHASE For the Love of Dance by Melanie Phillips Clemens As a 5-year-old dancer, Lisa Motsenbocker could’ve never imagined the impact dancing would have in her life. “In high school, my dance instructor asked me to help teach. That’s when I knew I wanted to have my own dance studio. I graduated from OKC University with a dance management degree. In the fall of 2009, I started living that dream when I purchased Dance Phase from my friend, Tiffany Warford.” Dance Phase seeks to build self-esteem in their dancers through encouraging a love of dance, and fun age-appropriate classes. “We teach dance not for the trophies or medals but because we love it. That’s the difference we impart to our students,” said Motsenbocker. Although recognition isn’t their focus, they win awards at every competition they attend including Stage One, Showbiz Talent and Dance Showcase USA. They also performed at Dancers Against Cancer, raising $750 toward the cause. Each dance teacher has professional training and many of them dance with Oklahoma City Ballet. “Everyone on staff has a college degree or are working
towards one. We stay updated with the latest trends, techniques and choreography. We attend conventions that have inspired some of our teachers to pursue dance careers,” said Motsenbocker. Dance Phase offers a variety of dance classes for boys and girls age three to adult. “Our adult fitness class, a mixture of different dance types, works great for parents who want to come at the same time as their children. We try to make it extra special for all of our dancers and get to know each one of them. It’s not just a business, it’s family,” said Motsenbocker. Parents of Dance Phase dancers wholeheartedly agree. “We love Dance Phase because the teachers and staff treat their students like family and are willing to go the extra steps so the students become the best dancers they can be,” said parent Sandy Prewitt. Alison Hunt agrees. “Our daughter has been a student for two years, and thanks to Miss Lisa and Dance Phase, we have watched her truly blossom. Not only do the teachers do an amazing job teaching dance techniques, they also instill within the students
Lisa Motsenbocker, Co-Owner of Dance Phase self-confidence, tenacity and the ability to express themselves in a beautiful manner,” she said. “In the past two years, we’ve grown so much due to advertising in Edmond Outlook and referrals by our wonderful parents. As a result, we are relocating to a larger studio and will be adding classes to accommodate families with different age siblings or conflicting activities. We try our hardest to go above and beyond, for the love of dance,” said Motsenbocker. For more information on the classes offered call 478-3464, visit www.dancephasestudio.com or find them on Facebook. An open house at their new location, 3900 S. Broadway, Bldg. 3, is planned for August 15-18, from 3 to 7 p.m.
SEARS HOMETOWN Big Name, Small-Town Feel by Melanie Phillips Clemens Sears, Roebuck and Co., officially formed in 1893, has forged a new concept in personal customer service by setting up Hometown stores here in Edmond and throughout the United States. Sears Hometown combines independent ownership with high-quality products in a family atmosphere. These ingredients contribute to the concept’s success. The principle behind this endeavor resonated with Dan and Susan Bercaw and a partnership with Sears ensued. “With my former job, I was commuting weekly from OKC to Victoria, British Columbia,” said Dan. “I opened this business because I wanted to do something different and wanted to be home more with my family. Our store opened in Edmond in May 2010, and was the first model for future stores. They’re quickly establishing new Hometown stores and now have 1200 nationwide.” With a struggling economy and a competitive consumer market, the Sears Hometown store model positively impacts communities. “With a couple million in sales yearly, our sales volume is still low
enough that we remember what everyone who walks through our door has purchased. Our customers like the personal service we offer,” said Dan. The Sears Hometown store is not a franchise, but a dealership model with a contractual arrangement between Sears and independent owners. “We had to meet Sears’ strict requirements for them to trust us with their name and inventory. What’s great for the consumer is that we’re a small store with a solid brand people value,” said Susan. Customers who visit the store will find a good selection of high-end appliances, a complete line of lawn and garden equipment, tools, vacuums, water softeners and the latest electronics, including 3D televisions. The Hometown store is not a clothing store or an outlet store. Even though they have a small selection of parts in stock, they are not a parts store. “This is a family business that takes everybody in the family to operate. We personally know our employees. They each have multiple years of retail experience with at least a bachelor’s degree to their
Dan & Susan Bercaw, Owners of Sears Hometown credit. They enjoy working in this type of environment because its family oriented,” said Dan. The customer service the Bercaws provide goes above and beyond the status quo. “We had an elderly couple purchase a small window air conditioner recently on a Saturday. We went to their home and installed it the same day to get them out of the heat. That’s the level of personal service we’ll go to. They came back the following Monday and bought another one. We’ve gained the loyalty of our customers because we don’t mind helping,” said Susan. Edmond’s Sears Hometown store is located at 3409 S. Broadway on the SW corner of 33rd and Broadway. Call 286-3440 or find them on Facebook for coupons.
by Lindsay Whelchel
f life is a canvas, then Kellie Clements knows that we are our own artists. The Edmond interior designer and mother of two learned all about taking charge of her own palette when she auditioned for, and won, a spot in HGTV’s sixth season of “Design Star” which is airing this summer. The show puts design professionals to a series of challenges where they utilize their skills and talent to create a thing of beauty. And when it comes to beautiful creations, Clements is no stranger. She studied design at the University of Central Arkansas and comes from a long line of artists. Her parents were artists. Her father owned an art gallery and her grandfather was an artist in the field of carpentry. It is from this lineage that Clements molded her design style, self-described as warm, modern and eclectic. She says she likes to use a lot of color and one-
of-a-kind pieces in her designs. “I like to use unique pieces, things that kind of tell a story about (the client’s) life. I like to make the rooms very personal,” Clements says. And though originally from Arkansas, Clements has been hard at work designing here in Oklahoma for the past ten years. She mainly does residential work in the Edmond area and stages new homes for a building company while using an educational approach. “I don’t just tell people what looks good, I tell them why, because I can’t be with them all the time and they’re going to want to make a purchase of something for their home in the future. I give them little tips and tools that will arm them with information so they can make the right decision,” said Clements. And that approach seems to be working. Her business has grown strongly through word-of-mouth and she explains that she loves to work directly with
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homeowners. “My favorite part is the people. When I do work for someone that is local, I get to see how what I did for them has impacted their lives,” she says. And it is the changing of lives that really interests Clements. “I love design, but I love people more and design is just a vehicle through which I’m able to impact peoples’ lives.” When it comes to impact, Clements’ opportunity with “Design Star” is just about as life-changing as it gets. “It’s still kind of surreal to me that it’s even happened,” she says and describes the undertaking as a very important move she had to make as a professional and as a mother of two young children.“It’s a struggle just being a working mom to find that balance. Me being gone and participating in something like ‘Design Star’ was a big risk for me because of my children,” Clements says, crediting her husband’s commitment to help care for the children in her absence. The sacrifices were worth it to Clements. “I feel like not pursuing that goal of mine was also a risk because I have to be an example to my children, and even my husband, of how to not just talk the talk but walk the walk.” The courage to take that first step came after a difficult year for Clements and her family. She had watched every season of the show but had never taken the chance to audition until now. “Our family overcame a lot of things and it changed me. I decided I was going to stop thinking about ‘Design Star’ and I was going to really pursue it,” she says. And pursue it she did. The casting process was in depth according to Clements. It included more than one trip to Dallas and even a trip to meet with producers in New York City. The prospect of being on the show kept Clements going. “I am a competitor at heart. The thought of competing in my own arena, interior design, has always been appealing to me,” she says. Ultimately it was the ever present desire to be an example to her children that helped Clements deal with the challenges of grueling competition and being far from home. She wants others to not be afraid to do the same. “Go after what you want to go after. I have kids and a family but I’m still an individual and one of these days my boys are going to ask me if they should take the job
overseas or if they should start their own business and I have to be able to tell them yes and give them examples of why.” And Clements will certainly have stories to tell her children about her time on the show. “It was a life experience, not a design experience,” she says and adds that she made strong friendships with her fellow designers. “We’re all so different but we share that same passion for design. Our time together was very concentrated. We lived and worked together. We cried. We laughed together. So, the friendships that you make in that short amount
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Kellie Clements in a client's home in Edmond of time are priceless,” said Clements. She's also grateful for the interaction she had with some of the industry’s top designers like Nate Berkus. But there were difficulties too, Clements admits. “I’m used to competing as a team. I’m an encourager by nature and in a scenario like ‘Design Star’ it’s not always beneficial to play as a team. It’s an individual competition,” she says. “Finding that balance between when to help other designers and when to put myself first was very difficult for me.” But the competition aspect was a learning opportunity. “You definitely have to think on your feet. There’s no time for second-guessing. Sometimes something goes wrong in a challenge. You may pick the wrong paint color but it’s too late, so you have to make a decision and make it the right decision,” she says. And lessons can be learned on both sides of the television screen. Clements says that while the producers of the show did a good job of incorporating educational design opportunities for the show’s audience, she hopes viewers will take away deeper lessons as well. “I really want people, whatever it is they’re thinking they want to do, I want them to go for it,” she says. “I feel like in life we have an obligation to take responsible risks.” Clements says she is embracing the journey and is excited to see where the path will lead. “Design Star,” the hour-long reality competition series shot in New York City, airs at 8 p.m. on Mondays through September.
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CLOTHING WITH A CAUSE by Melanie Phillips Clemens The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women. These women often leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The Oklahoma City YWCA provides programs that help abused women regain their dignity, self-esteem and lives. One program, Our Sisters’ Closet, began in Oklahoma City in 2007 and expanded to Edmond in October 2010. The YWCA’s vision was to meet the clothing needs of battered women and to establish a sustainable source of revenue for the YWCA while offering a unique shopping experience for the OKC and Edmond communities. The YWCA’s international mission is “empowering women and eliminating racism” and each branch focuses on different aspects. Oklahoma City’s YWCA is the only certified emergency shelter in Oklahoma County and it deals with domestic violence and sexual assault issues concerning women. Cindy Reynolds, OKC Director of Retail Development for
the YWCA, said, “It’s a sad reality that people in all walks of life are made to feel unworthy. Many of our clients walk away from everything, but thankfully
Our Sisters' Closet in Edmond they walk away with their life. The misconception is that it’s always low-income or young women. We’ve had older women walk away from beautiful homes and a life where they never had to want for anything.
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It takes courage to walk away from an abusive relationship. We provide shelter and meet their needs while helping them take the right steps to regain their lives.” The YWCA helps these women through Our Sisters’ Closet, a resale clothing boutique that operates through donations from the community. “People’s lives change for different reasons. We love it when ladies clean out their closet. We take the same quality clothing and household items you’d want in your home or closet. We research the items and price accordingly because we’re also in business to help fund the YWCA.” We are a high quality resale shop offering stylish clothing in excellent condition,” said Reynolds. The YWCA clients, with aid from their advocates, receive clothing and household items at no charge. For these women, beautiful, quality clothing often makes a difference in their outlook on life. “We’ve had clients share with us the different ways Our Sisters’ Closet has impacted them; women who’ve escaped with only the clothes on their back and mothers without school clothes for their children until we provided them. One of the most memorable moments was a young lady that came to us needing court-appropriate clothing. She literally looked like she had clouds hanging over her head. We gave her a stylish Harold’s blazer, heels, earrings and black slacks to put on. When she came out, tears were
streaming down her pretty face and it was like the sun was shining on her. We all noticed, applauded and cried with her. She went to court and won. It’s amazing how clothes can empower a woman at a difficult time in their life. We’re proud of what we do even though it’s the simplest of things. We also want to provide a pleasant shopping experience for the public. Maybe you’ll find that Ann Taylor shell and pay $8 instead of $80,” said Reynolds. Our Sisters’ Closet is just one way the YWCA helps women. The YWCA provides immediate emergency shelter for more than 300 women and children every year with individual services to more than 14,000 from Oklahoma as well as women from other states and countries. They also offer transitional housing, counseling and advocates to help clients get their lives back. Even though the YWCA receives funding from the United Way and private benefactors, and is awarded grants for specific programs, the demand for their services has steadily increased. “Our stores have brought more awareness to the community about the YWCA services. The response from the Edmond community has been welcoming and supportive. When women find out what we do, it’s a magnet that draws them to us. Most of our customers know someone who’s been in that kind of situation. You never know who’s going to knock on your door and need our help,” said Reynolds.
Cindy Reynolds, OKC Director of Retail Development for the YWCA at Edmond's My Sisters' Closet Donations are welcome at both locations: In Edmond at 101 E. Hurd three blocks north of Second Street, halfway between Broadway and Boulevard. Phone: 348-2448 Tues-Sat. 10-5 In Oklahoma City at 2209 W. I-240 Service Road, the northwest corner of I-240 and Pennsylvania in the Walnut Square Shopping Center. Mon-Sat. 10-6
For more information about the YWCA, call 948-1770 or visit www.ywcaokc.org. Additional resources: The Oklahoma State Safe Line: 800-522-7233 YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline: 917-9922 YWCA Sexual Assault Hotline: 943-7273
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GRASS TAGGING by Radina Gigova
f you consider yourself a superfan, you may have wished the logo from your favorite college’s football field would magically appear on your front lawn and turn the Sunday game into a real sensation. Alan Gnagy, founder of Grass Taggers can make that dream a reality. When it comes to painting turf logos, Grass Taggers has done it all, from college logos to engagement messages, birth announcements and birthday surprises. “Anything is possible,” Gnagy said. “If you can think of it and it's within a five color scheme or less, we can put it down. I’ve had requests for TV and comic-book characters, you name it.” Grass Taggers, based in Edmond, started as a small company with just a few employees but rapidly expanded to neighboring states. Gnagy said business keeps growing and he plans to open more offices nationally and even internationally. The company is fully licensed for all NFL and Major League Baseball logos and is working on NBA, Nascar and NHL. They are also continually adding to their library of license
marks for college and high school sports teams. Having a license not only grants them the right to legally reproduce the logo, but also offers the exact color set for the stencil so the image looks perfect every time. “We get a lot of cooperation from the folks at Major League Baseball and NFL, and especially the local colleges here,” Gnagy said. Gnagy got the idea for the service about 10 years
"We are sports fans and we like to pride ourselves on good sportsmanship." ago while working in the golf and turf business. “I saw an advertisement painted on the turf and I thought it was kind of interesting. I kind of shelved it and later
in life got to thinking about it again.” After researching the market, Gnagy realized no one offered the service and decided to move forward. “I kind of felt there was a business niche there,” he said. Blake Barkley, who manages the operations in the Amarillo, Texas area, said homeowners often call their buddies to watch while the turf is being painted. “People get really excited about it, because it’s something new and something really interesting.” Other times, he added, “people will be just driving by, and then they’ll drive by again, till they finally stop and ask what is it?” The process is simple. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to get the job done. The paint is waterbased and non-toxic, doesn’t hurt the grass when applied properly and is safe for pets. Gnagy said grass could be a challenging medium and the best results are achieved a day or two after the lawn is mowed. Once the paint is dry, customers don’t have to do anything to maintain it. “You can treat it as a normal lawn as if the paint job wasn’t even there. It grows out
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with the grass,” said Gnagy. The logos last from two to four weeks, depending on the season and how fast the grass grows. After each mowing the pattern gradually fades away. “You can’t really harm it other than ripping it up, and that’s happened before,” Gnagy joked, “you put a logo out on a lawn, and sometimes it sparks up a neighborhood football game right on top of it.” However, Grass Taggers offers deals on touch-ups, always trying to keep sports fans happy - including those who want their favorite team logo on their lawn all season long. Logo sizes vary from 52 inches to 13 feet or even larger, and range in price from $100 to about $300. The company also works on bigger projects at schools and sports clubs. In fact, they offer wholesale pricing packages for booster clubs and fundraising groups. Grass Taggers makes custom designs but has a strong policy about what is appropriate. “We definitely don’t want to ruin anybody’s birthday parade,” said Gnagy. “We try not to do anything that requires censorship.” So, if you want to prank a friend or relative by ordering the rival’s team logo, think again. “We are sports fans and we like to pride ourselves on good sportsmanship,” said Gnagy. “There are certain lines that are crossable and there are lines that are not crossable.” But if you lost a bet, now that’s a different story. “If we are talking about a message or something that is all fun in nature… we’ll gladly paint whatever they want,” said Gnagy. He would even offer a deal to paint the lawn green the next day just to get the logo off. “We keep our rules flexible, but always try to be fair.”
Alan Gnagy with OKC Thunder Grass Tagging Stencil
Continued on page 24
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Continued from page 23 Grass Taggers is hiring and other than a good attitude, there are no special requirements for those who want to join the team. “We are nice guys who work hard, so we are looking for those people,” Gnagy said. “If you are a sports fan, it helps but if you are not, while working for us you’ll become one.” Graffiti artists are especially welcome. “We need to get those kids to stop doing graffiti on rail cars and come do them on lawns. They can make tons of money.” He said that would be a much safer way to create masterpieces while keeping the city’s walls clean. If you would like your lawn “tagged,” or if you want to become a grass tagger, visit their website at www.grasstaggers.com or call Alan at 996-8104.
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SOME LIKE IT HOT
by Rachel Dattolo
Years of sun, snacks, summers at the lake and an endless quest for a fresh summer salsa led native Oklahoman Dee Sporn to think, “I can make salsa better than this.” So she did—and she’s been making it ever since. Sporn, also known as Mamma Dee, spent years perfecting her recipe, which would eventually become a “hot” commodity. Friends and family would rave about Mamma Dee’s salsa, encouraging her to sell it and sparking the idea that she might have something special. She started entering the salsa in food competitions and often came away with first prize. After the salsa knocked off a long-time favorite from the top spot to win an award in Albuquerque, NM, she said to herself, “we got something here we need to move forward with.” That’s when she, along with husband, Jerrie, and daughter, Deitra McClure, decided to make a business out of it, and Mamma Dee’s salsa has now been on the market for three years. When it came to deciding to market her salsa, Mamma Dee says, “the biggest challenge was knowing where to go and how to do it.” Taking a food course at Oklahoma State University about starting a business was the family’s first step. There they learned the most cost-effective way to go about selling their product. They were told that to be successful, they had to either make or sell their salsa—they couldn’t do both. So they started on their journey, but not without a few challenges along the way. Demand soon started picking up which meant they were quickly running out of room. Plus, they started out only making salsa using fresh vegetables, but the need for fresh salsa to be refrigerated compromised its shelving ability. The salsa would have to be jarred. The Sporns developed a jarred version of their salsa that matched the fresh in every way — the only difference was the vegetables were cooked instead of fresh, but the taste and flavor didn’t change. With the shelf-stable version of the salsa, the Sporns were able to get their foot in the door with many local grocery stores. “Now they tell us our salsa is better than any other that they carry,” says Jerrie. The shelf-stable version also made the salsa shippable, landing it a spot in a couple of restaurants.
Dee & Jerrie Sporn at the Edmond Farmer's Market with their award winning salsa The next decision, to turn the making of the salsa over to a professional mass producer, was easy—especially when they learned about co-packers. The copacker takes care of producing and jarring the salsa from start to finish, and is able to produce the salsa at a commercial level. Once entrusted with Mamma Dee’s secret recipe, the co-packer was quickly churning out jars of salsa as if they were made by Mamma Dee herself. So what’s the salsa’s secret? “The whole formula makes it unique,” says Jerrie. “Anyone can throw vegetables together and call it a salsa. But it’s the spices that makes ours distinct.” Any further prompting on the Sporns’ spices only elicits a comment about “trade secrets” and “I’d have to kill you” from a chuckling Jerrie. It also helps that Mamma Dee’s salsa can satisfy anyone’s heat threshold. The DreamCatcher Farm Gourmet Salsa comes in four different temperatures: Mamma Dee’s mild, medium (the original), pretty hot and “Jr.’s super duper hot.” The last is “habenero hot” and has won several awards in competitions across the nation.“If I can get it in their mouths then they will buy it,” says Jerrie. “It sells itself.” Dee and Jerrie Sporn live on a miniature horse farm; the name of which, “DreamCatcher Farm,” became a natural title for the famous salsa that was formulated in the Sporns’ kitchen. The accountant/horse trainer/salsa seller has an unexpected spunky side that once led her to trade in her Mercedes for a Harley, which she used to ride to work. The Sporns, who’ve spent the better part of the past 50 years in Oklahoma, say Edmond is the most “appetizing” place for them to live. You'll find them at local farmers’ markets or festivals like the Edmond Arts Festival or Affair of the Heart. Jars of the Sporns’ special salsa can be found at Simply Southwest at 1 N. Broadway in Edmond or in Gourmet Gallery, Crescent Markets and Red Dirt Emporium.
GIFTED KIDS by Erica Smith
Most parents at some point in their children’s lives wonder, “Is my child gifted?” Some things are in the eye of the beholder, but the Edmond School District is a bit more objective. In fact, there’s specific criteria that determines if a child will be labeled as gifted in the academic realm. “The percentage of gifted kids for the (Edmond) district is about 31 percent…which is pretty high. Most districts do not have that many identified. The parents in Edmond have just worked really hard to provide opportunities and experiences to their kids and we just have a higher percentage and a great program,” said Glenda Choate, Educational Services Coordinator for Edmond Public Schools.
So how exactly does a child get in to that 31 percent? Testing is one means the district uses. A district abilities test gives a general idea of what a child’s IQ could be. “We test all of our second, fourth and sixth-graders. It is a group test called the Cognitive Abilities Test. If they get close, then we go back through and mark them as ‘prospects.’ Those names are given to the enrichment teachers at their school and then they talk to the parents and ask if we can test them further individually,” explains Choate. “The testing is all about using reasoning. Analogies, what goes together, patterns, deductive and inductive reasoning, vocabulary, seeing what other words they can figure out,” says Choate. Students have to hit the 97th percentile in the overall test to qualify for the enrichment program. Another measurement is a multi-criteria matrix – points based on several tests, teacher recommendations, classroom performance, etc. If the points add up, they can qualify for the gifted program. And Choate emphasizes that giftedness isn’t
always as obvious as good grades. “It is not only possible to not make good grades and be gifted, but it’s usually the case. Gifted students tend to get bored. They need to be challenged in some way,” she said. “We also have students who perform highly in class who are not gifted. An abilities test is about how they think, how they process. And they may not do that very well. High achieving kids don’t always qualify as gifted.” With all 15 of Edmond’s elementary schools participating in the enrichment program, many parents wonder how young children can be before they show signs of giftedness. “Sometimes parents know very early on that their child is gifted, sometimes at age 3 or 4,” said Choate. “Early talkers, understanding more than just counting, making connections at a very early age. But that doesn’t always mean they are overall intellectually gifted. We are real, real careful with using the word gifted with young kids.” And when it comes to the age-old question of nature vs. nurture, Choate says, “You can
improve an IQ a bit. But (giftedness) is really about abilities. Parents in Edmond have such high expectations, they have helped to cultivate it. They have helped develop the potential. I think it’s a combination. We genetically inherit who we are, and our IQ is part of that, but the nurture is a big part of it.” So if nurture is a factor, how young is too young to start nurturing these gifts and talents? One Edmond preschool aims to nurture giftedness from the moment students come through the doors. Mayittho Acuna, who opened Marymount Preschool in March 2010, starts preparing the children in her care as early as 2 years old. Her goal is “to ensure the child will get into a good private school when they are 5 years old,” said the native Colombian. “It was difficult when I came to America and found mainly day cares where my children could socialize. After my children started elementary school and struggled with language skills, it caused me to want to do something about it.” So when Acuna opened Marymount, her vision was to provide “the best resources, curriculum and education while focusing on the gifts, talents and abilities of each child.” The school’s Montessori approach places the children together but teaches on different levels. “We teach the children on their own level and set up goals for them individually,” said Acuna. Yet on the other side of the coin are teachers and parents who don’t think giftedness is something you can test for. “There really is no test for gifted children,” said Sharon Tanner, owner of Primrose School of Edmond and parent of children who were labeled “gifted”
"High achieving kids don't always qualify as gifted." during their school years. “There are children who possess the ability to learn and retain large amounts of information who may not test well on a standardized test. Standardized tests are subjective. A gifted child has a natural intelligence which is usually enhanced by a unique ability to remember great detail.” To show an example, Tanner highlights the paths of two boys at Primrose. “Sam and Gavin are two young boys who attended Primrose and were given the options to skip first grade after they graduated from kindergarten. Sam’s parents allowed him to skip ahead whereas Gavin’s parents decided to have him enter first
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continued from page 29 grade. They are both gifted, but flourish in different ways. Sam tends to conceptualize what he is learning. He will listen to all the facts and decide his answer by deduction. Gavin is outwardly inquisitive. He asks many questions in a rapid manner because he tends to be more impatient about deciding what the end result should be. He and Sam eventually come to the same conclusions but use very different methods. Both possess all the qualities of a gifted student. This is why tests are subjective and cannot truly measure one student’s learning abilities over another.” When it comes to nurture, she also sees the environment as a key factor in a child’s success. “Any person has the ability to learn, but gifted children learn quickly and retain large amounts of knowledge, said Tanner. “A person can be born with a gifted mind but may never have had a catalyst to expose him/her to a certain array of subjects which would allow that trait to surface.” So for many parents, being their children’s “catalyst” and giving them a head start can begin at home. “Give your kids a lot of opportunities, a lot of experiences and be equal,” advises Choate. “Don’t just focus on physical agility, but also have them reading, or being read to. Make a math problem out of everything. Help the child think and not with just the obvious answer. The more parents do that, the more students have the opportunity to use those higher thinking skills.” For more about Marymount Preschool, call 341-8166 or visit 35 E. 15th St. For more about Primrose School of Edmond, call 285-6787 or visit 15000 N. Western. For a list of characteristics commonly found in gifted children, visit our blog at www.edmondoutlook.com.
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OUTLOOK by Krystal Harlow
Names: Lance Phillips, Matt Stapleton Lake Arcadia Cardboard Boat Regatta Competitors What exactly is a Cardboard Boat Regatta? The city of Edmond puts it on and basically you build a one or two person boat entirely out of corrugated cardboard and duct tape and then waterproof it with a coat of varnish. There are awards for all sorts of things, but you and your boat have to make it out to a predetermined line and back without sinking. Unless you're going for the Titanic Award in which case, sink as dramatically as possible.
This is your third year to compete, what awards have you won? We won 2nd Place Team Division and the Pride of the Fleet Award our first year. And then we won the Team Spirit Award last year. We hope to win even more this year. What was your inspiration for the Viking boat and theme? We really wanted to stand out and be the most extreme team at the regatta. Plus we like the hats. How long does it take to build the boat? Approximately 3-4 weeks Has your team changed from year to year? No change, but we have picked up a sponser, Dan's Pizza. We've kept the same crew, just increased our team support. Where do you get all the cardboard? We've been guilty of some dumpster diving. Or we check with home improvement, furniture or appliance stores. Who has been your toughest competitors? Being middle aged and out of shape, we compete with our own inner demons. Any words of wisdom for those thinking about competing? Have fun and make it a family affair. It's a blast. When is the event and how do you register? This year's Cardboard Boat Regatta is Saturday, August 27. For more info or to register, visit edmondok.com/parks/rec/regatta or call 359-4630. All applications and payments are due by August 19.
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