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OUR SCHOOLS December 2016 | Volume 36 Issue 3

HAPPY HOLIDAYS From Dr. Stacey Butterfield JPS Employees and Parents: As we approach the holiday season and our annual winter break, I hope each one of you will find the time in the next few weeks to rest and recharge for a new year and a new semester. I am continually grateful to those JPS employees who pour their time and talents into our students, school sites, and departments. I am also thankful for our wonderful parent volunteers who invest in creating so many unique and exciting opportunities for our students. We are fortunate to have people in place throughout our District who are so dedicated to fulfilling our mission of educating students and so committed to setting new standards of excellence. Although we face many challenges in public education, I want to take this time to appreciate what we have, and to reflect on the things which make Jenks Public Schools such an exceptional place to work and learn. I am thankful for our engaged students, the support of our Jenks community, the sacrifice of our parents, and each and every one of our teachers, staff members, and administrators. I look forward to 2017 and the success we will achieve together. Happy Holidays to you and your families! Sincerely,

Stacey M. Butterfield Ed.D. Superintendent of Jenks Public Schools

Jenks Public Schools has been selected to host a live NASA downlink in which students will have the opportunity to interact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The educational question-and-answer session is scheduled for the morning of January 26, 2017 and will take place at the Jenks Performing Arts Center on the campus of Jenks High School.

utilizing resources from NASA STEM Learning Lessons from Space. The curriculum will allow students to gain a better understanding of scientific principles and to cultivate a curiosity for exploration. The 20-minute downlink event is part of Jenks Public Schools’ continuous effort to provide high-quality STEM learning experiences while helping students create community and career connections.

Eighth-graders from Jenks Middle School were chosen to participate in the live downlink due to their current studies of Earth and Space, and in order to engage and excite the students about future careers and connections as they make the transition into high school. The eighth grade students will direct questions to NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, and students in classrooms across the District can access video of the downlink on NASA TV and the NASA website.

“We are thrilled to be able to connect our students with the International Space Station,” said Rose Pixley, Coordinator of Teaching and Learning at Jenks Public Schools. “I have no doubt our students and staff members will be fully engaged in this event and excited to learn more about the experiences of the astronauts. We are grateful to NASA and to everyone at Johnson Space Center for giving our students this amazing opportunity.”

Paul Lockhart, retired Colonel from the United States Air Force, and NASA astronaut for two missions to the ISS, will speak to students before the downlink to provide insight on the capabilities of the ISS and the responsibilities of the astronauts on board. Colonel Lockhart’s visit is made possible with the help of NORDAM as part of Flight Night Space Week. “Speaking live to an astronaut is an incredible, once-ina-lifetime opportunity for our students,” stated Dr. Stacey Butterfield, Superintendent of Jenks Public Schools. “Our administrators and teachers have worked extremely hard to bring this event together, and I know each and every student who participates in the downlink or watches online will have a truly memorable experience.” Kimbrough, along with two Russian cosmonauts, is part of the Expedition 50 mission which launched on October 19, 2016, and arrived at the International Space Station on October 21, 2016. Over the span of four months, Kimbrough will be part of a team conducting experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science, and Earth science. The in-flight education downlink will center around the theme “Mission: Life” and to prepare for the event, the eighth grade students will study Earth and Space by

In the days leading up to the live downlink, the Community Education department of Jenks Public Schools will host a show at the Jenks Planetarium entitled “Back To The Moon, For Good!” The 25-minute show features stunning graphics and details the history of space exploration along with the challenges of future space travel. Tickets to the Planetarium show are available at for the following dates and times: Tuesday, January 17th - 7pm Thursday, January 19th - 7pm Saturday, January 21st - 11am Monday, January 23rd - 7pm Wednesday, January 25th - 7pm ***The date and time of the downlink are subject to change.***


Due to the NASA downlink scheduled for Thursday, January 26, District Collaboration Day has been moved to Wednesday, January 25. On Wednesday, January 25, students in grades 5-12 will begin at 9:40 am and students in grades K-4 will begin at 10:40 am. Students may be dropped off at school after 9:20 am (grades 5-12) and 10:20 am (grades K-4). All buses will run about 1 hour and 50 minutes later than the normal time.


Students put the needs of others first during holiday season

EAST ELEMENTARY Inspired by her role as a “wish granter” for MakeA-Wish, Natalie Leddy found a fun, simple way for her third grade students at Jenks East Elementary to give back and make a difference during the holiday season. Each year, Macy’s donates one dollar to MakeA-Wish for every letter written to Santa Claus, but on one particular day in December, Macy’s bumps the amount to two dollars per letter. Mrs. Leddy and her students as well as students from three other JEE classrooms – Mrs. McFarlin, Ms. Wuellner, and Ms. Vanstraten – got to work putting pencil to paper and asked Santa for items which could be donated to kids and families in need. “My students loved the idea of helping other children get their Christmas wish just by writing a letter to Santa,” said Leddy. “We talked about the difference between wants and needs, and it was really neat to see my kids put others before themselves. We discussed the importance of giving back to our community and helping each other out whenever possible.”


Throughout the fall semester, Lynette Miller’s students at Jenks West Intermediate have been selling snacks and soup to teachers and staff members. Some of the proceeds helped fund a field trip, but the students voted to give a large portion of the money to the Jenks Food Bank to help their neighbors in need. On Monday, December 19, Miller and her students presented a check for $150.00 to Jenks Food Bank board member, Evelyn Williamson Thank you to all students and teachers who participated in fundraisers, clothing drives, gift exchanges, or any other charitable activity during this holiday season!

TROJAN TITLES! The Jenks Pom squads enjoyed a wildly successful weekend at the OSDTDA State Dance Competition in Oklahoma City! Jenks Varsity Pom was crowned 6A-1 State Champions and named Academic Award winners. The 9th grade squad earned a State Championship, while Jenks Middle School Pom not only took home a State Title, but was also selected for an Outstanding Showmanship Award. Jenks Junior Varsity recorded a 2nd place finish. Congrats to all Jenks Pom members, coaches, and sponsors!

MOST VALUABLE COACH Tune into ESPN at 12pm CST on New Year’s Day to see Jenks Football Coach Allan Trimble honored at halftime of the Under Armour All-America Game. Coach Trimble was named one of the two winners of U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach competition after he received the highest number of votes in the country. For his selection, Coach Trimble earned $5,000 from U.S. Cellular to be donated to Jenks Public Schools.

Jenks West Elementary has been granted official designation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Programme. West Elementary is the first elementary school in Oklahoma to offer the IB Primary Years Programme, and is now the largest elementary school in North, Central, or South America to receive the prestigious IB designation. “The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program gives us a transdisciplinary framework in which to organize the standards we teach,” said Suzanne Lair, Site Principal at West Elementary. “The framework allows our teachers and students to explore multiple content areas (i.e. math, science, language arts, social studies, the arts, etc.) in an integrated manner rather than learning about each

of these subjects in isolation. We are confidently preparing students for 21st century jobs while also giving students a strong platform to succeed and think beyond their own community.” The three-year IB application and authorization process was a shared effort among West Elementary teachers and administrators to implement and shift the learning approach to international-mindedness and inquiry across subject areas. WHITNEY DENTON – 3RD GRADE TEACHER “I think it is exciting to watch my students extend their thinking beyond themselves and become internationally-minded citizens. The knowledge and skills they will gain at West Elementary will prepare them for life at a global level.”

The IB Primary Years Programme, aimed at students ages 3-12, and the goal of West Elementary as an IB World School, is to develop lifelong learners through integrated experiences and authentic assessments. West Elementary students are working to create a better world through caring, action, and global understanding.

Each year, as students grow older and progress through West Elementary, they experience the same themes with different concepts and growing levels of sophistication. Students learn to think globally as they examine big ideas such as how to express themselves, how to organize themselves, and what it means to share the planet.

TARA HAIRRELL – PREK TEACHER “The Primary “To achieve distinction as “Becoming an IB World School with the Primary Years Years Programme an IB World School is a Programme means our young students are reaping the has allowed us to remarkable accomplishment benefits of attending an inquiry-based school where we push ourselves for the teachers, teach and support our students to take responsibility for as teachers and administrators, and students their own learning. As a teacher and a parent at West our students as of West Elementary,” stated Elementary, I am proud to be a part of something that is learners,” remarked Dr. Stacey Butterfield, creating better citizens for the future.” Suzanne Cyrus, a Superintendent of Jenks Physical Education Public Schools. “Everyone teacher at West at West Elementary should Elementary. “I know my international-mindedness be commended for their tireless efforts and years has increased and it is refreshing to watch our of hard work to earn this kind of recognition for students grow in their awareness of global issues. I their school. Now, and years into the future, West am very proud to be associated with the IB Primary Elementary students will benefit from the Primary Years Programme, and I feel it has given our school a Years Programme and will help fulfill Jenks Public tremendous statewide presence in what we offer for Schools’ mission of preparing learners for an everour students and families.” changing world.” As an IB World School, West Elementary places emphasis on collaboration within and outside the school. Examples of local and global partnerships include Junior Achievement, Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Tulsa Children’s Museum, Global Read Aloud, West Elementary PTAG, and Grace Living Center.

Moving forward, International Baccalaureate representatives will provide refinements and recommendations for the Primary Years Programme, and West Elementary will undergo the next evaluation in 2020, and every five years thereafter.

SUSAN AMBURGEY MUSIC TEACHER “Through music, students can make connections with all of the transdisciplinary themes and concepts emphasized in the Primary Years Programme. I have been able to apply these themes into a music program at every grade level, and I intend to reinforce the IB vocabulary into my lessons.”

What does STEM Learning really look like at Jenks Public Schools? It is students inventing, innovating, problem solving, and discovering. It is all grade levels and multiple subject areas. It is learning while smiling and equipping students for a changing job market. STEM Learning creates opportunities through more example of how Jenks Public Schools’ students are able to meet the challenges of a changing world. Watch the video below or visit for more information.

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CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Construction projects taking shape across District HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM/CLASSROOM PROJECT • • • •

Remodel classroom and weight room on west side of football stadium Updates include paint, windows, brick, and mechanical systems Increase meeting space and media accessibility Scheduled completion: Summer 2017


• New building for Jenks FFA includes 26 stalls for livestock, office, storage, and animal washing area • Scheduled completion: January 2017


• WATCH: Video shows current construction progress along with renderings of completed classroom, cafeteria, gymnasium, etc. • Scheduled completion: Summer 2017


New parking lot improvements completed at beginning of school year Classroom additions STEM Learning Lab Band, Vocal Music, and Gymnasium expansions Scheduled completion: August 2017


New Central Campus Dining Hall Includes outdoor seating, standing café tables, and bench seating Design allows for multi-purpose events Seating for over 1,300 students Scheduled completion: July 2017




From left to right: Dina McClellan (SE), Cindy Schultz (AC), Elizabeth Hutto (FA), Kirstin Fishback (EI), Moriah Widener (WI), Susan Hildebrand (EE), Kristin Ruff (WE), Victoria Vargas (MS), Shala Marshall (HS)




Hometown: Poway, CA

Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Hometown: Lansing, Michigan

Southeast Elementary 4th Grade Teacher

Years in education (total): 18

Jenks East Elementary Title I Math Specialist

Years in education (total): 28

Years at Jenks: 9

Years at Jenks: 25

“When I run into a former student or find a surprise note on my computer from a former student who drops by to see me, those moments mean so much to me. I love reconnecting with my students to hear how they are doing, learn about their plans for college, and to see how excited they are that I still remember them. All of my students know they’ll always be “my kids” and they have a cheerleader rooting for them. I always felt this type of love and support from my own elementary teachers, so it fills my heart with joy to be able to share that with my own students too.”

“The first day I met one of my students named Carlos, he told me right up front that he hated math and he wasn’t any good at it. As we used a project based-approach using real world contexts, Carlos began to participate in solving the problem and explaining his thinking. Then, one day Carlos left two notes for me, ‘Math Rocks!’ and ‘I love math!’ Wow, what a mathematical mindset change! That was when I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. That was one of the biggest “heart-tugs” I ever received!”

Freshman Academy Mathematics and STEM Instructor Years in education (total): 4 Years at Jenks: 4 “I look at the student’s future while teaching. The thought of the opportunities and challenges that await them is what motivates me to be the best I can be.”


Jenks East Intermediate Special Education Teacher and Site Special Education Coordinator Hometown: Tulsa, OK Years in education (total): 20 Years at Jenks: 11 “The administrators and staff at JEI celebrate each other’s successes and they are supportive of each other when a staff member experiences hardship. This sense of community is powerful and I love knowing that I have a network of support at JEI that is unwavering. I also love how all students are celebrated at our site and no student or classroom is an island. There is a strong desire at JEI to make sure that the gifts of each student is fostered and encouraged.“



Hometown: Bartlesville, OK

Hometown: Stillwater, OK

Jenks West Intermediate 5th Grade Math/Science Teacher Years in education (total): 10 Years at Jenks: 5 “Simply put, I love working with children. Watching a student solve a complex math problem or work through a barrier that had previously kept them from understanding a topic is like watching a miracle for me. Seeing learning in action gives me such joy, such excitement. Children want to learn, they crave challenge and I love being the person who figures out how to provide them with the instruction that is going to help them become autonomous problem solvers with a rich variety of tools and resources for when they get stuck.”



Hometown: Guymon, OK

Hometown: Ketchum, OK

Jenks Middle School 7th & 8th ELD Literacy and Study Skills Years in education (total): 7 Years at Jenks: 7 “When my grandmother died, I was gone to attend her funeral and my students all wrote me the sweetest notes. When I returned, I showed pictures of her and told stories about her which soon became a class discussion about everyone’s grandmother. We had a fantastic discussion! Toward the end of the class, one of my students looked at me with the most sincere, heartfelt look of compassion and said, ‘Ms. V, I’m so sorry your grandmother kicked the bucket.’ I thanked him for his sweet words. Next, I explained the proper use of that specific idiom, and then we all laughed and laughed. Seriously, I love what I do.”

Jenks High School Spanish Teacher

Years in education (total): 16 Years at Jenks: 16 It is a true honor and privilege to represent Jenks High School as their site Teacher of the Year. There are so many incredibly deserving teachers at JHS that I’m humbled to be considered representative of such a community of highly dedicated and tremendously successful educators. I don’t know that I deserve the honor, but I try my best each day to mirror the commitment and dedication of my outstanding colleagues who are equally as deserving of this honor and recognition.

Alternative Center School Counselor

Years in education (total): 16 Years at Jenks: 4 “My inspiration and motivation comes from the change and growth I see in our students on a daily basis! Many of our students have never felt success in school; almost all of them find that here. I see students begin school with heads down, little communication, very low expectations for themselves, for us, and even lower expectations for their future. And then the change comes, they walk with head held high, they begin to talk in class and ask for help, they pass their classes with better grades than they’ve ever made, they begin to believe in themselves and the future that is ahead of them. Witnessing the change in them is what gets me out of bed every morning. I know I am meant to be here doing this, it’s truly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life!”


Jenks West Elementary 1st Grade Teacher Hometown: Tulsa, OK Years in education (total): 14 Years at Jenks: 13 “I absolutely love when a 1st grader discovers a book that they just can’t put down. One of my very favorite moments is sharing my passion for reading with my students. I love when we finish reading a book together and the whole class in unison claps, or groans, or gasps, or grins, or even says read it again! That just makes my heart so happy.”

Trojan Torch Your School. Your Story.

AN EXPERIMENT IN KINDNESS By Braden Wright It is a common and unfortunate misconception that the only true promise of today is the sunrise of tomorrow. In rebuttal, there are some students and teachers who refuse to take this as their only hope, and instead aspire to create their own. Mrs. Workun’s AP classes were recently assigned a project she calls the Body Human Project. Here, students explore the effect mass amounts of kindness have on the student body. “The University of Kansas Health Center conducted a massive study in which they looked at the kind of reciprocity of how healthy human bodies exist in communities, and how healthy communities make healthy human beings,” says Workun. “So with that in mind I created the Body Human Project.” As part of this assignment, students were challenged to recognize every community they were apart of, and to try and have some sort of significant impact on it. These communities ranged from Mrs. Workun’s fourth hour class to their own friend groups. “So the challenge for students was to positively impact a community of their choice,” says Workun. “And we talked about how our students are members of multiple communities. How our fourth hour AP class is a community. Jenks High School is a community. Jenks, Oklahoma is even a community.”

The students only guidelines: do what you can, and do what will improve someone else’s life. “They [had] the freedom to go as big or as small as they wanted to, and I reminded them that for those who were intimidated by students who were maybe going a little bit larger in scale, I told them that even the smallest things can have a large impact,” says Workun. One of her students, junior Emily Kymes, took this opportunity as a chance to not only make her mark on her peers, but also on the faculty and protectors of JHS. “I made it so that it was long enough to cover a whiteboard, and on [a piece of] butcher paper I put brown paper bags where people could write encouraging notes to people who probably don’t get that much encouragement,” says Kymes. “We had a bag for teachers, we had a bag for custodians and campus police officers, and for police officers.” Along with these letters of encouragement, there was also a series of papers asking others to pass on the act of kindness. “There were twelve envelopes on that whole board and in each of these envelopes there was an encouragement from me to whoever picked up the envelope, and there was an act of kindness for them to go do,” says Kymes. To her, the goal was to take something as simple as butcher paper and a pen,

and use them to have a last impact on others. “I was hoping for people to perform acts of kindness and feel those emotions and for it to stop being something you were doing yourself and to be something you are doing for someone else,” says Kymes. Another junior, Lexi Stalling, found a creative way to brighten people’s mornings: handing out sunflowers. “I love sunflowers and I love the color yellow, and I was thinking ‘what would make me happy?’ and if someone gave me a sunflower it would really make my day a lot brighter,” says Stalling. For each of the 45 Trojanaires, Stalling created handmade, personal letters, attaching them to either a flower for the girls or candy for the boys. “I was writing the notes focusing on other people’s strengths,” says Stalling. “So it was really good for me because I sat down in Starbucks and just was thinking about other people and their goodness.” These were only two of the numerous acts of kindness carried out by Mrs. Workun’s AP classes. But between the three class hours and nearly a hundred students, they all collectively achieved one goal. “And on a very human level, there were tremendous things happening,” says Workun.

Trojan Torch Your School. Your Story.

TROJAN WARHOLS Southeast Elementary

Ms. Harris’ class studied Andy Warhol and decided to practice the art of self-portraits. Students drew self-portraits, and transferred them to foam printing plates. In total, students printed their initial image three different times and then drew additional details into the foam plate. After removing part of the foam plate, students printed a second color of ink.

Our Schools | December 2016  

From our amazing Site Teachers of the Year to West Elementary being granted official designation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Worl...