The Norman Transcript


September 28, 2012

Stillwater principal tries to engender normalcy

STILLWATER — Principal Trent Swanson said he felt a special need to attend Thursday night’s junior high game against Ponca City. The game was one day  after a Stillwater Junior High School student died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot in a school hallway.

“It is absolutely very important for the students to see me and the teachers at the games,” said Swanson. “That’s a big part of building relationships with the kids.”

Swanson told his staff Thursday that administrators, teachers and staff need to focus on getting back to a sense of normalcy after the shocking death of 13-year-old eighth-grader Cade Poulos.

Funeral services for Poulos has been set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Life Church in Stillwater. Funeral service directors indicated Thursday that seating capacity of the church could be an issue with the high number of people expected to attend the service.

Kellee Brown, the school district’s public information officer, said crisis counselors talked to approximately 200 students on Thursday.

Counselors will be at the junior high school until it is determined that their presence is no longer needed, she said.

Students, Swanson said, were allowed to visit the school library at any time during the day to sign banners for Poulos and the family. Students also were allowed to visit vacant classrooms where they could meet individually with counselors.

On Friday, Swanson said students would only be allowed to go to the library to sign a banner before school, during lunch and after school.

“We are trying to ease our way back into a normal schedule,” he said.

Three junior high students organized a school fundraiser for the Poulos family, Swanson said. Students collected small amounts of money in a decorated white bucket during the lunch period. Whatever money collected will be given to the Poulos family.

“I thought that was really cool,” Swanson said.

Brown said in light of Wednesday’s events, “we’re all being extra cautious.”

On Thursday, at approximately 3:20 p.m., a Stillwater school bus driver reported seeing a white male, appearing to be junior high school age, carrying what the driver believed was a hand gun in his waist band as he was walking near Skyline Elementary School. Brown said the bus driver notified Matt Parsel, the district director of transportation, then called 911 to report the incident to police. Brown said the male walking on the street was not on school property and the bus driver was unable to identify him.

Stillwater Police Department Communications Supervisor William Bowen said officers saturated the area and found no one matching the description given by the bus driver.

School officials reported 698 of 767 students returned to class a day after the fatal shooting.

“This number speaks volumes regarding the trust that parents and students have regarding the safety of their children in Stillwater schools,” said school Superintendent Ann Caine.

A memorial fund has been established at Stillwater National Bank to help the Poulos family with expenses.

“We just want to help them out in any way to make this easier for them,” said Ruth Ann Sirbaugh, a family friend who set up the memorial fund. “They are a very loving family, very family-centered, and they are just devastated by this.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • honor_roll.jpg Local students make the grade

    Norman Public Schools has released the most recent honor rolls. Click a school to see if you know a student who made the grade.

    View honor rolls for Norman High School | Norman North High School
    Alcott Middle School | Irving Middle School | Longfellow Middle School | Whittier Middle School

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • More than 700 to receive clothing, school supplies

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Citizens Caring for Children will host a two-day Back-to-School shopping event for school-aged children in foster care living in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan and Pottawatomie counties....

    July 24, 2014

  • Program to fund classroom projects

    U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects across the nation, including Oklahoma, through its “Calling All Teachers” program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 toward educational materials for ...

    July 23, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Noble teacher is state finalist

    Local teacher Roger Clement has been named one of 12 finalists for the 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Clement teaches physical science, biology, chemistry and chemistry II at Noble ...

    July 17, 2014

  • MNTC board to consider purchases

    The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education will conduct a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. today on the Norman campus, 4701 12th Ave. NW, conference room A-200....

    July 17, 2014

  • Principals named for Norman North, Madison Elementary

    The Norman Board of Education announced tonight that it is hiring Dr. Peter Liesenfeld as principal of Norman North High School and Annette Williams as principal of Madison Elementary....

    July 16, 2014

  • Three more local students named National Merit Scholarship winners

    On Monday, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 1,600 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Three area students were named National Merit Scholarship ...

    July 15, 2014