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December 17, 2013

City schools receive clean report

NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education reviewed NPS’ 2012-2013 audit report presented by Vanessa Dutton from Eide Bailly at a regular school board meeting Monday night. The end of the NPS fiscal year is June 30.

NPS Chief Financial Officer Brenda Burkett said most people dread yearly audits, but not NPS.

“We like to show off our good work and that we’re following state law,” Burkett said.

Dutton said NPS received an unqualified, or clean, opinion from Eide Bailly and that in the single audit report, four major programs had been tested and there had been no findings for two years in a row. The board voted and accepted the report.

Additionally, the board accepted the proposed 2015-2016 academic calendar for Norman Public Schools.

Dr. John Otto, a local veterinarian, presented information about the Dogs of Lexington program that brings students, therapy dogs and the state correctional program together. Otto told the board that 70 percent of all children whose parents are incarcerated become incarcerated themselves.

“I want to give children hope and break the cycles that exist within families,” Otto said.

Amber Bui, a counselor at Washington Elementary School, showed off Sunshine, a yellow lab that was trained by an inmate at Lexington Correctional Center before becoming Bui’s family pet and serving as a therapy dog in nursing homes and schools.

“The inmate said she was his sunshine on his rainy days,” Bui said.

Bui has taken Sunshine to Dimensions Academy, as well as other NPS schools like that of Reagan Elementary, which Bui and Sunshine visited after a Reagan Elementary student died this year.

Bui said seeing Reagan students smile after learning about their classmate’s death was what the program was all about.

The board also honored several students and teachers for their recent accomplishments. Those honored included William Long and Lucas Schuermann, 2013 Siemens Foundation Competition in math, science and technology semifinalists; Anna Bishop and Reid Roberts, Oklahoma Coaches Association, All State Cheer awardees; Norman High School Yearbook staff; Heather Howard, State of Oklahoma Yearbook Advisor of the Year; Mackenzie Gibson and Halla Tumberlinson, Poetry Out Loud Local Contest winner and runner-up; Grace Pantalone, Stephanie Penate and Mackenzie Spratt, Neustadt Scholar Individual awardees; Julie Klingensmith, 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teachings state finalist; and R.C. Davis-Undiano, executive director of the University of Oklahoma’s World Literature Today.

Katherine Parker


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