The Norman Transcript

February 11, 2010

Larsen says goodbye to district

By Peggy Laizure

Susie Pierce asked school board members to call an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss insurance and restoration fees on the fire at Southmoore High School.

She said about 20 auditorium seats were damaged by the fire and many others received smoke and water damage.

The special meeting will be 5 p.m. Wednesday in the school administration building.

School board member Walt Larsen sitting in for the last time in 15 years said goodbye and was presented with a plaque which had a clock.

Larsen highlighted the three things he said he would always remember, one from the beginning of his term, the middle and the latter part.

The first night he was sworn in was the night to elect officers of the board. He was nominated for president and for once in his life he was at a lost for words. The board member who nominated Larsen said he was replacing the president so he should be the president.

May 3, 1999, was a date he would always remember, Larsen said.

"Every teacher, every teacher's assistant, janitor, secretary, pulled together like a shining beam," he said.

Wayland Bonds, Jeff Horn were involved in the recovery he said and the speed, efficiency and quality will always stay with him.

The third thing he said he will always remember was the time a female had applied for the athletic coordinator position.

Larsen thanked the school district for the support he has received the last 15 years and said he was leaving the board in steady hands "full of wisdom" and they would do a fine job.

Snow days will be made up April 19, which already was a snow day and the other three days will be added to the end of the school year.

Pierce said this would still allow school to be dismissed by Memorial Day.

The board also adopted a resolution authorizing Geary Securities to sell a portion of the school district's bonds approved by the voters March 4, 2008.

In other business, the board:

· Approved training and materials to Laying the Foundation Inc. for 60 secondary math teachers paid by Title II funds:

· Approved an agreement with Cox Business for Internet and phone service;

· Approved the expenditure of $30,500 from professional development funds for 61 staff members to attend the 2010 Great Expectations Summer Institute.

· Approved the expenditure of Title I ARRA funds to purchase 10 SMART classrooms, four SMART document cameras, two SMART LCD projectors; and a SMART RGB distribution amplifier at Kingsgate Elementary School at a total cost of $36,290.10;

· Approved the expenditure of $16,277.50 of 2008 bond funds to upgrade the SchoolWires Centricity education-based content management system for Web site management software district wide;

· Approved bids in the amount of $95,132 to Children's Specialties, Inc. for playground equipment for two new elementary schools;

· Approved a bid in the amount of $11,371.44 to Day Translations for the purchase of translation services.

· Expenditure of $13,494.00 from technology general funds for renewal of the yearly maintenance on Liebert equipment for battery backup and preventive maintenance for computer servers.

· Approved the Oklahoma PTA to use the Westmoore High School auditorium April 25 for the annual Reflections awards program;

· Approved travel to Dallas by Westmoore High School football team to attend a football clinic;

· Approved travel to Dallas by teachers, Melissa Schurman and Jennifer Trantham to make presentations at the Successmaker User Conference (all expenses will be paid by Pearson);

· Approved the Westmoore baseball team to participate in a tournament in Arlington, Texas;

· Approved Southmoore High School wrestling team to participate in a wrestling clinic at Calico Rock, Ark.;

· Approved the request of fifth-graders from Eastlake Elementary School, Red Oak Elementary School and Wayland Bonds Elementary School to Camp Classen, an overnight outdoor school academic program north of Ardmore;

· Approved the Westmoore High School boys basketball team to travel to Orlando, Fla., to participate in a basketball tournament;

The board tabled the naming of the two new elementary schools.