Dec 3, 2021
Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Academy Elementary in Guymon, Okla. have a long standing relationship that continues to benefit both schools with one of the key partnerships relating to employment.
Academy Principal Melissa Watson commented, “At Academy, 18 out of my 30 certified staff attended OPSU.”
Panhandle State graduate and current Academy Elementary teacher Stephanie Babb said, “OPSU was nothing but a blessing to me and my dad. My dad was a single parent sending me to college in 1992. He could not afford to send me to a college too far from home. OPSU was affordable, was more than willing to work with my dad with payments, and was close to Guymon. The small classroom settings allowed for me to get to know the professors and for the professors to know me. I wasn’t just a face in the crowd. I am thankful for OPSU. If not for them, I would not have gotten my teaching degree.”
Watson added, “It is very hard to find teachers across the state of Oklahoma. The partnership with OPSU is great because OPSU produces trained teachers that often come from this area which makes them hopefully want to stay in this area. Those teachers that grew up here can relate with the students we currently have because they were once students here as well.”
Also, Panhandle State students benefit from the numerous opportunities for observation hours.
Watson commented, “We are able to offer places for education majors to observe and learn about education. Every year, students in Teri Mora’s diversity class come to Academy to observe our ELL students. Even if these students are not education majors or choose a different career path, these observations enlighten them to what some students face when entering schools in America. I think it is terrific to expose OPSU students to what schools are currently experiencing because they will have a better understanding of the function of schools.”
Education Department Head Jerry Mihelic added, “Partnerships with our local schools are important for our community and our mission of excellence at Panhandle. Both our students and the local schools benefit when we work together. We are glad to provide quality teachers for our local public school students and to have quality experiences for our students provided by our local school personnel.”
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