The Duncan Banner
Before Mike Toone left his position as Duncan Middle School principal, he had nothing but positive things to say about the incoming principal, Dewey Ivey. And Ivey had his own positive things to say about Toone, the middle school and education in Duncan.
Ivey has assumed the role as Duncan Middle School principal. Toone resigned to become principal of the Oklahoma Christian Middle School in Edmond. Ivey will be working closely with middle school assistant principals Carol Bowles and Rodney Strutton.
Strutton, who was hired by the Duncan Board of Education on June 4, joined the team following Tom Brack’s retirement as the end of the 2012-13 school year.
“I’m excited to be in Duncan,” Ivey said. “I grew up here.”
When he completed college, Ivey followed his dream of working in youth ministry, which he did for 10 years. But as things progressed, he found himself interested in public education because it presented him with an opportunity to work with more youths.
Once he obtained his teaching certification, he spent three years teaching in Stillwater. He also spent 12 years at Empire School and four years in Duncan. As he interviewed with Toone for a position at the Duncan Middle School, he admitted to being interested in Toone’s job.
“In the 12 years I was at Empire, I got my master’s degree in school administration,” Ivey said.
Following his stint in Duncan, Ivey got his chance to get into administration.
For two years, he has been the principal for kindergarten through 12th-grade in Temple. It’s his experience as a principal and his time spent at the Duncan Middle School that helped him best prepare to take on the administrative position at the middle school.
He’s also gotten help and support from the middle school staff.
“There is a really good staff at the middle school,” Ivey said. “Everybody works well together.”
And he’s reassured with his assistant principals, knowing they’re both team players and have long-standing relationships with Duncan Public Schools.
But with every change in a career comes personal and professional goals. Ivey said he wants to do the best job he can for Duncan Public Schools, the students and the middle school teachers.
“I prefer middle school students,” Ivey said about the age he enjoys teaching.
“You can make a difference in their lives. I still have that mission/ministry idea. I want them to be good citizens. You can make a difference. You can make kids realize education is important.
“Education is an equalizer. No matter what their home life is like, they can get good grades and get scholarships to go to college.”
Among his goals is for the Duncan Middle School to increase its use of technology in the classrooms. Ivey said he’d like to see every classroom have SmartBoards, especially since this is the direction many school districts are heading. And many of the middle school classrooms do have SmartBoards in use.
He would also like to see test scores improve. And he wants to work toward a smooth transition from PASS Objectives to Common Core. But most of all, he’d like to see the student success.
“It makes me feel good when they come back and are successful,” Ivey said. “We’ve got some of the best students, best teachers. I want Duncan to get that recognition.”