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Education

July 8, 2013

Central High receives education, technology grant

CENTRAL HIGH — Central High Schools received a $40,000 Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust grant to progress education through technology.

The school district was one of 18 districts in Oklahoma and the only one in Stephens County to receive the grant. Superintendent Bennie Newton said the grant funds will beneficial to helping students learn in the 21st Century.

“It’s exciting for the school district,” Newton said. “The last several years, we have been integrating more technology.”

With the grant, the school district plans to purchase 60 iPads, two iPad carts to sync the devices, hardware to run everything, a Macbook Pro, 60 carrying cases and a battery backup system.

Newton said to up the iPads in classrooms, teachers and administrators will undergo extensive professional development. He said there will be about 20 hours dedicated to staff development.

The school had 14 people who were involved in the grant writing process. Newton said the Central High principals LeAnn Johnson and Mark Perry, and he attended a three-day leadership seminar, which taught them how to work on such a grant.

The grant was submitted Feb. 6, and it wasn’t until spring that the school district found out it had received the OETT grant.

“We started brainstorming and preparing to write the grant last spring,” Newton said.

The 14 grant writers started having monthly meetings beginning in August 2012. Newton said there was a lot of work and many hours that went into the grant.

Among the grant writers were Newton, Johnson and Perry; school board member Larry Sallee; library media specialist Lynette McReynolds; teacher’s assistant Shayla Marita; teachers: Michele White, Brigit Menden and Kristin Whisenhunt; students: Kay Alsobrook, Christa Sparks and Jarrett Sparks; and parents Kim Clement and Darrell Blaine.

“It’s very rewarding,” Newton said. “The school has never received a grant like this before.”

He said the school district is eligible to write two more grants for technology. He said there are plans to write one for the high school and to write one for the elementary school.

“We’re planning to do it this upcoming school year,” Newton said. “We hope to be as successful on the next two.”

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