Dr. Tom Deighan meets with teachers

Dr. Tom Deighan (left) meets with a couple of Duncan Public Schools teachers during a break in the May Duncan Board of Education meeting where he was hired to be the new Superintendent of schools.

The new tenure of Duncan Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Deighan has officially started and he has completed his first full week which included his first School Board meeting Tuesday evening.

Deighan was officially hired in the May 14 Board of Education meeting and has spent part of his time since that meeting learning the community of Duncan and gathering information from former superintendent Melonie Hau.

Officially beginning his tenure as Duncan Public Schools Superintendent on July 1, Deighan gave his first full report to begin the meeting with some compliments on how the community has welcomed him.

“The thing I would like the Board to know is how welcoming and how pleasant every staff member and every community member has been,” Deighan said. “I don’t even know how to really explain it or describe it to you. There is a sense of community in Duncan and a calmness. I’m sure at some point the honeymoon will end, but right now I’m in the five day honeymoon period so I’m not even home from the trip yet.”

Deighan then went into business mode by asking the board to consider a July 24-25 special board meeting for a board workshop.

He said that an e-mail will be sent to the board members to confirm their schedules to check what date will be best and will be scheduled at a later time.

The second thing that Deighan presented to the board was a handout about the leadership framework that all administrators and principals are evaluated in at Duncan Public Schools.

He said that it comes down to three principles and Deighan said one of those was leadership matters, and the second was everything revolving around purposeful community.

“Coming in as a newbie and never having been in Duncan for any length of time, I want you to know that everything I have seen from community leaders, business leaders, teachers, staff and you (the board), you have the purposeful community in place,” Deighan said. “I want to congratulate and compliment the board, the community and the staff for having that in place. That is everything and nothing happens unless that is wrapped around the school district, teachers and the students.”

With the superintendent report completed, the board then heard the regular agenda items starting with a discussion about possible action of donating and granting the right of way to the city of Duncan in front of Horace Mann Elementary for the Duncan Heritage Trails Project.

Deighan told the board that the documents were not ready to be approved and said that the attorney for the school who is also the president of the project told him they are waiting for other agencies.

It was previously approved in an earlier meeting according to Deighan, but the Oklahoma Department of Transportation needed their documents in place so it will need to be approved again at a later time.

The board took no action and moved to approve item number six for the Math and Science Courses offered by Red River Technology Center for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

Next, the board went on to the action topics where Deighan reported on one of the items needing to be taken off a blanket approval of all items and voted on separately.

E4 listed as Duncan Total Roofing contract for roofing for the HS Arts Building Innovation Hub was what Deighan said needed to be talked about as there was a problem with the bid process.

During the bid process, Deighan said there was a concern and said an error occurred and on the advice of the school attorney the board shouldn’t act upon that agenda item.

Board Member Greg Neal asked if it would slow down the progress of getting it done before school year starts.

Deighan told him that he spoke with Len Lawson, director of maintenance for the district, and was assured that it won’t cause any “functional disruption” with everything in the inside still going on.

Once the question was answered, board member Eric Davis made the motion to pull E4 off the action topics and it was voted 5-0 to approve all of the items on the action topics.

Davis then made the motion that due to an error in publication all bids submitted be rejected and be re-bid at a later time according to law.

It was approved to reject the bids by a 5-0 vote and the board voted to go into executive session to talk about employment for several new positions.

The board voted on several agenda items with 5-0 votes to approve all of Schedule A on the agenda and then voted to appoint several other positions and titles to organize for the upcoming school year.

The meeting was adjourned by the board and the next official School Board Meeting will take place at 6 p.m. August 13 in the Administration Building located at 1706 W. Spruce Avenue in Duncan.