The Durant ISD Board of Education had a full agenda Thursday night as they reorganized the board and heard from the Durant Boys and Girls Club, who plans to occupy the vacant middle school building.
As the meeting began, Mr. Bart Granger was seated for Office No. 4 on the board. Once Granger was sworn into his position, the board elected a president and vice president.
Dan England was elected President of the board while Nate Morrison was elected to continue serving as vice president.
The board heard a report from the Boys and Girls Club of Durant director Jason Sands. He gave insight on what the club has been doing, how it has helped the community and how the community has helped the club.
Sands reviewed the core areas focused on at the club which include character and leadership, health and life skills, the arts (Cultural Enrichment), sports fitness and recreation and education.
Sands described how each area was focused, explaining that sports meant more than football and basketball but also other sports from different cultures such as Choctaw stick ball.
In the education field, he said the club strives to make learning fun instead of institutional so kids will want to be involved.
One aspect focused on in this area is summer learning loss. The club tries to prevent this by keeping children engaged in learning during the summer with fun learning tools.
He also gave examples of some of the accomplishments made by the club since its recent inception in Durant.
These accomplishments include an average daily attendance of more than 100 members during the school year and 120 during the summer.
The club has named its first youth of the year and had nominees speak to guests at the 2014 Crystal Ball fundraiser for the club. The students told guests what the club has done for them.
He also spoke about the partnerships formed by the club with parents, local businesses, Durant ISD and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
During the meeting, the board displayed the partnership between Durant ISD and the club when they agreed to sell the vacant middle school building to the club and partnering organization School of Critical Engagement.
The two organizations said they mean to work together to make the building a community building to benefit multiple generations in the area.
The east side of the building will become the new permanent home of the Boys and Girls Club of Durant.
With the daily attendance of the club noted, the board agreed more room was necessary than what the club currently has.
The School of Critical Engagement focuses more on adult and senior activities and will be providing a place for the Bryan County Seniors Center.
Boys and Girls Club President Kerri Walker said this partnership will not affect the safety of the children at the club.
She said the club’s portion of the building will be restricted and monitored.
“Our children will still be safe,” said Walker, adding that the children’s safety will remain the club’s top priority.
The board also approved an out of state overnight trip for HOSA students to attend the HOSA National Leadership Conference in Orlando Florida in June.
The board approved the hire of Hallie Hughes as Director of Secondary Education Curriculum on a one year contract for the 2014-2015 school year.
They also approved the employment of Amber Bullard as the Assistant Principal for the Durant High School for the 2014-2015 school year.
Summer Bridge Program Instructors were also named. English and Language instructors include Asia Willingham and Amanda Cresse.
Annie Cox will serve as Language Math instructor. LouAnne Lively will serve as Healthy Lifestyle Instructor. The program’s counselor will be Sara Carpenter.
The board also approved the two resignations of High School Marketing Education instructor Tascha Bond and Durant ISD Superintendent Jason Simeroth, who has been hired as superintendent of Yukon.
Simeroth’s resignation became official after the meeting and will be effective as of May 1.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 924-4388 ext. 116 or on Twitter @jbreger_news