Board of Ed: Torkleson, DeMurray, Solace Church receive awards, CPHS to offer interior design

The Sand Springs Public Schools Board of Education met in a regular monthly meeting Monday evening at the Charles Page High School Fine Arts Building. 

Board President Rusty Gunn presented the Sandite Spirit Award to Solace Church, accepted by Missions Pastor Ryne Isaac. 

"I love the churches in our community and the partnership that we all share. When churches step up to the plate in helping our schools, it's really an incredible thing. Solace Church has stepped up in a huge way," said Rusty Gunn. According to Gunn, Solace has awarded more than $40,000 in grants to local schools. 

Board member Mike Mullins presented a Sandite Spirit Award to Melissa Torkleson with Champions. According to a statement by SSPS School Counselor Megan Elliott, Champions provides Christmas gifts to many students/families and continually provides clothing, hygiene items, etc. throughout the year. 

Angus Valley Elementary Principal Angelia Noel presented a surprise Pacesetter Award to Graciella DeMurray. A video compilation showed students and peers speaking of DeMurray's kindness, selflessness, and infectious smile. 

Superintendent Sherry Durkee gave a positive report on Daybreak Family Services who provides pro bono counseling to students. She also spoke of difficulties in recruiting new teachers, particularly in the science department. 

Tulsa Tech will be partnering with SSPS to provide an interior design program at Charles Page. The program will remodel two classrooms at the high school. "It hasn't been that difficult to get students interested in meaningful elective courses that provides them a passageway to what's out there beyond high school," said Durkee. 

Durkee addressed the need for a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) center. The district is preparing for an upcoming bond election and hopes to add new buildings at the CPHS campus. 

The district plans to partner with Community Care to provide counseling for employees at a total cost of about $5,000 per year. 

The Board approved an agreement with SRC Solutions Inc. for an online enrollment program. 

The Board approved an agreement with Safe and Civil Schools for two days of professional development in the amount of $12,400.

The Board approved an agreement with the Oklahoma State School Board Association to review the district's current policy manual at a cost of $1,000.

The Board approved $12,600 to purchase a residential lot adjacent to Garfield STEAM Academy. The lot currently has a dilapidated house that will need to be demolished, and the grounds will eventually provide paved parking. 

The Board approved a policy revision that will allow employees to accumulate unused sick leave and vacation days. The days will roll over annually and will be compensated at $10/day upon retirement or resignation.