The Edmond Sun

April 10, 2013

Edmond Public Schools equal ‘A to the 5th’

District recognizes excellence in student, teacher performance

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Borrowing a phrase the Edmond Memorial principal said about her school during the 17th annual Edmond Public Schools Foundation Celebration of Excellence Tuesday, Edmond Public Schools equal A to the fifth.

Debbie Bendick was talking about her school and its outstanding performance in the areas of academics, the arts (visual and performing), athletics, activities and altruism. She mentioned how all three schools were outstanding in those five areas and how the students in each of the schools had been high achievers.

Peter Markes, Edmond North High School’s orchestra teacher, was named Edmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He was chosen from a field of 24 teachers selected by their faculty to represent each of their schools.

Markes was unable to attend the celebration because he currently is performing with a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs-sponsored 35-day world tour with the American Voices’ American Music Abroad 2013 program. He is performing with Horseshoe Road, a trio composed of Markes, the University of Central Oklahoma Ambassador in Residence Kyle Dillingham and Brent Saulsbury.

Jill Castilla, representing Citizens Bank, presented a check for $1,000 that will go to Markes.

Awards given throughout the evening showed the Edmond community that the three high schools — Memorial, North and Santa Fe — and Boulevard Academy are full of excellence in both student and teacher performances.

One teacher was recognized for receiving her National Board Certified Teacher certification this year bringing Edmond’s total of NBCT to 143 teachers.

The district recognized 15 National Merit Finalists and five Academic All-State students.

Memorial had nine National Merit Finalists and two Academic All-State students. North had one National Merit Finalist and one Academic All-State student. Santa Fe had five National Merit Finalists and two Academic All-State students.  

Memorial had 39 valedictorians with a 4.0 or higher grade point average and 34 of them took five or more AP classes.

North had 36 Valedictorians with a 4.0 or higher grade point average and 28 of them took five or more AP classes.

Santa Fe had 23 Valedictorians with a 4.0 or higher grade point average and 19 of them took five or more AP classes.

Salutatorians in Edmond have all “A’s” with the exception of one “B.” Memorial has 13 salutatorians; North has 15 salutatorians; and Santa Fe has three salutatorians.

Other indicators of excellence in the Edmond Public School District included the EPS District ACT Composite of 23.5. It ranks higher than the national average of 21.1 and the state average of 20.7.

EPS has 16 National Merit Semifinalists and 22 Commended Scholars.

EPS graduates’ rates of mandatory remediation upon entering Oklahoma colleges and universities is 18 percent with the lowest individual high school’s rate 14 percent and the state average 40.8 percent.

EPS Advanced Placement passing scores total 2,210 and National Blue Ribbon schools total 10. Seven administrators are nationally distinguished.

Bob Ault, executive director of the Edmond Public Schools Foundation, introduced the foundation’s board of directors and the 2012-13 Platinum Level sponsors including Kirkpatrick Bank, the OU Medical Center Edmond and Citizens Bank of Edmond.

Ault told the audience the foundation has raised more than $1.3 million for the district’s teachers and schools.

“In the last four months the foundation members have raised more money than they raised in the previous year,” Ault said, “but we still need to raise more.”    

Bryan Evans, president of the EPS Foundation and state Sen. Clark Jolley gave opening comments.

Evans said foundation members host golf tournaments, movie nights and the yearly auction as part of the ways they raise money to be used in the district.

In addition the organization thrives because of the donors and sponsors and contributors who give.

“The trustees lead the fundraising and distribution,” Evans said. “Citizens Bank was the largest donor for the 2012-13 school year.”

Castillo told the audience, “This event shows the enthusiasm this community has for Edmond schools. Citizens Bank has been in Edmond for 112 years and we want to lead the way for education. Citizens is a community bank and a small business lifting the citizens and community up. We want to make a difference in Edmond.”

Jolley told the audience the Edmond Public School System is the growth engine that brings jobs to Edmond, and the Edmond Public School system is the main reason Edmond is blessed with growth.