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District News

There's always something exciting happening at Marietta Public Schools, and we want to help you stay informed and involved. We will update this page regularly with important district announcements and news. Please check back often!

Board Accepts Bid, Resignations, and Hires New Staff

At Marietta’s regularly scheduled meeting of the board of education on Monday night, May 6, the board considered several things. The first item for consideration was a presentation from Keystone Food Services representatives regarding a food service program.

“Although our cafeteria runs very efficiently we can see where a food service program could be beneficial to us, especially considering they take over most of the ever-changing and often overwhelming paperwork that goes with nutritional and financial coding required by the state and federal governments,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor.

Naylor did stress that because of the cost of the program, it would have to be put out for competitive bids if the decision is made to use a food service program.

Please take a moment to read the entire board article by Joani Hartin.

Marietta Public Schools Celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher holding an umbrella in a hallwayTo recognize the lasting contribution that teachers make to their students, National Teacher Appreciation Week is observed annually the first full week in May. In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week and to honor their teachers, the administrators, parents, and students at Marietta Public Schools planned activities for the week.

On Monday, teachers district wide received an umbrella printed with the school’s logo. “We think that we have a group of teachers to be proud of, and we want them to know how much we appreciate them. This is just a small gift to show our gratitude for their dedication and hard work,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor.

Please read Joani Harten's full National Teacher Appreciation Week article for additional details.

State Champs

Students stand on a podium with their awardSaturday, May 4 in Catoosa, Oklahoma was a good day to be a Marietta Indian. In May of 2018, Marietta High School’s boys track team ended a 37-year drought by winning the state championship. On Saturday, at the class 3A state meet, they did it again. And to make the day just a little sweeter, the girls team won third.

“We are so proud of our kids,” said Athletics Director Jared Messer. “They train hard all year, and it’s great to see that hard work pay off.”

On Friday, the meet had experienced a weather delay with some lightning and torrential rain in the area. Events were finally resumed, though rain stoppage was iffy at best. “The pouring rain was definitely not fun to run in, but I knew the weather was the same for everyone, so I just didn’t let myself think about it,” said Lady Indian Mandy Sykora. Saturday’s skies dawned sunny and blue. It was just that kind of day. A good day to be an Indian.

Please take a moment to read the entire State Champs article by Joani Hartin.

Congratulations to Trace Stewart

Stewart Signs with Naval AcademyStewart Signs with Naval Academy
by Public Information Officer Joani Hartin 

Thursday, April 18 at 9:00 a.m. marked the culmination of months of hard work for one Marietta High School senior. Trace Stewart, with family, friends, school personnel, and many other visitors in attendance, and with Bob Bates, liaison from the Naval Academy looking on, signed his letter of intent to attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

Please take a moment to read the entire article by Joani Hartin.

    Marietta Team Competes in Special Olympics
    Special olympic athlete throwing javelin

    The Marietta Special Olympics team, coached by Hope Willis, took to the field on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in Durant’s multi-sports complex for the Area Track and Field events.

    Members of the team competed in events from walks to runs to long jump to turbo jav and softball throw. All six of the athletes qualified to compete in the state games in Stillwater in May. Please read Joani Harten's full article for additional details.

    Marietta Track Meet Brings Talent from Far and Wide
    track official

    On Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12, 2019, Marietta Public Schools hosted their junior high and high school track meets. The meets, which have been off and on since the McClain era, attract schools from all over southern Oklahoma.

    Attending the junior high meet on Thursday were about 960 kids along with their coaches and parents from schools at Whitebead, Madill, Plainview, Elmore City-Pernell, Dickson, Lone Grove, Silo, Purcell, Grandview, Ardmore, and the hosting Marietta Indians.

    The junior high meet appears as organized chaos, with more emphasis on the chaos than the organized, but with eleven qualifying heats of seven runners each for the 100 meter dash and 38 qualifying heats of seven runners each for the 200 meter dash, that’s a lot to organize.

    Please read the track meet press release by Joani Harten for more information.

    New Staff Coming to Marietta Primary

    Marietta Primary Elementary will be welcoming some new staff members when school starts back in August. After losing longtime secretary Mary Jones to retirement, Primary Principal Ann Rutledge began the search to find her replacement. They chose Denise Balog.

    Balog has experience in the role, having served in the same position at Turner from 2010 to 2016. Balog and her husband Ronald, who works at WinStar, have a son, Marcus, who graduated from Turner in 2017. Balog insists that she loved her job and only resigned because she wanted to be free to enjoy her son’s senior year. Since then, she’s substituted at Turner. For more information, please read Joani Harten's full article.

    Weather Slows Bond Construction

    As part of a bond issue passed by the voters in Marietta’s school district, the concrete bleachers at McClain Stadium were removed near the end of 2018. Since then it seems that progress to replace them has been nonexistent.

     “Weather has been a factor, but we hope we’re about to see some progress,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor.

     Weather delays have caused the construction timeline to run into track season, which has in turn resulted in the need for the school to schedule work days around track meets scheduled for April 11, 12, and 16. 

    For more information, please read the press release by Joani Harten, public information officer.

    Online Schools Not a Magic Wand

    The use of technology in education isn’t exactly a new concept, but in recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of students who are leaving the traditional classroom and trading it for a virtual one. It’s a concern for Marietta Public Schools, who have some of their students leaving to give virtual schools a try. Supporters of online education believe that using public monies to fund virtual schools could transform the educational process by reducing the cost of traditional education while increasing accessibility. However, researchers have expressed concern about their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, among other things. Even as enrollment in virtual schools grows, evidence shows that their students do not perform at the same level as those in public schools. Oklahoma State Department of Education statistics showed that EPIC Charter Schools, the most popular virtual school in Oklahoma, graduated only 36 percent of their students compared to the 85 percent rate in Oklahoma’s traditional public schools.

    For more information, we invite you to read the entirety of Joani Hartin's story.

    Marietta Middle School’s STEM Program: Ahead of the Curve

    Chris Dobbins speak to studentsA recent 60 Minutes segment called “Cracking the Code” about the field of computer programming provided a basis for comparison to a local teacher, Chris Dobbins, who was featured in a previous Monitor “Teacher Feature.” Dobbins is something of a trailblazer, and not just in Love County. Dobbins teaches STEM classes at Marietta Middle School. STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, seeks to expose students to subjects considered necessary for school systems to turn out graduates who have a basic understanding of these areas considered vital to filling the large number of high-paying tech jobs in our economy. The 60 Minutes episode focused on the male-dominated computer-programming field, and particularly on the efforts of an organization called to close the gender gap. According to experts on the show, during middle school, girls often turn away from STEM fields. However, is trying to draw all students into computer coding by teaching programming to students across the country. Currently, 25 percent of all U.S. students have accounts on, which can also train teachers to teach computer science.

    For more information, we invite you to enjoy the rest of Joani Hartin’s story about the Marietta Middle Schools STEM program.

    Indians End Season Against Hugo

    The Marietta Indians opened play in the area tournament Thursday, February 28, against Kansas at Okemah, easily shooting the Comets down by a final score of 63-50.

    The Indians led from the first quarter and never let up, outscoring the Comets in every quarter.

    Trace Stewart had 22 points, Coleton Taylor had 17 points, and Zane Nutter had 11 points in the win.

    Thursday’s win sent the Indians to the second round of area on Friday, March 1, where they met the Hugo Buffaloes. The Buffaloes had defeated the Indians narrowly in regional play at Hugo just a few days before.

    The second meeting also ended with a loss for the Indians, this time by a wider margin, 64-50, ending Marietta’s successful season.

    Please read the entire article, by Joani Hartin, for more information.

    Marietta Locks Down After Call

    Last Wednesday, February 27, shortly after 2:30 p.m., Marietta Public Schools’ officials were notified by courthouse personnel of a phone call regarding the possibility that an unidentified high school student had a gun on campus.

    Administrators immediately notified the police, and school resource officer Brett Harris began to investigate the threat.

    “Because of the way the information came to us, we were not able to confirm nor deny the validity of the information,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor, “so we had no choice but to treat it as a serious threat.”

    By 2:40 p.m., the school was on lockdown and representatives from the Love County Sheriff’s Office and Marietta Police Department were beginning to arrive on campus.

    “The response from law officers in both time and manpower was overwhelming,” Naylor remarked, “and we are so grateful.”

    The situation was turned over to law enforcement officers, who devised a plan to mediate any possible threat. While some officers searched students’ backpacks in the high and middle schools, others were dispatched to the elementary to assist in dismissal of those students who are picked up by parents.

    For more information, please read the entire article written by Public Information Officer, Joani Hartin.

    Board Commends Harris, Approves Revised Construction Contract

    Resource Officer Brett Harris shakes hands with Superintendent Brandi NaylorAt the regular board of education meeting held Monday, March 4, the Marietta Board of Education commended the actions of School Resource Officer, Brett Harris, during last Wednesday’s lockdown.

    Citing his cool head and quick thinking during a potentially chaotic situation, and his care and concern for the safety of the students, Superintendent Brandi Naylor expressed the district’s appreciation for Harris’s service to the district.

    The board also heard a presentation from Sharon Dean, a representative from the K20 Center/OSSBA Associates. Dean has acted as a liaison for the district in the formation of their Continuous Strategic Improvement plan.

    The plan, formulated in phases with the input of the community, parents, and representatives from the school, needed the board’s approval to begin implementation of goals and objectives, which it received.

    Additionally, Naylor and the board recognized several community members and parents for their service on the project, including Dustin Scott, Ashly Martin, Kathy Frazier, Ann Rutledge, Judy Sanchez, Allen Woody, Dana McMillin, Carrie Tucker, Brett Harris, Sunni Bridgman, and Misty Kirk.

    Please read the full article, by Joani Hartin, for more information.

    Marietta’s Nutter Signs With OBU

    Zane Nutter with familyZane Nutter, multiple state medal winner in cross country and track, has signed his letter of intent to be a high jumper and decathlete at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.

    Nutter, the son of Quentin and Tonya Bucher and Jacob and Janette Nutter and grandson of Phil and the late Karen Daniel and Frank and Trisha Nutter, participated in several sports. However, cross country and track are where Nutter shines, particularly distance running.

    During high school, Nutter has been a part of a cross country team that has won three state championships and one runner-up title, as well as winning this year’s individual state title, among many other accolades.

    Although Nutter had offers from other colleges, including Pitt State in Pennsylvania, Tabor College in Kansas, Texas A&M-Commerce, UCO, OCU, and ORU, Nutter chose OBU.

    Please read the full article for more information.

    Latimer Signs Intent with SMU

    Dani Latimer with familyMarietta High School senior Dani Latimer will be attending Division 1 school Southern Methodist University in Dallas, competing in reining events as a member of the women’s equestrian team.

    Latimer, who starting riding with her dad as a baby, began competing in youth events when she was six years old and graduated to adult events at age 12.

    According to Latimer, most of the big shows for reining horses occur in the area between Oklahoma City and Houston, which is one of the reasons that SMU was attractive to her.

    For more information, read Joani Hartin's full article.

    Indians Beat Knights, Bulldogs – Kansas Comets Up Next!

    Men's Basketball team with coachesThursday, February 21 found the Indians, hot off a big win over Tishomingo in the district tournament, headed to Hugo to take on the Buffaloes at home in the first round of the regional tournament.

    Going into the game, Coach Jared Messer’s Indians knew that playing ninth-ranked Hugo on their home court would be a tough row to hoe.

    The Indians started off slow in the first quarter and were able to score only eight points to Hugo’s 12. Things started coming together in the second, and spurred by Trace Stewart’s three three-pointers, the Indians made up a little ground but still went into the locker room at halftime down 30-24.

    Read the full article by Joani Hartin for more information.

    Resource Officer Brings Enthusiasm and Experience to Position

    officer with studentsMarietta Public Schools has a new resource officer, but he is not new to the area or the profession. Brett Harris has been on the job just a few days, but he is already making an impact in his workplace.

    “Officer Harris has made a positive impact on the students as they are asking about him daily,” said Elementary Principal Dana McMillin. “You know you have made a difference when students are excited to see you!”

    Spend five minutes in a room with Harris and a bunch of kids and it is obvious they love him. He is a kid magnet. “I love working with the younger kids,” Harris said. “I like to be in their building to welcome them in the mornings. “I get lots of hugs, and this morning I even got a gift!”

    And if the kids love him, he and the grown ups he works with have a mutual admiration society of epic proportion.

    Check out the full article by Joani Hartin to learn more about Officer Harris.

    You’ve Got What in Your Backpack?

    dog on a couchGenerally, when one hears the word contraband they think of items smuggled into a jail or prison, but for our purposes, contraband is just having something that is somewhere it really should not be. For instance, you would not believe the things that elementary kids bring to school.

    You thought lockers and backpacks were just for books and pencils? Well think again, because according to their teachers, students sometimes use them to store things that are a little more exciting than school supplies, like weenie dog puppies. And yes, that really happened. 

    One teacher tells the story of a student who was found on the playground at recess collecting grasshoppers and crickets.

    For more on this story, please check out the full article by Joani Hartin.

    Board Approves Bidding on STEM/Administration Facility

    At Marietta Public Schools’ regularly scheduled meeting of the board of education on Monday, February 4, 2019, the board voted to begin the bidding process on a new facility which will house STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classrooms and administration offices. The building funds will pay for the facility. For more information, please read the entirety of the bidding process article by Joani Hartin.

    Indian Cross Country Runners Sign Letters of Intent

    On Wednesday, February 6, 2019, two members of the Marietta Indians State Championship Cross Country team signed letters of intent to pursue their sport in college. For more information, check out Joani Hartin's letters of intent article on Chase Waterhouse and Preston Whisenhunt.

    Cross Country team members sign letter of intent
    Indians Win Big at Tish Tourney

    Indians Win Big at Tish Tourney
    By Joani Hartin  - Public Information Officer 

    The 13th ranked Marietta Indians strung together three bin wins over the weekend to take top honors in the Tishomingo Tournament. On Thursday, January 24 the Indians faced the Pauls Valley Panthers in the first round of play. After four full quarters of close play, the score was tied at 46, forcing the contest into overtime. 

    Please take a moment to read the full article on the Indians.

    Teacher Feature: Shari Hallum

    Teacher working with her fourth grade students in groupsTeacher Feature: Shari Hallum
    by Joani Hartin - Public Information Officer 

    Veteran Marietta teacher Shari Hallum pretty much runs her classroom the way the experts say it should be done. The day I visited her, the fourth-grade science and math teacher had her twenty-something students divided into groups. 

    Please take a moment to read the full article on Shari Hallum.

      Middle School Receives K20 Grant

      Marietta Indains Committed to My Success K20 Gear UpMarietta Middle School has received a seven year K20 grant that will follow current 6th and 7th graders through high school. Gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs, better known as the GEAR UP program, is a federal grant program that is designed to increase college readiness and promote postsecondary success. The KSP Center’s GEAR UP grant partners public schools with colleges, communities, and business organizations. Their collaboration provides support services for students to ensure that they are prepared for college.

      Beginning in middle school, GEAR UP staff members work with students and follow them through high school. The program uses a multifaceted approach to promote career awareness and college readiness. GEAR UP also requires school administrators and teachers to participate in research-based professional development opportunities designed to strengthen educational opportunities.

      A grant kick-off assembly took place in the school’s auditorium for 6th and 7th graders on January 16. Students participated in several activities designed to create focus on college awareness. All students signed a banner signifying their vow to continue education after high school. They also wrote notes to themselves about what commitments they could make this year to be more college and career ready going forward. Middle School Principal Carrie Tucker and her staff are enthused about the ways the grant proceeds can be used to help their 6th and 7th grade students be prepared for postsecondary education and their professional lives after school. 

      A special thank you to Joani Hartin, public information officer, for this article.

      DeLane and Denise Sanders

      There’s no argument that DeLane and Denise Sanders have had a profound influence and lasting effect on many students. We invite you to learn more about them in this two-for-one teacher feature.

      DeLane Sanders teaching in the front of a class Denise Sanders teaching in the classroom
      Reduced to Rubble
      Bleachers being torn down by machinery

      The "historic" part of Marietta's McClain Stadium was torn down on Tuesday, January 9. The historic concrete bleachers had been condemned by an engineer during the 2017-18 school year. In July 2018, voters in the school district approved a bond issue that will replace the bleachers, as well as make other improvements to the school's sports facilities.

      Courtney Jackson Returns

      Whoever said that you can’t go home obviously didn’t know Courtney Jackson, daughter of Paul and Kim Jackson of Courtney. Jackson, a 2014 graduate of Marietta High School and 2018 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, has come back home to Marietta for her first teaching job. Jackson teaches fourth grade English/Language Arts. Ironically, the classroom where she’s now teaching is the same classroom where she learned as a fifth grader many years ago. She’s got a semester under her belt now, and she seems to be hitting her stride, but assures that it wasn’t always that way.

      Take a look at our full article by Joani Hartin for the rest of this great story!

      Ronnie Moore Invitational Tournament

      Marietta High School recently hosted the Ronnie Moore Invitational Tournament to honor the longtime school board member and Indian sports’ supporter. Held from December 27 through 29, the tournament brought to town teams and fans from Forestburg, Callisburg, Collinsville, and Wolfe City, Texas schools, as well as Healdton, Madill, and Springer Schools. We invite you to check out the remainder of the Ronnie Moore Invitational Tournament article by the public information officer, Joani Hartin. 

        Marietta High School basketball player jumping up to make a shot during a game
        What to do When You Have a Problem with your Child’s Teacher

        In a perfect world, parents would never need to have uncomfortable conversations with their child’s teacher. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.

        For many parents, approaching their child’s teacher to discuss a concern is intimidating. Others think that talking to the teacher is a waste of time and want to go straight to the principal. But to get the best results, there are steps that parents should follow. The good news is that most parents never have go through all of them to get a problem solved. Please take a moment to read the rest of our article on communicating with your child’s teacher.

        Watching the Weather

        Watching the Weather – from the Roof of the Middle School?

        Marietta Public Schools can now claim something that not many area schools have – their very own weather station. The weather station, purchased from Davis Instruments, measures wind, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and precipitation, along with a handful of other things. It produces data with research-grade accuracy.

        The weather station was the brainchild of middle school teacher Chris Dobbins. Dobbins, who teaches STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes, wanted to use the station to incorporate weather data into classes and thought it would also give the entire community a valuable asset.

        We are so excited about the new weather station! Take a look at our full article for even more information.

        Mr. Dobbins using technology in the new weather stationMarietta Public Schools weather on a phone app
        Were You Ready for College?

        Preparing Students for Higher Education

        It’s customary for the public to hear about a school’s report card, which usually has much to say about how that school’s students are performing on standardized tests of some kind. That’s because standardized testing seems to be the name of the game as far as how the performance of schools is judged. But - and it’s a big, big but. Shouldn’t we also look at the job that schools are doing in terms of preparing students for life after they leave the halls of Marietta Public Schools? After all, couldn’t we argue that life is the biggest standardized test of them all?  

         Please take a moment to read our entire Were You Ready for College? article.

        Tourney is Back

        Marietta’s High School Basketball Tourney is Back
        Tournament renamed to honor Moore

        Many moons ago, Marietta High School sponsored a basketball tournament that was a pretty big deal. Then, they stopped. Athletic Director and Boys Basketball Coach Jared Messer isn’t sure why. To read the entire story, view our Tourney is Back article.

        Brain Building

        Middle School STEM Class Teaches Essential Skills, by Joani Hartin

        Chris Dobbins, middle school teacher and track coach, is a self-proclaimed science guy. This year, Marietta Middle School’s resident science guy is teaching a STEM class as an elective for a mix of sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students. 

        Please take a moment to read the rest of Joani Hartin’s Brain Building article.

        Teacher Feature: Josh Bazor

        Teaching Real Skills for Real Life

        There are some jobs that people just stumble onto. Some jobs, people kind of inherit. Other jobs are a calling. Teaching is that kind of job.

        Years ago, for Josh Bazor, Marietta Public School was his first interview and his first job offer, but teaching vocational agriculture was, and still is, his calling. 

        Please take a moment to read our entire article on Josh Bazor.