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SOEA Named Outstanding Chapter

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 03/13/2018 Panhandle State’s SOEA Chapter recently attended Spring Convention. The group was recognized as the 2018 SOEA Outstanding Local Chapter. This marks the fifth time the chapter has earned the award since 2012. —Courtesy photoPanhandle State’s SOEA Chapter recently attended Spring Convention. The group was recognized as the 2018 SOEA Outstanding Local Chapter. This marks the fifth time the chapter has earned the award since 2012. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — The journey for students in the School of Education oftentimes takes them outside the classrooms on the campus of Oklahoma Panhandle State University and March 2-3, was just one of those very opportunities. 18 Panhandle State students, members of Panhandle State’s chapter of the Student Oklahoma Education Association (SOEA) and three faculty advisors traveled to Weatherford, Okla. for Outreach to Teach and the 2018 Spring Convention.

Outreach to Teach was March 2 at West Elementary in Weatherford. Each year, SOEA adopts a school to help renovate. The SOEA members from around the state gather to do various projects including such things as painting murals and classrooms, upgrading and installing playground equipment, planting flowers, and cleaning up the playground. This year, there were nine different project areas and all the participants worked hard to complete the projects in just one day. This marked Panhandle State SOEA’s 12th time to participate in the outreach project.

Panhandle State’s SOEA President Marcala Steckel said, “My favorite part of Outreach to Teach this year was getting serenaded by the students. First thing in the morning, all of the volunteers were called into the hallway, and the students sang to us and held up their signs of gratitude. It’s always a GREAT experience.”

SOEA Vice President Taryna Strydom added, “Everyone had a wonderful time at Outreach to Teach this semester! We were all able to work hard to help renovate the school and foster great friendships while we were there.”

The evening of Friday, March 2, SOEA members were invited to participate in the ‘Glow Prom’ held at SWOSU’s Pioneer Center. The prom is for the adult special needs population in the Weatherford area. Panhandle State’s SOEA members were on site to assist where assistance was needed.

The following day on March 3, SOEA members attended different sessions for professional development at Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Pioneer Center during the 2018 Spring Convention.

Panhandle State’s chapter was recognized during the convention as the 2018 SOEA Outstanding Local Chapter. Additionally, Panhandle State students who served as state officers for SOEA were recognized for their outstanding work and contributions as state officers. These students include Ely Esquivel-SOEA state president; Kathy Brooks-SOEA state secretary; Nancy Melendez-Trejo –SOEA state cultural ambassador.

Faculty advisors Jerry Mihelic, Jana Peterson, and Dr. Cheng-Hsien Wu attended the event and were extremely pleased with the Panhandle State group.

Mr. Mihelic said, “We are Panhandle Proud of the work our students do and the recognition of their work by being named the Outstanding Chapter of the Year out of 25 chapters across the state. This is the fifth time since 2012 our chapter has been recognized as Outstanding Chapter continuing the tradition of excellence at Panhandle State.”

Jana Peterson added, “It was a pleasure working beside these young men and women during the Outreach to Teach/Spring 2018 conference. Their energy and exuberance always revitalizes me and reminds me why I became a teacher.”

Dr. Cheng-Hsien Wu continued, “I am proud of our SOEA members who have a can-do attitude, plus a will-do attitude as they participated in the outreach to teach event. They actively sought opportunities to take on the most demanding and difficult tasks and focused on what can be done, rather than on what can’t be done. Their contribution on the projects definitely has a positive impact on the students’ learning environment at West Elementary school. Their thirst for knowledge and eager for professional growth at the conference reflect the great teacher dispositions. I had lots of fun with them and know they will be the bright stars in the teaching community.”

Students attending the conference include Marcala Steckel; Taryna Strydom; Lizet Gutierrez; Sarah Atha; Ely Esquivel; Kathy Brooks; Nancy Melendez-Trejo; Dominique De La Rosa; Casie Faye Campbell; Mariah Morigeau; Luis, Morales; David Peebles; Christy Oldham; Sarah Sagebiel; Hannah Hattabaugh; Yesenia Vera; Ashley Price; and Emily Price.

We Are Panhandle We Are Panhandle!

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