**For Immediate Release**
Future Educators Give Back to Community
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-26-07
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Members of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Chapter of the Student Oklahoma Education Association (SOEA) spent hours on Friday evening and nearly all day Saturday working at Goodwell Public Schools repainting the gym and working on the playground. The project, entitled “Outreach to Teach: Destination Goodwell,” was funded in part by a $990 grant from the National Education Association, and OPSU was only one of three SOEA Chapters in Oklahoma to get the funds to be used to improve schools. Jerry Mihelic, an OPSU faculty member in the School of Education and the SOEA advisor, said that their particular grant application was successful due to their hard work in writing it. They cited how the district helped with the gym refurbishment because the Goodwell High School Shop Class built and set up new bleachers.
Including Jerry Mihelic, other SOEA members who worked on the project include Tracy Flanagan, Renea Mussman, who also enlisted the help of her son J. T., Lindsey Sims, Nicole Ramon, and Kelly Reid. Many Goodwell students and members of the Goodwell Booster Club and/or the local PTSO also worked including Beth Mihelic with children Nikolas, Caleb, and Hannah; Shelly Edenborough with help from Kenly, Shandy, and Cassidy; Robbie Smith; and Karen Stump and her son Frank. OPSU student Cody Graves volunteered to work, as did approximately 50 OPSU football players and assistant coaches.
Before any work could begin, SOEA members met with teachers and administrators of Goodwell Schools to discuss what work would be done and then the ideas were presented to the School Board. While the process took longer than anticipated, the results are amazing. The gym has taken on a brighter, cleaner look; the painted four square courts and basketball courts provide students with fun on the playground; and the brightly painted U.S. map is a cheerful addition to the playground. In order to paint the map, the group first had to lay out the stencil on Friday evening, no mean feat working in 30 mile-per-hour wind. Jerry Mihelic said it many of the football players worked to keep it in place for the three hours it took to complete the stenciling.
SOEA members would like to thank everyone who helped with the undertaking and especially Mr. Miller, Superintendent in Goodwell and the Junior Class; Wirtz Lumber for helping provide paint; Mid-First Bank for providing breakfast on Saturday morning, and 54 Gas ‘n Go for the pizza donation.