District News

  • Superintendent’s Update - May 17, 2023

    Posted by Uwe Gordon on 5/17/2023

    SPS Staff and Families,

    This might be a weird thing to start off my last 2022-2023 update with, but it’s important:

    • Summer Email and Google Drive Access

      • High school students (those completing 10th - 12th grade in May 2023) will maintain access over the summer.

        • Seniors, please review your accounts thoroughly, make copies of anything you want to save. Anywhere you’ve used your SPS email address (ACT account, colleges, etc.), please change that to a personal email address, because at the end of the summer you’ll lose access.

      • On Monday, May 22, all other accounts will have Gmail and Drive disabled, but maintain their Clever login with Google functionality. 

        • Summer academy students will maintain Gmail and Drive access during the June session.

        • If students have anything they want to access over the summer on their Drive, they need to download a copy.

    Thank you all for a great first year as your superintendent!

    “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
                        -Dr. Seuss

    What a year! State Championships, some back to back. Our FFA took home more national awards than any other STATE. The community passed Bond 2023. (THANK YOU!) Our musicians brought home so many superior ratings. Orchestra went to London. Visual artists won contests. Academic excellence abounded in so many areas. SJHS’s fledgling Robotics program excelled. We tried new things. Pep Band played at an OSU game. Our first downtown art show. Athletes broke school records. Students from PreK to 12th grade explored careers. They experienced world class performing artists at the McKnight Center (and I’d say, from their peers in the PAC). SPEF raised funds for so many teacher grants. And, once again, SHS had more OSSAA groups with the highest GPA than any other school; way to go: Volleyball, Football, Choir, Orchestra, Band, and Soccer!

    The children, parents, and teachers of this district work together to do amazing things in the areas or the Arts, Academics, and Athletics. Those are sections of our website, the things we value. What we do value, but don’t have in that menu bar,,is “Heart.”

    Heart is something these kids and this community excel at. SMAC raising more than $100,000 for charities each year. Lincoln Academy students volunteering at Turning Point Therapeutic Riding and helping Humane Society dogs get adopted. Moments of kindness, learning, and laughter between PreK children and the residents at Golden Oaks. Peers tutoring each other in the SHS Student Center. Assemblies cheering for veterans. Being silly to make someone smile. Clothing and food drives. Hugs during moments of mourning and fear. Pioneer Pathfinders growing their skills and spreading joy by selling their handcrafted items. Staff helping first time parents navigate PreK life. Raising funds to fight cancer. Volunteers cheering on athletes at Special Olympics. A community working to not only understand, but celebrate, each other’s cultures, differences, and individuality. I don’t think anyplace in the world does “Heart” as well as Stillwater.

    We’re incredibly proud of all the accolades we’ve acquired this year, those group honors and individual ones. We’re also incredibly proud of all the kids who didn’t win an award and those challenged to get the credits they need to graduate. A big thank you and hugs to the moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers, and foster parents who stuck by them as they survived the challenges of this school year. You all deserve a pat on the back. Kindness, creativity and tenacity often don’t get the recognition they deserve.


    What’s Next?

    • For Teachers and School Year Staff

      • To those of you retiring, or with a life path leading elsewhere, please know that we much appreciate your time with SPS supporting our Pioneers.

      • To those of you returning, enjoy a restful summer. We can’t wait to see you back this fall for our Back to School Rally on Aug 8.

      • I truly believe there is no career more noble than that of a public educator. Thank you. 


    • Summer Staff

      • Not everyone realizes that many of our staff work through the summer. Know that your hard work hiring, training, maintaining grounds and facilities, upgrading tech, ordering and sorting curricula, and prepping for the next school year is deeply appreciated.

      • I know the work never ends, but please be sure to find some time to take off and relax!

    • For Parents with returning Pioneers

      • Have an amazing summer with your kids! We’ve sure enjoyed our time with them.

      • Some kids struggle with the sudden change to summer. A structured day can help with that, along with maintaining contact with friends from school.

      • As you can, please keep the learning and fun going with trips to the library, SPS Book Bus, free summer meals, camps, trips, frequent conversations, exercise, family meals, time with friends, parks, splash pads, and playgrounds, documentaries, arts & crafts, music, lots of active outdoor time and less sedentary screen time.

      • 2023-2024 calendar available here. 

        • Elementary 

          • Enrollment verification - July 26

          • Meet the Teacher - Aug 8

        • Secondary Schedule pickup

          • SMS & SJHS - Aug 2

          • SHS

            • SRs - Aug 1

            • JRs - Aug 2

            • SOs - Aug 3

          • Lincoln - Aug 1

          • SPVA (6-12) - Aug 7

        • First Day of School - Aug 10

    • To Our Graduates (Families, I’d love it if you’d share this message with them)

      • More than 370 different journeys start after graduation. Each is unique and important to the world - brave soldiers, inquisitive academics, innovative tradespeople, nurturing parents, uplifting ministers, leading politicians, stellar engineers, compassionate doctors, emotive performers, inspiring teachers, and more. Some of you will attain doctorates, others skill certifications, and some will never take another class, but you’ll all keep learning.

      • You may not know your exact life path, and that’s okay. Your families and friends are still here to help you. The career services office at your college or trade school can help you explore not only what you’d be good at, but what you’d like doing. If you go straight into the workforce, find a mentor to help. Don’t be afraid to seek help finding a future that makes you happy.

      • The world may be scary at times, but it is a beautiful place. It is made better just by you being here, and… you have the power to make it even more amazing by your contributions. Be brave, but seek help when you need it. Be a hero when you can, and let others take care of you when needed.

      • Whether you started in our schools as Panthers, Rockets, Ridge Runners, Cubs, Eagles or Mustangs or came to us from elsewhere, I hope SPS teachers have inspired in you a passion for knowledge, an appreciation of the beauty of life, the pursuit of excellence and teamwork, and most importantly, the heart of a Pioneer.


    “Never Doubt That A Small Group Of Thoughtful Individuals Can Change The World.”
                      -Margaret Mead

    See ya later

    Around 2008 or 2009 when we were developing the new S and Pioneer logos, we held some focus groups with SHS and SJHS students. We asked them what it means to be a Pioneer and how they feel about school. The high schoolers mentioned they couldn’t wait to get out of there, while the junior high kids said they couldn’t wait to get in there. I commented that it was funny. “You can’t wait to get in, and you can’t wait to get out!”

    An eighth grader said that they had seen all the great things that high school kids get to do - sports, arts, events - and can’t wait to be a part of them.

    A senior said, “And we can’t wait to get out and experience the world you’ve taught us about.”

    I probably wouldn’t remember this moment if not for what that eighth grader said next.

    “And then we’ll come back here, because this is a great place to raise kids. Stillwater will always be home.”


    I love Stillwater, 

    Uwe Gordon
    Stillwater Public Schools

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  • May 12, 2023

    Posted by Uwe Gordon on 5/12/2023

    SPS Staff and Families,

    Thank you to the community for a great Teacher Appreciation Week. To PTOs and PTAs that poured love and generosity into our schools. To the numerous businesses that provided snacks. To the families that submitted kind and thoughtful messages. 


    Shoutout to the businesses like Smallcakes, Insomnia Cookies, and Chick-fil-A that gave out free items for teachers this week. And to Whataburger who provided free breakfasts and will be working with us to randomly select a teacher to receive a gift basket next week. 


    And a big thank you to the businesses that offer teacher discounts throughout the year, who we list at Stillwaterschools.com/staffdiscounts. (And please let us know if we’re missing your special offer for teachers/staff.)

    Special Olympics

    Next week, Stillwater hosts the Oklahoma Special Olympics Summer Games. This annual event brings nearly 3,000 olympians from across the state to our community. As you travel around next week, please be sure to make sure those athletes know why this is called America’s Friendliest College Town.


    If you’ve never had a chance to witness this powerful and uplifting event first hand, please consider volunteering. We just reached out and they could use some additional volunteers on Wednesday and Thursday (17th-18th). Learn more at https://www.sook.org/


    I’m wishing the BEST of luck to our 60 Pioneer Special Olympians!


    “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” - Special Olympics Athlete Oath



    3,418,740 minutes

    Education is a powerful force. Not only do those who complete their high school degree generally have greater income and more career paths open to them, studies show that they can expect to live six and a half years longer than a person who does not. 


    High school takes about 259,200 minutes of instructional time and adds more than thirteen times that to your life.


    Summer Hours & Holidays

    From the week of May 29 through July 28, the SPS Admin building will operate under summer hours. 

    • Office hours = Monday-Thursday from 8am to 4pm, Closed on Fridays
    • Employees will still be working the requisite 40 hours (at least) per week, but through modified schedules.

    • Holidays

      • Memorial Day (May 29) 

      • Juneteenth (June 19)

      • Independence Day (July 4)


    New Assistant Principal

    Welcome to Adam Eghadi, SJHS’s new Assistant Principal, starting this summer! Mr. Elghadi has served Broken Arrow public schools as a social studies teacher and, most recently, Dean of Student Services.


    Book Bus

    Maintaining literacy skills through reading during the summer is vital to learning. It helps build new neural pathways, increases knowledge, and is fun! 


    To help kids have access to engaging literature, the Book Bus is rolling out four days a week from May 22 - July 27 (minus Memorial Day, Juneteenth, and Independence Day). We’ll be at 13 roving locations, including OSU’s Thursday night Summer on the Plaza events. Find the full schedule at www.stillwaterschools.com/bookbus 


    Thank you to 4KidzSake.org for a $500 donation to the Book Bus. We appreciate the commitment to helping children.


    And if you can’t meet up with the Book Bus, or even if you can, be sure to visit the Stillwater Public Library http://library.stillwater.org/ for books and fun activities throughout the summer.

    $900,000 Grant

    WOW. Thanks to the efforts of Wellness, Trauma, and Emergency Response Coordinator Kira Frisby, SPS has received a 3-year grant with the potential for up to $300,000 per year. This Oklahoma Multi-Tiered System of Supports grant will focus on helping us address alcohol and marijuana abuse, psychological distress, and school climate. We’ll be sharing more about the impact of this grant in the coming months. Incredibly proud of and thankful for Ms. Frisby’s work on this.


    Of Note…


    • Good luck to all our State Track Tournament Qualifiers!
      Front Row L/R Ethan Forteh, Mez Barth, Keegan Thomas, Corbin Grant, Jackson Holland, Holden Thompson, Heston Thompson & Noah Roberts.

    Back Row L/R Addison Snider, Emaja Anderson, Sarah Wulfert, Ceazia McFadden, Anna Ford, Cash Herber, Lydia Dolezal, Zoey Phillips, Sydni Phillips & Gabija Pukstas

    • Congrats to Baseball on making it to the state tournament!

    • Congratulations to Boys Golf, Runners Up at the State Championship Tournament in Owasso.

    • Good luck to our Boys Tennis players at State!

      • Alex Dosev-#1 singles

      • Trace Irwin/Maddox Krueger-#1 doubles

      • Alex Kim/Misha Nash-#2 doubles

    • Congrats to the Senior class on receiving more than $5.1 million in scholarships. 

    • Richmond, Sangre Ridge, and Skyline were named Great Expectations Model Schools. This is Richmond’s 20th year in a row to receive the honor.

    • SHS Performing Arts students hold FOUR of the 50 nominations for the Tulsa Discovery Awards! Congrats to Katy Croft, Jacob Ebersole, Andi Reuter, and Conner Sigrist. The overall best male and female performer at the Discovery Awards will go on to represent Oklahoma in a Broadway Master Class in New York as part of the Jimmy Awards. Good luck Pioneers!


    Families, as we head into the final week, filled with moments like fifth grade graduations, the Senior walk, medicine pick ups, school parties, lost and found checks and locker clean outs (“I’ve been looking for that!”), and ultimately graduation, cherish every moment. As our Seniors’ parents will tell you, preK through twelfth grade… it ALL goes by too fast.


    Have a great last week of the 2022-2023 school year.


    I love Stillwater, 


    Uwe Gordon
    Stillwater Public Schools

    BE READY.            Turn Off + Turn In + Show Up = Success

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PR & Communications Coordinator

  • Barry Fuxa

    Barry Fuxa
    [email protected]

    Barry is responsible for SPS's News, Website, Communications, and Brand Management.