SPS Staff Newsletter

Congratulations to our music educators!

added April 7, 2021

We are happy to announce that Stillwater Public Schools has been selected as a Best Community for Music Education for the fifth straight year! SPS is one of 686 districts from across the country and the ONLY district from the state of Oklahoma to receive this honor!

Thank you to the directors, students, parents, and community members who do such an incredible job participating in, promoting, and supporting our music programs!

Coming up...

added April 5, 2021

May 1 - School Principal Day

May 3-7 - Teacher Appreciation Week

May 7 - School Lunch Hero Day

National Assistant Principals Week

added April 5, 2021

It's National Assistant Principals Week! Thank you to each and every one of our Assistant Principals. We honor the significant impact you have on our students academically, mentally, and socially. We appreciate your many and unique contributions to Stillwater Public Schools.

Zacharias named SPS Teacher of the Year

April 6, 2021

(Stillwater, Oklahoma) Richmond Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Brenda Zacharias has been selected as the Stillwater Public Schools District Teacher of the Year.

A Stillwater High School graduate, Zacharias is in her 22nd year of teaching at Richmond. In addition to her current site, she also spent four years teaching for the district at Sangre Ridge Elementary School.


“Mrs. Zacharias has a unique ability to meet each student where they are and help them grow beyond what they could ever imagine in fifth grade," said Richmond Principal Kendra Rider. “She builds positive relationships with students and their families and makes a lasting impact on every student she teaches.”

The district announced the Teacher of the Year during a districtwide virtual ceremony on April 6, but Superintendent Marc Moore arrived in person to deliver the news.

“Mrs. Zacharias is a special kind of teacher - one who not only teaches the material well, but has great passion for her students’ success” said Moore. “She’s an outstanding example of the quality teaching occurring across the district, and is very deserving of this designation.”

Zacharias was selected from three finalists for the honor by a group of her peers. Other finalists were Skyline Elementary Second Grade Teacher Danielle Beavin and Stillwater Junior High School Special Education Teacher Marsha Nash.

“The value this community places on education, draws exceptional educators to Stillwater. That community support allows the district to continue to be graced by the presence of so many talented, dedicated teachers.” said Moore.

Other SPS school site Teachers of the Year are: Marill Myers at Highland Park, Jody Sallaska at Sangre Ridge, Michelle Schaecher at Will Rogers, Rebecca Palmatary at Westwood, Allison Taylor at Stillwater Middle School, Jody Webber at Stillwater High School, and Chad Hutcherson at Lincoln Academy.

Zacharias will go on to compete with teachers from across the state for the honor of being Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Vaccine Clinics

added March 30, 2021

SPS Staff,

Thank you to everyone that participated in and volunteered at our four vaccine clinics. Since February 12, these clinics delivered nearly 1,600 doses to our staff, their families, and community members.

At this time, we do not plan to schedule any additional clinics, as vaccines appear to now be widely available throughout the community. For the time being, we will continue to maintain a list of local vaccine opportunities of which we are aware at https://sites.google.com/stillwaterschools.com/backtoschool2020/health-safety-strategies/vaccines. The latest items listed there include Moderna vaccines (for those 18+) at Walmart Neighborhood Market and an abundance of Pfizer (for those 16+) vaccines today at the Expo Center.

As of yesterday, March 29, Oklahoma is now in Phase 4 of its vaccine plan, meaning anyone age 16 or older is eligible to receive the vaccine, so please encourage anyone you know that would like a vaccine to seek out these opportunities.

Employee Engagement Survey

added March 29, 2021

SPS has contracted with an external firm, Reliant, to host and administer the district's annual Employee Engagement Survey on its secured servers. You will receive an unique link invitation to complete the survey via your employee email address.

As a reminder, individual employee responses will remain completely confidential and anonymous. Only group-level results will be presented back to district administration.

The survey will remain open until 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, April 12.

Changes to LifeTouch Discount Program

added March 22, 2021

In order to receive your 50% discount on any student pictures you plan to order from Lifetouch this semester, you will need to pay for your child's pictures by writing "50% staff discount" on the envelope and enclosing your payment. They have discontinued the coupon codes.

File for Free and Get Help with 2020 Taxes

added March 16, 2021

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries to help disseminate information regarding the IRS-sponsored On-Line Taxes program, which allows free tax filing for middle- and lower-income citizens.

On-Line Taxes can now be accessed via most libraries in Oklahoma. Using this program, any taxpayer with an income of $72,000 or less can file their federal and state taxes free of charge. There is no age limit and the program also supports non-resident returns. Tax certified volunteers are also available to answer taxpayer questions.

ODL Free File Flyer.pdf

Ongoing Learning Opportunity

added March 12, 2021

The OSU Writing Project is now accepting applications for its 2021 Summer Institute. Teachers of all subjects and grade levels are invited to learn about the teaching of writing and develop their own skills as a writer.

Learn more and apply by April 1 http://okla.st/2PyLByt

Summer Institute

The Invitational Summer Institute is a professional development program where teachers of all subjects and grade levels, Pre-K to college, come together to explore best practices, write and respond to others’ writing and read and discuss current research. Participants return to their classrooms with a wealth of ideas generated by sharing strategies and activities for instruction and assessment with other dedicated educators, a renewed energy for teaching, a sense of confidence in their own writing abilities and a connection to a larger collegial group.

What to Expect

Teachers who attend the Summer Institute will:

  • Develop teaching strategies that fit their style and meet the needs of their students

  • Read and discuss research on the teaching of writing and how it may be applied to subjects across the curriculum

  • Work in groups and share writing

  • Present a demonstration

  • Develop professional leadership roles as researchers, practitioners, writers and in-service providers


Teachers who attend the Summer Institute:

  • Receive graduate credit

  • Earn professional development points

  • Publish in the OSU Writing Project Summer Anthology

  • Receive training in Writing in the Content Areas: strategies for ELL instruction, technology, integration and achievement gap reduction

  • Receive free professional development for schools sending teams of two teachers

  • Join a professional community of writers and teacher leaders

  • Train as a professional development workshop facilitator for “teachers teaching teachers”


added March 10, 2021

SPS Clinics

Our 3rd SPS Clinic at SHS is coming up on Friday.

  • If you received your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Feb 20 clinic, your appointment for your second dose is at the same time.

  • We have been able to add 100 additional 1st time appointments - Sign Up Here

  • Regardless of 1st or 2nd dose - everyone will need a consent form (attached and available at the event).

  • Those receiving 2nd doses will need to bring the vaccination card from their 1st appointment.

Our 4th clinic is scheduled for March 27. Details will be coming at a later date.

Other Vaccine Opportunities

Clinics and pharmacies operating under the Oklahoma vaccine framework are currently fully in Phase 3 of operations, which includes college students and staff. This means the bulk of the Stillwater community is eligible to receive a vaccine at any location. Meanwhile many tribal clinics have moved into Phase 4, making it possible for any Oklahoman age 16+ to receive the vaccine at those locations.

We are working to maintain a list of relatively local vaccine availability here, so if you or anyone you know age 16+ seeking a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit that site and contact the organizations listed to get signed up. And if you hear of any vaccine clinics, or changes to information on that page, please send that information to bfuxa@stillwaterschools.com.

Please spread the word to your friends and families about these opportunities, so we can knock this pandemic out and get back to normal!

Retirement Insurance Benefits

added March 8, 2021

If you are considering retirement soon and are interested in carrying insurance benefits with you (Health, Dental, Vision & Life Insurances), the Employees Group Insurance Division (EGID) offers monthly seminars to discuss these topics and how to prepare for this event.

Seminars cover eligibility, forms, Medicare options and premiums. EGID will also supply each attendee the actual forms and materials needed to start the process. The next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 2:00pm.

Click here to enroll in this or future seminars.

If you have any further questions, please contact EGID Member Services at 800-752-9475 or 405-717-8780.

Wellness Screenings Rescheduled

added March 8, 2021

Unfortunately, we had to make some scheduling changes for the Free Wellness Screenings due to the inclement weather. Please scroll down to find your site below. If the date and time-slot for your specific location does not work for your schedule, you are welcome to sign-up at a different location.

The SPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is there to help if needed and completely confidential. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

American Fidelity Enrollment Begins This Month

added March 8, 2021

The annual American Fidelity enrollment begins this month! Sign up for an appointment and learn more about benefits offered here.

Things to think about prior to your American Fidelity appointment:

  • Do you have any medical, dental, or vision procedures planned for the next year?

  • Has your salary changed? Disability benefits don’t automatically adjust.

  • Would your family have enough money to support themselves if you suddenly were not there to provide for them?

  • Are you financially prepared for a medical emergency?


added March 8, 2020
  • Spring Break is March District 15-19. District offices will be closed March 18 & 19.

  • We plan to return to five day instruction beginning March 22.

  • The deadline to file your taxes with the IRS is Thursday, April 15. W-2 and 1095c forms are available in the Wengage-MAS portal (or were mailed to you). You should have received an email from Desire Burnsed on 1/12/21 with details on how to access those.

Vaccine Clinics

  • March 12 (for those who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the February 20 clinic)

  • March 27th - (for those who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the February 27 clinic)

Your appointment is scheduled at the same time as your first appointment.

Local Vaccine Opportunities

added March 8, 2021

Vaccination Opportunities

Alan's - sign up online

Charlie's - sign up online

Oklahoma Vaccine Portal - sign up online

Payne County Health Department - Call 405-372-8200

Razook's - Call 405-377-4445 or sign up online

Tiger Drug - sign up online

Walgreen's -Call 405-377-0349 or sign up online

Walmart - sign up online

Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System expands functions of MyTRS portal

added March 8, 2021

"TRS is proud to announce that Active Members can see their Annual Statement in the MyTRS portal. What is it? It is an annual snapshot that gives you a clear picture of where you stand in the process of retirement with data through the end of the employment year (June 30th). The Annual Member Statement shows your contribution balance, service credit (years of service), whether you are “Rule of 80 or 90”, membership date, as well as your most recent employer and other important information. We also give you a 10 year chart of retirement projections to see your potential retirement benefit for each year. This will help you better understand your retirement benefits and make decisions about your options. This information is subject to change after employers verify this data once each year. Once you receive this statement, please review it carefully to ensure the information is all correct. Contact TRS if you believe there is a mistake. We can assist you in explaining everything on the statement, or we can work with you to get it right. Updating this information is more important the closer you are to retirement.

How Do I Set Up My Account at MyTRS?

The MyTRS portal is accessed from www.oklahoma.gov/trs with links on the home page, as well as the Active Member and Retired Member pages. You can also view your account balance, estimated retirement benefit and date, service credit, and salary history.

More information can be found on our website at www.oklahoma.gov/trs, including the Member Handbook and other resources. You can also call us for questions during normal business hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST at (Toll-free) 877- 738-6365 or in Oklahoma City at 405-521-2387. Email us at mail@trs.ok.gov"

EduRoam Wireless Network

added March 8, 2021

"SPS provides a guest wireless network for staff and students’ personal portable tech devices. In January, we became aware that some Android devices could eventually stop connecting due to Google security updates. This only affects our guest networks (“SPS Staff Only” and “SPS Student”), not networks for district-owned devices like Chromebooks.

Rather than just updating our network, we took the opportunity to join Eduroam. Staff and students on an Eduroam network can automatically join wireless networks at any participating organization (such as Oklahoma State University). Eduroam has traditionally been for universities and we appear to be the first K12 school district in Oklahoma to join.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve successfully tested the new networks. We’ve updated the website with the new instructions (staff, student) and encourage you to use it (especially if you use an Android device). We will keep the old networks available until June 4, 2021.

We’ve continued to refine our wireless networks to make them easier to use. We hope this new functionality will make connectivity better for you and your students."

Kevin Calvert

Director of Technology

Stillwater Public Schools


added March 8, 2021

Over the last three weeks, all GT students both traditional and virtual have participated in the MEE (Meaningful Economic Entrepreneurship) Competition, and the results are in.

Westwood placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for 3rd grade, 1st and 3rd for 4th grade, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for 5th grade. We entered 24 teams and all teams had to work together to design their own business and create a video to be presented to the judges. They all did amazing. Mrs. Palmatary as well as all of us at WW are so proud of their hard work!

15 Mental Health Resources for Educators

added March 8, 2021

The Lily Jo Project, an international nonprofit focused on empowering children, teens, and young adults to better their mental health. In a recent article they gathered top tools to assist educators and others working with youth including apps for teachers, recommended online forums for support, websites, newsletters, and books. Learn more here.

Summer Jobs - Nutrition Services

added March 8, 2021

This year, summer food service positions will look quite different from past years. If you're interested in a job with SFS, complete this survey to be considered.

Full Summer Positions

Location: To be determined

Days of the Week: Monday - Friday

Dates: June 1-July 23, 2021

Partial Summer Academy Positions

Location: To be determined

Days of the Week: Monday - Thursday

Dates: June 4-June 24 and July 2-July 22, 2021

Required training will be held on the morning of May 7, 2021

Positions needed: managers, cooks, satellite teams

Employees who are currently School Nutrition employees will receive their regular rate of pay. Employees who are new to the department, such as TAs or new hires, will be paid $11.10/hour.

Click here to apply. This survey will close on March 13, 2020.

Latest Job Openings

added March 8, 2021

Featured Di$count$

Chris' University Spirit - 10% off with SPS employee ID

Jersey Mike's - 10% off just let them know before they ring you up.

More discounts...

Content from previous HR and Wellness Newsletters will be added below.


  • W-2 and 1095c forms are available in the Wengage-MAS portal (or were mailed to you). You should have received an email from Desire Burnsed on 1/12/21 with details on how to access those.

  • Don’t forget to complete your annual checklist in TalentEd.

  • Make sure HR has the most up to date information for you by completing the Employee Information Update Form.

  • The SPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is there to help if needed and completely confidential. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

  • Vaccines are available to those over 65, but not yet available to all PreK-12 Staff. Register for the Oklahoma Department of Health vaccination portal at: https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/

  • Need a COVID-19 test? Availability and costs listed as reported to SPS. Actual availability and costs may differ, please contact bfuxa@stillwaterschools.com with any updates.

If you have tested positive or been a close contact of someone that tested positive, please complete the new SPS staff COVID Case and Contact Reporting Form.

Ongoing Learning

OSU Writing Project Summer Institute - May 15 & June 14-25th

“Become an Oklahoma State Writing Project Teacher Consultant and join a community of prestigious educators seeking to empower other teachers! Teachers of all subjects and grade levels are invited to collaborate and learn about the teaching of writing as well as develop their own skills as a writer.

This year's theme: Let It Be Written - Together we will focus on how teachers can utilize writing for themselves and in the classroom with students to illuminate the past, amplify the voices of the present, and bring justice in the future.

Applications are due by April 1st, 2021"


The SPS Technology Department diligently works to keep things running smoothly throughout the district.

“I’m proud of the work this team does and the 99.2% positive rating they maintain on trouble tickets,” says Director Kevin Calvert. “But, they also do a lot of work keeping the district infrastructure functional and secure that is never seen.

Each year the 10 person team responds to nearly 5,000 support tickets to keep more than 11,000 pieces of technology and numerous software systems functioning properly as well as upgrading and replacing district equipment to meet staff and student technology needs.

Featured Di$count$ - See these and more discounts here.

Philbrook Museum - FREE annual memberships to public school teachers.

Slim Chickens - 20% off for SPS staff and students on Tuesdays

Now Hiring (new jobs from the last month) - see more at www.stillwaterschools.com/jobs

And as always… Substitutes

JANUARY 15, 2021

It’s worth a shot...

COVID-19 vaccines have arrived. You should have received an email with information and a link to a brief survey.

Changes to COVID testing

Recent changes mean some sites will begin to charge for testing.

  • Perkins Family Clinic - No Charge - Will bill insurance but waive any remaining charges.

  • PCHD - No Charge - The testing at PCHD is by appointment only.

  • AMC Urgent Care - Charge for the visit and cost of the test. Office visit charges vary by insurance, private pay, etc. The cost of the test is $85.

HealthChoice website concerning COVID-19.

Information on COVID-19 for HealthChoice members and providers (oklahoma.gov)

Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out Source: Healthline

Regular exercise that elevates your heart rate is a vital part of staying healthy. There are many ways to motivate yourself to pursue your exercise goals.

  • Schedule exercise

  • Watch your favorite show while you treadmill, or listen to an audio book while you walk or run

  • Create a space in your home to exercise

  • Put your phone in another room during exercise time

  • Choose exercises you like

  • Find more tips...

6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space Source: Psychology Today

  1. Decluttering creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy.

    • Decluttering utilizes your decision-making and problem-solving skills: You've got Y amount of space and X amount of stuff. Doing this successfully can help you feel confident about your decision-making skills.

  2. Decluttering is energizing

    • When you make a series of quick decisions, you put yourself into getting-things-done mode. When you do this, you're likely to find that you feel energized enough to start ticking other things off your to-do list.

  3. Cleaning and organizing reduce anxiety.

    • When things feel out of order, it can (but not always does) make us feel scattered and anxious. Creating order relieves that anxiety.

  4. Decluttering allows mind wandering and (sometimes) involves physical activity.

    • Giving your mind a chance to wander can help you generate insight into other parts of your life, and physical activity can help supercharge this. This can create light-bulb moments!

  5. Decluttering can reduce relationship and family tension.

    • Clutter can create family stress. You might argue about messes with your spouse, or find yourself snapping at your children if you've spent 10 minutes looking for something and are now running late. Decluttering can reduce this stress.

  6. When you declutter, you often find lost treasures.

    • When you declutter, you often find items you'd forgotten you had. These finds can boost your mood and increase your energy for tackling bigger issues.

Cook at home for a healthy lifestyle

Cooking at home has several advantages over grabbing a bite from a restaurant or prefabricated options. Most people who cook at home have healthier, lower calorie diets and spend less on meals. Cooking at home can also be a fun activity and can help bring the whole family together for a collaborative activity. For inspiration and to discover new recipes, find a chef or food blogger that cooks fast and easy to prepare meals. Home cooking doesn’t have to take a lot of time to be fun and healthy. - 7 Healthy Cooking Tips Every Beginner Cook Needs To Know

Healthy Recipes of the Month

Krista and Barry are sharing their favorite healthy chili recipes this month. Have a favorite healthy recipe you want to share? Email a link and why you love it to us.

Vegetarian Chili - Submitted by Krista Neal

Chili is a magical, easy, forgiving recipe. This recipe is great for anyone who needs to build confidence in the kitchen. It's practically mistake-proof. Chili is also a great way to customize a recipe to your liking. I like to add extra beans and corn, and any fresh vegetables like fresh tomatoes or celery that I have in the refrigerator and are past their prime. Try adding extra red pepper or hot sauce if you like it spicy. This recipe is easy to prepare and is very forgiving for how long it cooks. If you're hungry now, it can be ready in 30 minutes. It's also ok if it simmers a while longer. If you have a young chef at home, this is a great recipe to let little ones help in the kitchen. If you're trying to eat less meat for health or the environment, chili is a great way to start. With so many veggies and beans, you'll never miss the meat.

Nutrition facts per serving without cheese (makes 4 servings): Calories 357; 19g Protein, 63g carbohydrate; 5g Fat (1g Saturated Fat); 737mg sodi

White Chicken Chili - Submitted by Barry Fuxa

“My wife made this up completely from scratch a few years ago. We’d visited Santa Fe the year before and had both developed a love for green chiles while we were there. I love this because it’s delicious, the kids love it, I can kick up the spice in mine with some extra red pepper flakes, and it freezes well so we can make a double batch and always have a great meal ready in minutes.”

Nutrition facts per serving (makes 11 - 1 cup servings): Calories 284; 39g Protein, 14g carbohydrate; 7g Fat; 367mg sodium

Employee Assistance Program

Remember, if you are struggling with stress from any life factors, SPS’s Employee Assistance Program is there to help.

District Wellness Committee

The DWC is open to faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members. If you would like to be added to the DWC mailing list, contact Krista Neal at kneal@stillwaterschools.com. All meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend.

December HR Newsletter


  • Rusty Atkins (SHS) and Robby Branscum (SJHS) recently received citations and congratulations from Representatives Trish Ranson and John Talley on behalf of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for their dedication to their positions and particular achievements this year. Atkins was named the 2020 Oklahoma Council for Indian Education’s Teacher of the Year, and Branscum was named Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher – Region II of 2020 by the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Congratulations and thank you to our building level Teachers of the Year. These outstanding educators will now proceed to consideration for District Teacher of the Year.

    • Marill Myers - Highland Park

    • Brenda Zacharias - Richmond

    • Jody Sallaska - Sangre Ridge

    • Danielle Beavin - Skyline

    • Rebecca Palmatary - Westwood

    • Michelle Schaecher - Will Rogers

    • Allison Taylor - Stillwater Middle School

    • Marsha Nash - Stillwater Junior High School

    • Jody Webber - Stillwater High School

    • Chad Hutcherson - Lincoln Academy

Know of good news about an employee's success? Send details to bfuxa@stillwaterschools.com.

Helpful Links

Winter Break is December 19 - January 3


  • Keep minding your 3Ws! - Wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance in both your work and personal lives.

  • Need to report a COVID case or contact? Start at the SPS Blueline.

  • State Health Department COVID-19 Call Center: 877-215-8336

    • Call Center Hours: open 24 hrs per day/7 days per week

  • The SPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is there to help you with stresses in your life.

  • Teacher PD day January 4


Cheryl Maye - Computer Science Teacher at the HS

Featured Di$count$ - See these and more discounts here.

The holidays are a great time to shop local and support the businesses that support our community!

Greige Goods - Every day SPS teachers & staff receive 20% off regularly priced merchandise

Legendary Comics - Offers a 10% discount in the store for teachers & staff that show their SPS badge.


Vada Harmon has been working for Nutrition Services at Stillwater Middle school since July of 1981. She always says she started working so she could buy some curtains. She never got the curtains and doesn't even have that house anymore, but she's still here.

Vada is SPS’s go-to recipe tester. If the Nutrition Services staff want to know exactly how something new was made and get good hints on how to make it better, Ms Vada is the master.

“I like my position because I have worked all my years at the best Middle School ever,” says Vada. “I've had great principals, teachers and staff to work with and the best kids at the best age possible. Of course I like my director and assistant director, and the warehouse crew can't be beat. Seems like I just get someone trained to do things my way :) and they move on. That's good for them and not so good for me, but I just keep getting a great staff that wants the same things I do -- to feed the students to the best of our ability and remember the good times.”

Now Hiring (new jobs from the last month) - see more at www.stillwaterschools.com/jobs

Fine Arts Teacher - 12/10/2020 - Certified - SMS

Special Education TA - 12/09/2020 - Special Services - Westwood

Special Education TA - 12/01/2020 - Special Services - SJHS

Special Education TA - 11/20/2020 - Special Services - - Sangre Ridge

Teacher - HS Computer Technology - 11/20/2020 - Certified - SHS

Special Education TA - 11/16/2020 - Special Services - Skyline

Special Education TA - 11/16/2020 - Special Services - Sangre Ridge

And as always… Substitutes

November 2020


  • Congratulations to Robby Branscum for being named as a NextGen Under 30 Award winner in K-12 Education. According to its website NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma is intended to honor individuals who demonstrate talent, drive and service to their communities.

  • Sarah Ehrlich and David Coates were both named to Project SWITCH, a CDC leadership program, with the goal of assisting schools across the nation in adjusting to the challenges of COVID-19.

  • Congratulations to Highland Park’s Marissa Moore who, after being nominated by a student, was selected to receive $500 from Arvest Bank as part of their We Love Teachers campaign.

Know of good news about an employee's success? Send details to bfuxa@stillwaterschools.com.


  • Keep minding your 3Ws! - Wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance in both your work and personal lives.

  • Need to report a COVID case or contact? Start at the SPS Blueline.

  • State Health Department COVID-19 Call Center: 877-215-8336

    • Call Center Hours: open 24 hrs per day/7 days per week

  • The SPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is there to help you with stresses in your life.

  • Be sure to submit any leave requests for the holidays soon.

Thanksgiving Break is November 25-27

Featured Di$count$

The holidays are coming - a great time to shop local and support the businesses that support our community! See these and more discounts here.

Bliss Books & Bindery - 20%. Show us your school ID, we'll enter you in our customer data base, and from then on all you have to do is remind us at checkout.

Wooden Nickel - Every week features "Teacher Tuesdays" offering 25% off with an SPS faculty/staff ID.


Since she’ll be in contact with many of you during Native American Heritage Month, we thought we’d let you know a little more about SPS’s new Indian Education Coordinator Alison Black.

“I am Cheyenne, Ponca, Osage (Gray Horse District)

and Prairie Band Potawatomi and I live in Red

Rock, OK with my family. My tribal membership belongs to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and I am passionate about serving Native students. I have been involved in Indian Education all my life as a student, parent, teacher and administrator.

“As the Indian Education Coordinator I am responsible for making sure SPS Native students receive academic services, building community, and bringing cultural awareness to the school district.

“I am coming from Frontier Public Schools where I served as the Director of Indian Education and taught high school Native American Studies for 5 years.

“It is my hope that in this position I can help create space for Native students and their families to share their cultural heritage proudly and to highlight the Indigenous people of our time.”

Photo credit: Ryan Redcorn

Now Hiring (new jobs from the last month) - see more at www.stillwaterschools.com/jobs

Special Education TA - 11/09/2020 - Special Services - SJHS

Special Education TA - Part Time - 11/09/2020 - Special Services - Highland Park

Head Custodian - 11/09/2020 - Support - Facilities

Teacher Assistant - 11/09/2020 - Support - SJHS

Special Education TA - Part Time - 11/02/2020 - Special Services - Highland Park

Special Education TA - 10/26/2020 - Special Services - SMS

Pioneer PALS Academic Coach - 10/26/2020 - Certified - Sangre Ridge

Kitchen Assistant I - 10/14/2020 - Support - School Nutrition

Custodian I - 10/12/2020 - Facilities - Facilities

Athletic Coach-Lay Coach - 10/12/2020 - Coaching - District Wide

And as always… Substitutes

October 9, 2020


  • Welcome to the first SPS HR Newsletter! Each month we’ll be sharing important information, reminders, discounts, benefits, and other personnel news. We’ll also be highlighting some of our amazing employees and departments!

  • Look for a monthly Wellness Newsletter starting in two weeks.


  • Flu shots are coming up! This year more than ever it’s important to protect yourself against influenza. Your site or department secretaries will have sign up information. Download the vaccine consent form here.

    • Oct 13 - Sangre, SMS, Cimarron Plaza

    • Oct 14 - Skyline, WW, WR, JHS, Central Office

    • Oct 20 - HS, LA, Transportation, OES

    • Oct 21 - RI, HP

  • The Option Period to make adjustments to your benefits ends October 30. You should have received an email from Gale Henry, SPS’s new Benefits Specialist (405-707-5039, ghenry@stillwaterschools.com) with additional information. She’s also available to assist you with any questions you may have.

RELAX! - Fall Break is October 15-16.

Ongoing Learning

CCOSA Principal and Superintendent Certification Exam Preparation - 11/16 & 1/21

CCOSA New Principals Academy - 10/22, 11/19, 12/14 &, 3/31

LeaderCast for Women - 11/3, 11/10 & 11/17

Featured Di$count$ - see more discounts here

Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency - Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency provides 3.5% down payment assistance at closing with a reduced mortgage rate to eligible Teachers. Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency provides 3.5% down payment assistance at closing with a reduced mortgage rate to eligible individuals employed by the State of Oklahom

T-Mobile - School Employee Perks/Benefits program -School District Discount


Since it’s Principals Month, we’re featuring the two newest additions to the SPS Principal team.

Crystal Szymanski - Stillwater Junior High

Previous position - Chisholm Middle School Principal in Enid, OK


“My family and I are excited about becoming part of the Stillwater community,” says Szymanski, looking forward to the possibilities of a new town. She believes the district’s vision and mission of serving every student align with her own. “In every situation, I apply this simple litmus test,” says Szymanski. “Do what's best for kids because all students deserve the best educational experience we can give them.”

Cami Patzkoski - Sangre Ridge Elementary

Previous position - Sangre Ridge Assistant Principal


"I am beyond thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to serve as principal at Sangre Ridge,” says Patzkowski. “What an honor to represent my hometown district that has given me so much - from

student to graduate and now to Principal. It is an outstanding school with amazing teachers, staff, students and families. It will be a privilege to lead and represent Sangre Ridge Elementary."


Vanessa Wedlake - 9 years with SPS

Mary Hoyt - 28 years in education / 15 with SPS

Linda Gray - 33 years in education / 24 with SPS

Now Hiring (new jobs from the last month) - see more at www.stillwaterschools.com/jobs