Dewey students meet new teachers, superintendent on first day back

DEWEY, Okla. - Students returning to classes Thursday in Dewey are seeing new teachers and a new district superintendent.

"District-wide, we have 15 new teachers," Superintendent David Wilkins, himself hired last March to replace 31-year superintendent Paul Smith who retired at the close of last school year.

The former 3-year superintendent of the Hulbert Public Schools District and a middle school teacher, upper-elementary principal and high school principal with the Locust Public School District told 2NEWS roughly a dozen of those new teachers are at the elementary school.

"Facilities-wise there is nothing that new," he said, saying though that the district is in the beginning stages of putting together a bond issue to place before voters in the spring. A committee to determine what needs to go on the bond issue is still in the works.

The issue will not likely include any new construction, said Wilkins.

"Current facilities need a lot of remodeling and updating. Technologies and transportation (need) updates too."

In his new position, he said he plans to build on the good many good things that have been done at the district and plans to help the district through a variety of changes being mandated by the Oklahoma Department of Education, for example changing from a teaching process of teaching to objective and then testing to those objectives to a process called "common core state standards."

Under this latter method to be implemented during the next two years, students will be taught the same material as students are taught in at least 40 other states.

"Instead of just learning the facts, students are going to have to synthesize what they learn into a real-world setting," said Wilkins, explaining that the walls between different subjects will be taken down to allow writing to be taught in math class and vice-versa, for example.

"All of our teachers will be teaching writing," Wilkins told 2NEWS. "Hopefully, it will help students learn to think and not just regurgitate information."

When 2NEWS asked him why he, a superintendent, does the work he does, he replied "I love being around kids and helping kids."

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