June 23, 2010

Chickasha High now owns bragging rights

Debi Terry
The Express-Star

— I am very proud of the fact that Chickasha High School made Newsweek's 2010 list of "America's Best High Schools." This isn't the first time CHS has made this prestigious, national list.

In fact, according to the Newsweek magazine article, only six percent of all the public schools in the United States made the list. This is quite an honor and all of us in our community should be very proud. We've got bragging rights!

My congratulations go out to each and every individual administrator, faculty and staff member who has contributed to this honor and to the educational community, as a whole, for working together to make it happen.

On even a more personal note, I'm proud of the fact that I have two sons that attend Chickasha High School and would like to thank the faculty and staff who made our transition into the community and school system a good experience last December.

As a teenager, moving into a new community and a new high school is a scary experience. Based on where we live, we had a choice between Am-Po High School or Chickasha High School. Our boys enjoy swimming competitively and wanted to attend CHS because there is a swim team.

Swim season had started a few weeks before we got here and my sons' decisions to join the team led us to three people that absolutely turned what could have been a scary, overwhelming experience into a positive, memorable experience.

These three people are Krista Cochran, Terri Gallaway and Sandra McKnight. Sandra is actually an employee at the Canadian Valley Technology Center, but her son, Isaac, is a member of the CHS Swim Team and I think of her as the "team mom." She takes care of a lot of the team "business."

She was one of our first contacts here and not only helped me get the boys set and ready to practice, but made us genuinely feel welcome to the community, to the school and to the swim team. Thank you, Sandra!

The CHS Swim Coaches, Terri and Krista, have gone way above and beyond to help us and make us feel a part of the swim team community. They gave us a "connection" that we needed right away and have made a difference in both of my sons' lives.

And from there, the list just grows ... Elaine Murray – one of the friendliest and caring school secretaries I've ever met. On the day I enrolled the boys, she interacted with them in such a way that put them at ease and they actually left the building with a smile on their faces and said "we like her."

My point is just that our educational system is more than buildings and books and budgets and controversies and awards and honors. It's the faces – the people who show up everyday and make it all happen.

Chickasha High School has among its school employees some of the most compassionate and caring faculty that I have ever met. Thank you.