Putnam City's Points of Pride for the 2016-2017 School Year

06.22.2017 9:05 AM

Sometimes in the midst of our busy lives we don't notice the good things happening all around us. Below are some of the good things that happened in Putnam City during the 2016-2017 school year.


• Carly Driskill of Putnam City North was named an Academic All-Stater. In the 31 years in which the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has named Academic All-Staters, 120 Putnam City students have been so honored. That’s the fourth-highest total of any school system in the state. Selection of scholars for this honor has been described by University of Oklahoma President and Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman and Founder David L. Boren as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.”

• Kylen Huffman from Putnam City North High School was named one of about 16,000 National Merit Semifinalists in the U.S. by officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an honor placing her among the nation’s top high school students.

• Universities continue to seek our students. Graduating seniors from Putnam City Schools in spring 2016 accepted a record $9.1 million in scholarships.

• Jairo Montelongo, a junior at Putnam City West High School, was one of 33 young students in the nation to be chosen as Hamilton Scholars for academic, personal, service and entrepreneurial accomplishments.

• For an exemplary record of leadership, service and activities to improve the school and community, the student councils at Putnam City High, Putnam City West and Putnam City North received 2017 Gold Council of Excellence Awards from the National Association of Student Councils.

• The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Chapter at Putnam City North High School earned the Gold Star Chapter award for 2016-2017, one of only 12 chapters in the state to receive this distinction.

• All three district high schools were named recipients of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School “First Team” award for their athletic training programs. The award recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student-athletes and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.

• Three Putnam City North students and three Putnam City West students were among 50 students from across the metro area who were chosen to participate in Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Teen Leaders in Philanthropy classes for the 2017-2018 school year.

• District students had 110 pieces of art out of 886 displayed in the 2016 Oklahoma Student Art Exhibition at the State Fair of Oklahoma. The work created by district students earned 20 awards of merit and nine exceptional awards of merit. A crayon drawing created by Putnam City High School Sophomore Fabiola Velasco was judged to be one of the top pieces of art in the exhibition and was sold at auction for $400.

• Jacob Black, a senior at Putnam City North, was named by the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band as its 2017 Young Artist Competition Winner.

• Andrea Alvizo, a freshman at Putnam City High School, received the Best in Show award in the Oklahoma Education Association’s 2017 Read Across America poster contest. Her winning artwork was featured in the OEA magazine, The Education Focus.

• Seven district students earned the State Superintendent's Arts Awards of Excellence.

• Thirty-three orchestra students from Putnam City high schools and middle schools were selected as members of 2016 North Central honors orchestras.

• Nine district students earned membership in the prestigious All-State Children’s Chorus chosen by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association this school year.

• Ten Putnam City middle school students and 24 district high school students earned positions in Central Oklahoma Director’s Association honor bands following auditions in November 2016.

• Putnam City North High School’s top choir, Una Voice, was selected as an honor group for the 2017 Oklahoma Music Educators Association convention. Una Voice is one of only two high school groups selected for this honor.

• In athletics, five district teams qualified for state tournaments and 17 students earned spots on All-State teams.


• Amanda Raupe, a 1st-grade teacher at Hilldale Elementary School, was named in January as winner of the prestigious Milken Educator Award, the only teacher so honored in Oklahoma. The award has been hailed in Teacher Magazine as “The Oscars of Teaching.”

• Brenda Davis, principal of Arbor Grove Elementary School, was selected as winner of the James Burnett Distinguished Principal award by the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals.

• Benton Shriver, a biology teacher at Putnam City High School, was named Oklahoma’s Outstanding Biology Teacher by the Oklahoma Biology Teachers Association.

• Shantell Barbour, a 5th-grade teacher at James L. Dennis Elementary School, was named the Oklahoma Technology Association’s Teacher of the Year during the organization’s annual conference in Oklahoma City. The award is presented to a teacher who exhibits exemplary integration of technology in the classroom teaching and learning process.

• Cooper Middle School teacher Patrick Terry was honored with the Rising Star Award by the Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies.

• Susan Clothier, band director at Putnam City North High School, was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.

• Putnam City North boys’ soccer coach Tom Pecore became the first ever 6A boys’ coach to have been selected both as the West All-State coach and the East All-State Coach. Pecore was the West 6A All-State Boys Coach in 2001 and 2003 and in April 2017 was named the 2017 6A East Boys All State Soccer Coach.

• Randy Utt, a teacher at James L. Dennis Elementary School, received Congressman Steve Russell’s 2017 Fifth Congressional District Teacher Recognition Award. The award recognizes outstanding teaching.

• Bob Melton, the district’s testing and STEM facilitator, was in early June named winner of the Jack Renner Distinguished Service Award by the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association. The award is presented annually to individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science education in Oklahoma.

• Putnam City had two of 10 teachers recognized for outstanding work during the year by the City of Oklahoma City and the Downtown Rotary Club. Carla Young of Putnam City West won the award in December and Linda Frantz of Rollingwood Elementary won the award in January. Each was presented with a proclamation from the Oklahoma City Council.

• Kenneth Cooper Middle School was one of about 200 schools and schools districts in the United States and Canada to be recognized as a Model Professional Learning Community by Solution Tree, a leading educational strategies company. The award recognizes successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process as a major contributing factor sustained success in raising student achievement.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Putnam City Schools Foundation’s mission is to enhance and enrich the educational opportunities of children in Putnam City Schools. In that time the foundation has supported programs that honor teachers and students for their outstanding work, offered thousands of dollars each year for training and curriculum to building leaders, provided ways for parents to become true partners with teachers through Early Birds and English language classes, and challenged children to be more creative and career-ready in STEM labs all across the district. Last year alone, the Putnam City Schools Foundation donated more than $110,000 back into the district for a variety of projects, including a MakerSpace Lab at Putnam City West High School, a bus to the Lego competition regional tournament for Northridge Elementary, and substitutes for students and teachers to attend an all-female STEM panel. The Putnam City Schools Foundation meets the needs of students who need glasses, coats, and even Christmas gifts so that nothing stands in the way of their academic success.