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Union Dedicates Ochoa Elementary

By EMILY RAMSEY

On Oct. 23, Union Public Schools dedicated Ellen Ochoa Elementary School, 12000 E. 31st St. The dedication included a visit from Ellen Ochoa, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

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Union Teachers of the Year

Union Public Schools’ 2017-2018 Site Teachers of the Year have been announced.
They are:

• Andersen Elementary – Kara Minton, art
• Boevers Elementary – Lydia Leslie, fifth grade
• Cedar Ridge Elementary – Cindy Forbis, first grade
• Clark Elementary – Teresa Besses, counselor
• Darnaby Elementary – Kelly Buck, counselor
• Grove Elementary – Paola Puleo, third grade
• Jarman Elementary – Becca Bearden, third grade
• Jefferson Elementary – Lisa Harper, reading specialist
• McAuliffe Elementary – Kassie Alexander, physical education   
• Moore Elementary – Beth Grounds, multi-age first/second grade
• Ellen Ochoa Elementary – Taya Oelze, kindergarten
• Peters Elementary – Andree Lira, fifth grade
• Rosa Parks Elementary – Katie Cealka, art
• Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center – Jillian King      
• 6th Grade Center – Melodie Cole, language arts 
• 7th Grade Center – Justin Vannest, math
• 8th Grade Center – Paula Ontko, special education
• 9th Grade Center – Travis Webb, business
• High School – Philippa Kelly, social studies
• Alternative School – Zondra Clunn, English  

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Seniors of the Month

Union High School has named its Seniors of the Month for September. They are Grant Hizer, son of Gary Hizer and Lisa and Joe Guertin of Broken Arrow; and Katherine Himaya, daughter of Alex and Meredith Himaya of Broken Arrow.

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Merit Semifinalists

Eight Union High School seniors have been named 2017 National Merit Semifinalists:

• Grant Hizer, son of Lisa Guertin of Broken Arrow;
• Killian Kane, son of Kelly and Jennifer Kane of Tulsa;
• Alexander Labbane, son of Mondher and Cheryl Labbane of Broken Arrow;
• Joseph Liu, son of Ti-Chung and Kelly Liu of Tulsa;
• Ferdinand Mudjialim, son of Andy Mudjialim and Tan Fang Fang of Broken Arrow;
• Tony Nguyen, son of Henry and Tammy Nguyen of Tulsa;
• Hannah Rondthaler, daughter of Timothy Rondthaler and Joanne Call of Tulsa; and
• Josephine Uerling, daughter of Steve and Alicia Uerling of Broken Arrow.

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Ochoa Elementary Opens

READY FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR: Ochoa Elementary Principal Rita Long stands inside the new school at 12000 E. 31st St. The community school emphasizes parental involvement, physical and mental health, and community and neighborhood development. Ochoa Elementary was named in honor of Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic female astronaut and current director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

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Union's Ochoa Elementary Readies For School Year

On Aug. 22, Ellen Ochoa Elementary, 12000 E. 31st St., will open its doors to 500 students as Union Public Schools’ newest school. The school replaces Briarglen Elementary, Union’s very first elementary, which closed in June.

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Four Union Students Named Academic All-Staters

Four Union Public Schools students were among the 100 Oklahoma students recognized in June by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence (OFE) as Academic All-State winners at the foundation’s 31st Academic Awards Banquet, held in Tulsa. Each student was asked to invite to the banquet a teacher guest who played a significant role in his/her academic career.

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Union Director Recognized

Penelope Kay, Union Public Schools’ director of special services, was honored in June as the 2017 Director of the Year by the Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS).

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Union Seniors Earn Scholarships

Seven Union High School seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship winners: Abigail Cornett, Wade Witcher, Bella Zhan, Timothy McMullen, Daniel Royer, Stephanie Royer and Colton Benningfield. These students will receive between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at a higher education institution.

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