By KAYLEY FORSHEY
FORWARD THINKERS: BPS board members are, from left, Matt Dotson, member; Lisa Owens, vice president; Julie Prox, clerk; Rob Miller, superintendent; Amanda Stephens, president and Lisa Kramer, member.
Photo Courtesy Bixby Public SChools
A few months into the new school year and the Bixby Public Schools Board of Education is already looking 10 years into the future, and it looks bright. The Board of Education is comprised of community members dedicated to serving the unique needs of Bixby’s education while upholding federal and state education laws. Members’ jobs are tireless and unpaid, and their efforts promote continued growth in the lives of Bixby’s children.
“As a board, we most look forward to seeing the results,” said board president Amanda Stephens. “Not just test results, but looking and hearing about everything going on with the kids and the interactions with the teachers and the kids, and seeing the kids grow—that’s our biggest concern, to help kids develop.”
For the school board, this forward thinking has been encouraged by the recent hire of Bixby Public Schools Superintendent, Rob Miller, who was hired on July 1.
“A lot of what Rob presented to us in the interview process, we really liked. We think his involvement in Bixby is going to continue growth. I think we are on a really positive track,” said Stephens.
Bixby’s school year started with a survey for parents to voice areas for concern. According to Miller, the survey was “overwhelmingly positive,” and yet, the school board is not content to sit back and relax. It is constantly striving to improve the public school system.
“When we talk about vision, it’s really understanding where we are, where we’ve been and understanding the district needs to evolve to meet the needs of schools today,” said Miller. “Education in America really hasn’t evolved as quickly as we need it to. The old model of a six or seven period day, where everyone takes the same classes, really doesn’t equip students for a career outside of school. We now have to prepare kids not to be keepers of knowledge but people who can access knowledge, be creative and entrepreneurial. They are as critical as the more concrete skills that we teach,” she said.
Also involved in promoting this vision are Vice President Lisa Owens, Clerk Julie Prox, Member Lisa Kramer and Member Matt Dotson. Together, the team is working on implementing programs and policies that change Bixby for the better, years down the line.
“We want to get Bixby’s direction layed out for everyone to see and Rob is leading that process. It’s more about getting a collaborative outlook for where we see Bixby five years from now, 10 years from now. We have to be forward looking. Our biggest goal is to lay out what we see for Bixby for the next 10 years,” said Stephens.
While the goal is forward thinking, future plans are influenced by the day to day.
“I look forward to everyday. We want to make sure every student is taken care of, and at the end of the day, we want to make sure the students have learned what they needed to,” said Miller. “Ultimately, it’s about creating a place where kids are fully engaged in the learning process and to become lifelong learners.”