Mayor, OU-Tulsa Host Historic Education Summit

INTELLECTUAL PLANNERS: From left, Ed Huckaby of NSU-BA, Gene Callaham of Tulsa Technology center, Pam Pittman of OU-Tulsa, Karen Davis of Step Up Tulsa and Tom McKeon of Tulsa Community College were among a number of local educators who participated in Mayor Taylor’s Education Summit held at OU-Tulsa Aug. 21. Additional summits are planned for February 2008 at OSU-Tulsa and next summer at the University of Tulsa.

Courtesy Tracy Kennedy

Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and Pam Pittman, director of the OU Center for Outreach, Research and Education (CORE) recently hosted an education summit at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Schusterman Center.

This meeting was the first planning conference for the newly formed “Metro Tulsa Champions of Higher Education,” a product of Mayor Taylor’s Call to Action Education Summit hosted last spring by Mayor Taylor and Union School Superintendent Cathy Burden.

“This is historic,” says Mayor Kathy Taylor. “This is the first such conference in our region. Those actively involved in common and higher education met to determine key educational components that our colleges and universities can provide for primary and secondary schools. The end result will be students who are better prepared both for academic success and future careers.”

Additional meetings are already set for next year in February at OSU-Tulsa, hosted by Mayor Taylor and Dr. Trennepohl, OSU-Tulsa president and next summer at the University of Tulsa.
At the meeting, attendees identified resources available from area institutions of higher learning that can assist primary and secondary school education programs. These resources will be compiled and provided to school districts.

“We had a huge response from area school district superintendents as well as leaders in higher education,” says Pittman. “These professional have set aside competitiveness and systems thinking to attend this conference and work toward a common goal of providing students with the ultimate education.”

Mayor Taylor, Keith Ballard, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Board Association, and Pam Pittman, director of OU CORE, spoke at the event which was attended by higher education administrators from NSU-BA, ORU, OSU-Tulsa, OU-Tulsa, Tulsa Community College and TU; area school superintendents from Jenks, Union, Broken Arrow, Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Public Schools; and leaders in workforce development as well as city officials.

Following the opening remarks, attendees participated in small group discussions on early childhood education, community schools and work force readiness. An additional fourth session focused on developing better communication tools between institutions of higher education and public school districts.

Facilitators included: Debbie Burchfield, Jenks Public Schools; Marvin Jeter, Tulsa Public Schools; Kathy Dodd, Union Public Schools; Tom McKeon, Tulsa Community College; Ron Cambiano, Northeastern State University; and Larry Rice, University of Tulsa.

A large group report out session concluded the session, followed by a challenge to continue to develop relationships, expand involvement and attend future meetings.

Members of the planning committee for the Mayor’s Call to Action include: Susan Neal, director of Community Development and Education Initiatives for the City of Tulsa; Pam Pittman, OU CORE; Karen Davis, Tulsa Community Foundation; Cathy Burden, Union Public Schools; and Susan Harris, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.

Updated 10-08-2007

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