Tahlequah Middle School has had a great start to the school year. The Summer Socials for grades 6-8, held on Aug. 6, were a hit. The hallways were full of excited students and parents eager to trace the new schedules and meet instructors.

The middle school administration is pleased to announce the addition of the following new certified staff members: Grade 8 social studies, Stephen Walden and Sarah Muzny; grade 8 science, Candice Jefferson; grade 7 math, Mendy McKee; grade 7 science, Alex Cosby; grade 6 math, Shayla Stewart; Native American Art, April Bardell; counselor, Angie Lewandowski; and speech, Ashley Talburt. We welcome these new staff members to Tahlequah Public Schools.

The Middle School received the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust Grant this year. The grant is for $40,000 worth of technology and $25,000 worth of professional development. This grant is very exciting opportunity for our district and will have an impact on students for years to come. Their first day of professional development took place on Aug. 7; it was a presentation of computer applications for the classroom. The feedback from teachers was positive and many talked about how they couldn't wait for their next training opportunity. Congratulations to the administration and staff of TMS for the acquisition of this grant.

TMS fall sports kicked off with a pep assembly. It was a great time for students to be recognized and it gave them a chance to cheer for one another. The eighth-grade band played, and cheer and pom both had routines during the festivities. The eighth-grade won the contest. This is a busy time with cross country, football, softball, and volleyball all having games and competitions. Come out and support our students.

TMS Students of the Month for September are: Sixth-graders Madison Sherron and Hayley Wilson; seventh-graders Dylan Falling and Sadie Stanglin; and eighth-graders Ava Jones and Kayela Thatcher. Congratulations to these students! They will be recognized at their monthly assembly and go to a local restaurant for a luncheon in their honor.

The middle school is conducting a corporate banner fundraiser for their building again this year. You may purchase a color banner with your business logo to be displayed in the Middle School Gym. There are numerous activities in the middle school gym: assemblies, classes, exercise groups, inductions, and sporting events for middle school, as well as some high school events. This fundraiser keeps students from doing door-to-door sales, as well as protecting classroom instructional time. It has been very successful, and if any business owner is interested, contact Tahlequah Middle School at 918-458-4140 for more details.

Finally, I want to mention that the middle school, on Sept. 24, took 185 students to Northeastern State University to see the production of Artrageous, an interactive art and music experience. Kristy Ward and Libby Osburn, gifted and talented sponsors, made arrangements for TMS students to attend, and the response from the students was phenomenal. It was an event that they will remember for a lifetime. Thanks to these two ladies for giving our students that opportunity.

Time flies when you are having fun and our students make the day go quickly. Thank you, parents for sharing your most precious commodity. Go, Tigers!

Leon Ashlock is superintendent of the Tahlequah I-35 School District.

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