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Morning Bell: Can you spell 'wikiwiki'?

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Shawn Terrado 
Shawn Terrado 

Good Tuesday morning. Oklahoma teachers say "enough is enough" and the teachers union plans to present a school closure plan this week. 

But first, can you spell “wikiwiki,” “lordling” or “flotilla”? Well, I suppose you can now since you just read it. But those were some of the words thrown at 40 students at last Saturday's Central Oklahoma Spelling Bee

After 26 rounds, the Bee's winner was Shawn Terrado, a middle school student from Elgin. 

“I am really excited and really, really nervous,” said Terrado, remarking on her central Oklahoma championship and looking ahead to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., where she will compete in May.

While Terrado was Saturday’s champion, she faced some of the best spellers from fourth through eighth grades throughout a 50-county region who were gathered at the Samis Education Center Auditorium at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

As 40 spellers were whittled down to two after 26 rounds, Terrado won the bee with her successful spelling of the word “unsuitable.”

Teachers continue to discuss possible walkout

Teachers gathered Monday afternoon at Southern Oaks Library in south Oklahoma City to discuss their frustrations and options moving forward, including a possible teacher strike or walkout in protest of low teacher salaries and inadequate school funding.

On the same day the group of teachers met in Oklahoma City to discuss potential actions moving forward, the Oklahoma Education Association announced that it will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. Thursday to unveil "a detailed revenue package and statewide closure strategy." The Oklahoman's Darla Slipke has more

-Tulsa Public Schools leaders signaled their support of a potential teacher walkout for higher pay and more school funding Monday but indicated they hope it doesn’t come to that point. (Tulsa World)

-The president of the Professional Educators’ Association of Lawton said the walkout all hinges on if the legislature can pass some kind of bill to fund the pay increase for our teachers. (KWSO)

Halftime surprise for teachers

Thirty Oklahoma City-area school teachers were surprised with $1,000 gift cards for classroom supplies at halftime of the Oklahoma-TCU women's basketball game during the big 12 tournament. 

The 30 teachers were chosen through the My Teacher, My Hero initiative, which works in cooperation with the Big 12, the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association and the College Football Playoff Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers program. The gift cards can be used at DonorsChoose.com. 

Proposed cuts at OKCPS

Oklahoma City parents pushed back Monday night against a proposal to cut teaching positions and combine grade levels in the coming year because of projected drops in elementary school attendance. Oklahoma City Public Schools is projecting about 1,700 fewer students in 2018-19, which would result in a reduction of approximately 65 teaching positions, district officials said.

Ruth Cruces tells her story at a Dream Action Oklahoma rally with immigrant youth, allies and supporters met at the SkyDance Bridge to share stories of Oklahomans affected by Congress’ inaction on a solution for DACA recipients and immigrant youth, Monday, March 5, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
Ruth Cruces tells her story at a Dream Action Oklahoma rally with immigrant youth, allies and supporters met at the SkyDance Bridge to share stories of Oklahomans affected by Congress’ inaction on a solution for DACA recipients and immigrant youth, Monday, March 5, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

DACA Rally 

Immigrant youth, allies and supporters held a rally Monday at SkyDance Bridge in Oklahoma City to share stories of Oklahomans who have been affected by Congress' inaction on a solution for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and immigrant youth.

Academic All-State 

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has announced the recipients of its prestigious 2018 Academic All-State Awards, reports the Edmond Sun. These 100 top public high school seniors, selected from 536 nominations statewide, hail from 82 schools in 74 Oklahoma school districts.

Teacher externship program preparing for summer

The Oklahoma State Department of Education’s teacher externship program pairs teachers with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related businesses during the summer.  As it expands the program, the state is looking for STEM-related businesses interested in offering paid on-the-job teacher externships, reports the Ada News

“Now we’re in a position to think about the summer of 2018,” said Dr. Robyn Miller, deputy superintendent for educator effectiveness and policy research. Miller said the program helps teachers make their classrooms come alive, and students benefit because they get a chance to explore various career paths.

Teachers may apply to the program from January through May. The externships take place during the summer break, and OSDE and participating businesses follow up with participating teachers when they return to the classroom in the fall.

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Tuesday!

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Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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