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Superintendent Office Personnel
Scott Chenoweth Leslie Flemming – Administrative Secretary
Berva Pool – Payroll, Insurance, Benefits Secretary
Dianna Brorsen – Activities Secretary
Les Justus – High School Anna Shelton – High School Secretary
Bryan Hall – Junior High Kim Sheets – Junior High School Secretary
Jennifer Shields – Elementary Pam Frazier – Elementary School Secretary

From the Superintendent’s Office

– August, 2015

While the rest of the country and state has been feeling the effects of the teacher shortage for quite some time now, Perry is just now starting to feel those effects with the number of applicants seeking positions with the Perry Public Schools being down.

Oklahoma, as a whole, is dealing with an extreme shortage of certified teachers, according to the State Department of Education, which reported more than 500 emergency teacher certifications were issued last school year. So far this year, the Department of Education has reportedly already issued almost half of that number.

The crisis is being felt locally too, though not at the distressing level of other areas in the state.

Perry Public Schools is fully staffed for the 2015-16 school year.

“In the last five years we have had some difficulty in finding applicants in specialty fields such as foreign language and special education,” said Scott Chenoweth, superintendent of Perry Public Schools.

He said he believes the local school district is feeling the crunch later than some other districts in the state due to Perry’s close proximity to Oklahoma State University.

“Also, a significant number of our staff has ties to Perry,” Chenoweth said. “They either grew up and graduated from here or have family here and they like Perry and want to return here.”

He said whereas in the recent past there has been some difficulty in finding teachers in specialty areas, now it is even trending into subjects that are common.

“Our whole pool of candidates has shrunk,” Chenoweth said. “There are fewer people studying education and the number of college students graduating with degrees in education or receiving teaching certificates is decreasing.”

He said while education is a very rewarding field, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it pays less than some others.

He said this year the Perry School District has been contacted by other area school districts to see if there are any excess applicants. Though Chenoweth said this is not necessarily a new practice.

“It often happens late in the summer before school starts,” he said.

But Chenoweth said he expects things are going to keep getting tougher. He said there are some things the district can do to keep the teachers it has and attract those it needs.

“We have to treat our employees well,” Chenoweth said. “So our existing teachers will spread the word that this is a good district to work for.”

He said the district also has to get the needed positions out there early and move on them as quickly as possible.

Chenoweth said eventually the state is going to have to make a financial commitment to keep teachers.

“It’s going to have to be a substantial commitment, not just a token commitment,” he said.

According to Chenoweth, all the states surrounding Oklahoma pay teachers more. So often, Oklahoma loses its certified personnel to surrounding states.

“Our hope is that the state figures out a system to put in place that brings more money into education,” Chenoweth said.

900 Fir Ave
Perry, OK 73077

High School
900 Fir Ave
Perry, OK 73077

Junior High
901 Elm
Perry, OK 73077

Upper Elementary
1303 N 15th
Perry, OK 73077

Lower Elementary
1103 N 15th
Perry, OK 73077

Maroon Academy
906 N 13th
Perry, OK 73077

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