Pawhuska welcomes new faculty members
Pawhuska Public Schools welcomed several new staff members on the first day of school last Thursday.
“We have many new faces this year,” said Pawhuska High School Principal Joe Sindelar, “and I believe we have a great group of teachers and coaches who are firmly committed to ‘Restoring the Pride’ at Pawhuska High School.”
Sindelar announced the theme for this coming school year in a column published Aug. 12 in the PJC.
“We are very excited to get the new school year started, because of the many positive changes that we implemented under the banner of ‘Restore the Pride,’” he said in the column. “Our staff has been very proactive in bringing forth ideas and objectives that I believe will change the dynamics of our school in a very positive way.”
The new faculty members are a diverse group, filled with both new and familiar faces to the district. One thing they all have in common is a desire to see their students succeed.
Lauri Shatswell is the assistant principal at PHS, as well as the co-athletic director and head girls’ basketball coach.
“There’s a revitalization happening at Pawhuska High School this year,” she said. “We are raising the level of expectations in all levels of the school, from academics to athletics, and more.
“I look forward to being a part of that — building a positive and excellent school,” Shatswell added.
She is in her 20th year as an educator and holds a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Northeastern in Tahlequah and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas as Arlington.
Shatswell has two daughters, Jaina Lee, 21, a senior at Rogers State University in Claremore and, Jayli Lee, 18, a freshman at OSU-IT.
Meghan Davis teaches 11-12th English classes, advanced placement 11-12th English and is the Senior Sponsor. She has 25 years of teaching experience, 15 of those years have been with Pawhuska Schools. She took off last year and is returning once again.
“I look forward to the opportunity of working with all these good kids again,” Davis said. “They are good, smart and motivated kids.”
Davis believes teaching is an “enormous responsibility.”
“I have to do my level best in every class time to equip them to be successful in their lives, not just as students and learners, but as human beings and citizens of the world,” she added.
Megan and her husband Phil have a 25-year-old son, Sam.
Sharon Holloway is the business and information technology teacher at Pawhuska High School.
“I originated the CareerTech Business Education department here,” said Holloway, “and I am looking forward to rejuvenating the program.”
She’s in her 34th year of teaching. Holloway started the CareerTech program at PHS in 1982 and taught there for 25 years, before taking a leave of absence to care for her parents. Now, seven years later, she is returning.
“I want to provide my students with the best education in computers to prepare them for their college careers,” she said.
Holloway graduated from Collinsville High School in 1976, Northeastern State University in Tahlequah with a bachelor of business education in May 1980, and also from NSU a master’s in junior college teaching-business education in May 1987.
Corbett (Corey) Duncan
Corbett “Corey” Duncan teaches eighth and ninth grade English. This is his first year of teaching, after earning his degree at Cortwind State University in New York.
Duncan looks forward to living in the Pawhuska area, where he can be closer to his family.
“I was born in a small town in southern California,” he said. “When I was in fourth grade, we moved to Oklahoma to be around our family. I remember the school system here and the feeling of family that pervaded the community.”
After moving to New York and graduating high school, Duncan joined the Air Force. He received an honorable discharge and decided to start college classes in the fall of 2004.
“When my mother and sister became disabled and wished to be nearer our family, I went with them,” he said, bringing him full circle and back to Pawhuska.
“When I went to my first English class, I remembered how much I love literature and writing,” Duncan said. “My teacher told me that I would make a wonderful teacher. Then I started to remember how much I loved teaching martial arts for the past 12 years and teaching dental laboratory skills to Red Cross volunteers when I was in the Air Force.”
Duncan’s goal is to make sure his students succeed: “If they do well, then I’m happy.”
Debra Richardson teaches eighth grade math, algebra 1 and ACT Prep/Life Prep.
She has been teaching for 15 years and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in math education from Brigham Young University in Utah.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the students here and being a part of this community,” Richardson said. “I love math and I hope to inspire kids to like it and be good at it. I want to help prepare them for college and to help get them started in life.”
She and her husband Clint have four children: Kathryn, a freshman at West Texas A&M; Nathan, a junior at PHS; Allison, a freshman at PHS; and Dallin, a sixth grader at Pawhuska.
Athena Farrell is teaching one section of eighth grade language arts, 10th grade English, one section of 11th grade English, and a communications course.
This is her second year teaching. She earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah in May of 2014.
“I look forward to working with new staff, meeting new students and teaching English,” she said. “English is my passion and I am a people person, so education was the decision for me.”
Farrell’s goals for her classes are that her “students have fun, learn a bunch of information, write like no one is watching, and read some awesome literature that they may have not had the opportunity to read on their own,” she said.
“I absolutely love teaching, so my goals are to just have a good time and learn.”
Athena’s husband Joseph Farrell is also a new face for Pawhuska Public Schools.
Joseph Farrell teaches Social Studies.
In addition to a year teaching in public schools, Joseph Farrell has also taught for two summers at a Level E boys home. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education and a minor in psychology at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
“I look forward to getting to know my students and the staff at Pawhuska Public Schools,” he said.
“My goal is for my students to have a good time while learning about the social sciences.”
Seth Creamer is teaching environmental science, zoology and chemistry at Pawhuska High School, as well as assisting with high school football.
This is his fifth year as a secondary school teacher. Although he does not have a teaching degree, he was alternatively certified by the State Department of Education based on previous work experience as an EMT, a police officer and a Korean linguist in the army. Creamer also has a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Oklahoma State University.
“I look forward to this school year because I’ve heard great things about the Pawhuska community and the direction this school is going and I want to be a part of that,” said Creamer.
“My goal with all of the students I will be teaching this year is to get them interested enough in science that they will continue to pursue it throughout their lives,” he said. “Whether that means pursuing a STEM degree from OSU — Go Pokes — or watching the occasional show on the Discovery Channel, I want to engage them with a passion for understanding the natural world that is the basis for all science.”
Seth and his wife Amanda have six children: Zaylen, Abigail, Annabelle, Violet, Patrick and Makayla.
Other new employees at Pawhuska Public Schools are:
Indian Camp Elementary — Sarah Clement, Blake Formby, Heather Nelson, Kaci Potter and John Reeves.
Pawhuska Elementary — Byron Cowan, Rebecca Jones, Briana Millard, Natasha Olsen, Kendall Phillippi and Rocky Staggs.
Pawhuska High School — Chad Kills Crow, Benjamin Rawlinson and Christian Supernaw.