EDUCATION

Ferguson sworn-in as Pawhuska school board member

Mike Erwin
merwin@examiner-enterprise.com
Pawhuska Public Schools Clerk Sara Pitts, on left, administers the oath of office to Danny Ferguson, the newly-appointed member of the local Board of Education. Ferguson, a 2001 PHS graduate, is the vice president Pawhuska Branch manager for American Heritage Bank. The swearing-in took place during Monday's regular school board meeting. Ferguson replaced four-year board member Christi McNeil, who resigned in June with two year's remaining on her Seat 3 term.

One week after being selected as the local school board’s newest member, Danny Ferguson attended his first meeting of the Pawhuska Board of Education on Monday.

A 2001 Pawhuska High School graduate, Ferguson was appointed to fill the board’s No. 3 seat — which had been vacant since Christi McNeil resigned two months ago. Ferguson is a vice president of American Heritage Bank and serves as the manager of American Heritage’s Pawhuska branch.

McNeil, a fourth-year board member, tendered her resignation because of an apparent conflict with board policy. She resigned June 7, immediately before the board voted to hire her brother-in-law (Joe Tillman) as Pawhuska High School football coach.

The selection of Ferguson to the school board was announced after members had discussed applicants for the position in an executive session held during an Aug. 1 special meeting of the board.

Ferguson said Monday he was “very excited about getting started” with the board. He said he had previously considered running for a position and was honored to have been chosen to serve out McNeil’s Seat 3 term, which will expire in 2018.

“I’d been approached in the past about possibly serving on the (school) board,” said Ferguson. “I felt this was an opportunity to make a difference by becoming more involved with the schools.”

Not that Ferguson wasn’t already somewhat involved with the local school district. He currently is president of the board of directors for the Pawhuska Community Foundation and he served as chairman of the organization’s Pawhuska High School Honors Banquet Committee. Ferguson also is a board member of the Pawhuska Public Schools Foundation, an august group responsible for managing a longstanding local scholarship fund.

Prior to graduation from PHS, Ferguson was a member of the Huskies’ football, wrestling and baseball teams. He began working at the current AHB location when it was still Osage Federal in 2006 — the same year he earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Ferguson received a Master of Business Administration degree in 2009 from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Ferguson and his wife, Shananae, have two children — an 8-year-old daughter, Faylee, who is preparing to start the third-grade at Pawhuska Elementary, and a 2 1/2-year-old son, J.D.

He is a member of the Pawhuska Lion’s Club. Ferguson and his family are members of First Baptist Church.

During the school board’s reorganizational meeting earlier this year, McNeil had been elected as the board’s vice president. On Monday, members held another election for that position.

Enrollment was conducted at the local schools Monday through Friday, Aug. 1-5. The 2016-17 school year begins here Wednesday, Aug. 17.

At the Aug. 1 board meeting, Kim Hester was hired to be the new principal at Indian Camp School. Prior to accepting the local position, Hester had been employed with the Bartlesville School District.