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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness

 
 
Conversation opened. 1 read message. FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:FROM THE-------------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:
 
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FROM OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY:FROM Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum and First Cowboy Darren Shrum have been named grand marshals of OSU’s 2022 Homecoming festivities by the OSU Alumni Association.FROM OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSFROMM
 
 
 
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Stillwater Tax Apportionment Report, February 2024

The collection is based off of December 2023 transactions that were reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in January 2024, and apportioned to the City in February.

2% GENERAL SALES TAX COLLECTION: $1,650,720
·        February 2023 GENERAL SALES TAX COLLECTION: $1,646,294
·        INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $4,426 (0.27%)

1% TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX COLLECTION: $825,360
·        February 2023 TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX COLLECTION: $823,147
·        INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $2,213 (0.27%)

1% STILLWATER UTILITIES AUTHORITY (SUA) SALES TAX COLLECTION: $825,360
·        February 2023 SUA SALES TAX COLLECTION: $823,147
·        INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $2,213 (0.27%)

USE TAX COLLECTION: $493,899
·        February 2023 USE TAX COLLECTION: $422,370
·        INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $71,529 (16.94%)

VISITOR TAX COLLECTION: $98,480
·        February 2023 VISITOR TAX COLLECTION: $89,332
·        INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $9,148 (10.24%)

Go to the City’s Financial Center for more information about the budget and taxes and monthly reports for sales, use and visitor tax: https://stillwaterok.gov/233/Financial-Center

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In a year of continued growth and new leadership, Oklahoma CareerTech affirmed its reputation for pursuing innovative ideas that break from tradition and the accepted paradigm.

Recognizing the growing importance of workforce education, Gov. Kevin Stitt recently issued a proclamation declaring February to be Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month in Oklahoma.

Workforce development is a higher priority for state leaders, and CareerTech expects to play a starring role in the state’s plan to meet employers’ demands for skilled workers. Oklahoma CareerTech has almost half a million enrollments and is planning to add and expand programs to reach even more Oklahoma students and businesses.

CareerTech enrollment has risen in all of its delivery arms for the second consecutive year. Systemwide enrollment was 489,635 in fiscal year 2023, up 9.5% from fiscal 2022’s 446,940. Technology center enrollments were up 13.5% and 42.3% of all ninth through 12th grade students in Oklahoma participated in a CareerTech program.

Under the state’s plan to improve workforce development, CareerTech is working more closely with other state agencies to align partners, services and resources under one common vision.

In 2023, enrollment in adult education and family literacy grew 13%; CareerTech served 8% more businesses; and 991 students graduated from Skills Centers programs.

In addition, membership in Oklahoma CareerTech student organizations -- Business Professionals of America; DECA; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; FFA; HOSA; SkillsUSA; and Technology Student Association -- hit an all-time high as membership exceeded 98,000.

Enrollment isn’t the only way Oklahoma CareerTech is expanding. In January, voters in Beaver County approved annexation into the High Plains Technology Center district. Students in the Panhandle county will be able to attend an in-district tech center for the first time in Oklahoma CareerTech history.

Last year, CareerTech also signed a contract with Choose Aerospace to provide free aerospace curriculum to high schools and technology centers. The curriculum is designed to put students on the path to FAA mechanic certification.

To commemorate Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month, Oklahoma CareerTech will be sharing a wide range of information about its programs and mission throughout February on its social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, X and Instagram.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 60 campuses, 397 PK-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult education and family literacy providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

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United Way of Payne County (UWPC) held its annual meeting at Meridian Technology Center recently to highlight some of its valuable leaders of 2023 and to spotlight its partner agencies.

At the top of the meeting, UWPC outgoing president, Angela Vivar, spoke on each of the 23 partner agencies United Way supports. Afterwards, UWPC Executive Director, Ruth Cavins, acknowledged a variety of community leaders who made the greatest impact on the 2023 campaign.

Geoff Beasley of Cushing, Leon Jones and Julie Weathers of Stillwater, and Chris Petermann of Perkins all received an Outstanding Community Leader Award. Jones and Weathers served as OSU campaign chairs and set a record for the most money raised in OSU’s workplace campaign history.

UWPC awarded Board Member Clem Ward as Board Member of the Year. Tommy’s Express Car Wash received the Shining Star Corporate Spotlight Award for its proactive participation in supporting UWPC. Legacy Village of Stillwater received the Synergy Award, with special acknowledgement for the leadership of Legacy Village residents, Lou Watkins and Cara Beer.

The agency also honored the businesses that ran the top 10 grossing workplace campaigns, which included Frontier Electronic Systems, OG&E Energy Corp., Meridian Technology Center, Oklahoma CareerTech, BancFirst, Payne County Bank, Simmons Bank, Stillwater Designs / Kicker, Stillwater Medical Center and Oklahoma State University. These 10 campaigns raised more than half of the $1 million annual campaign goal.

Ward presented Stillwater Habitat for Humanity and The Saville Center for Child Advocacy with the Bennett Basore Award. This award was named after late UWPC Board Member Bennett Basore to acknowledge accountability and outstanding work among the partner agencies in Payne County. In a rare decision, UWPC chose two agencies to receive the award, which came with $1,000 grant each.
Ward served as Chair of Community Investment Committee, which not only performs a thorough review of each partner agency but also selects a Bennett Basore Award winner.

State Representative Trish Ranson and UWPC Board Member, Chris Stockton, also spoke about what it means to be a champion in the community.

Cavins provided an overview of UWPC through a series of fast facts, including that out of Payne County’s population of 82,794, there were 2,505 donors in 2023. These donors impacted about 75,000 individuals and 54 partner agency programs in areas of health, education and poverty alleviation.

The United Way of Payne County has been serving the Payne County community for 70 years. They invest donated dollars in their 23 nonprofit, partner agencies to improve the health, education and financial stability of every citizen in Payne County.

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Online enrollment for Pre-K students and any new K-12 student joining Stillwater Public Schools for the first time during the 2024-2025 school year will open on March 26. Families that are entirely new to SPS will be prompted to complete an enrollment form, while those who already have SPS children in the district can login to their campus portal accounts to register, beginning on that date.

Any family enrolling a student new to the district will need a copy of the child’s birth certificate, their shot record, and proof of Stillwater residence – a lease, mortgage statement,  or utility bill – to upload during enrollment.

A big part of the annual new student enrollment process is the influx of around 300 pre-kindergarten students. These students must be four years old by September 1, 2024, and must live within the SPS district boundaries. If a family is enrolling a child into the district for the first time at the kindergarten level, that child must be five years old by September 1.

The district encourages families with new Pre-K students to enroll as soon as possible to help ensure placement at their school of residence – the assigned elementary zone in which they live.

Incoming enrollment applications are time-stamped when the proof of residence, birth certificate, and immunization records are uploaded, with students being placed at their school sites in the order received. Enrollments may be delayed if the needed documents are not attached.

Families of Pre-K enrollees will be notified on May 1 about the status and location of their child’s placement. This will allow families to know their status sooner than in previous years and to make alternative arrangements if there was no space in the district’s program. It will also help the district and principals manage staffing levels before the summer break.

Anyone with questions or concerns about enrollment should contact the principal at their school of residence or the district office.

Families in need of interpretation and translation services during the enrollment process should email Stephanie Coca at scoca@stillwaterschools.com for assistance.

2024-2025 enrollment begins on March 26 at 8 a.m. More information about enrollment, SPS, and its programs can be found at www.stillwaterschools.com.

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In effort to increase municipal efficiency and overall effectiveness, Stillwater City Manager Kimberly Meek appoints additional leadership within the City Manager’s Office, Assistant City Manager Christy Cluck and Assistant City Manager Christy Driskel.

Christy Cluck has served the City for more than twenty years in the finance department with a passion for public service, stewardship and long-term financial sustainability. Cluck will remain the Director of Finance in addition to Assistant City Manager. She has a bachelor degree in Accounting from Oklahoma State University, is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and a multi-year recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Christy Driskel has served the City for more than twenty years in Human Resources, is a Public Sector HR Association Senior Certified Professional, an Everything DiSC Workplace Certified Facilitator, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has a bachelor degree from Oklahoma State University. Driskel will remain the Director of Human Resources in addition to her new role as Assistant City Manager.

Brady Moore was named the Deputy City Manager on November 30, and Meek has continued focus on organizational health and efficiency, along with developing partnerships throughout the community.

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