PONCA CITY – Fifteen retiring Ponca City Public School employees were honored at the May Board of Education meeting. All retirees received a clock with their names and years of service engraved on them. The district held a reception in their honor prior to the board meeting. Information about each retiree is listed in the article below.
Kassie Bridges teaches 6th Grade Reading at West Middle School. She has been an educator for 27 years, and all of her service has been with Ponca City Public Schools. She taught 1st grade at Liberty Elementary for 9 years and then moved to West Middle School to teach reading in 2001.
Linda Broome teaches 6th Grade Science at West Middle School. Linda has been a certified educator for 25 years, three of these years were served in Texas and the rest with PCPS. She began with the district as a Special Education Teacher Assistant and then Science Teacher at Po-Hi. She then moved to West Middle School to teach Science in 1998 and has been there since.
Barbara Davis is currently serving as the Principal at the Washington Prekindergarten Center. She is retiring after 25 years as an Oklahoma educator, and all of those years have been with PCPS. Barbara began her tenure as a Home Economics Teacher at East. She also served as a Counselor at the Alternative School and was the district Teen Pep Coordinator. After that she was the Lead Principal at East Middle School and became the Principal at the Washington Prekindergarten Center in 2016.
Dianne Degan teaches 6th Grade Reading at West Middle School. She is completing 39 years as an Oklahoma educator. Dianne taught at three schools in Oklahoma before she and her husband joined the PCPS Team in 1988. She has taught 3rd grade at Garfield Elementary and 4th grade at Trout Elementary. She joined the West team in 2006 as a reading teacher and has been there since.
Larry Degan is the Physical Education Teacher at East Middle School. He also coaches golf and cross country. Larry is completing 39 years as an Oklahoma educator. His first eight years took him to three districts in Oklahoma to pursue coaching opportunities. He joined Team PCPS in 1988 with his wife Dianne.
Amy Kurtz teaches Special Ed Reading at West Middle School. Amy has been teaching in Oklahoma for 15 years with all of these years at PCPS. She began as a Special Education Teacher at the Alternative School housed at Washington PreK, then she moved to West Middle School to teach Special Education English.
Kym White teaches Math at Ponca City High School. Like Dianne and Larry Degan, Kim and her husband Mike are a husband/wife duo the district really hates losing. She has been an educator for 33 years. She taught three years in Kentucky before joining the PCPS Team in 1990. She began with the district teaching Math at East Middle School and then began teaching Advanced Math and ACT Prep at the Senior High School in 1999.
Mike White has been an educator for 34 years and is currently serving as the Counselor at East Middle School. He taught in Kentucky for eight years prior to joining the district in the fall of 1990. Throughout his service to PCPS, he has taught Math at East Middle School, Counselor at the Senior High School, Counselor/Math at Po-Hi, and went back to East as Counselor in 1997. At that time he also became the district Energy Manager. He was the person who would leave little red notes for employees who failed to turn off their monitors, adjust their thermostats, or unplug all appliances and shut down during breaks.
Cheryl Combs serves as a Paraprofessional at Ponca City High School. She has spent her entire 18 year education career as a Special Education Teacher Assistant at the Senior High School.
Charla Cross is the Title I Teacher Assistant at East Middle School. She has served as an education support professional for 18 years in the PCPS district. She served as Teacher Assistant at the Alternative School and moved to East Middle School as the Title I Teacher Assistant in 2005.
Jeff Denton has been the Director of Child Nutrition for the district since 2004. He began working in the district in October of 1990, so he has worked in the district more than 29 years. Jeff also served as the district Finance Director for several years. He actually retired in November of 2018; however, the district has rehired him to continue part-time as Director of Child Nutrition Advisor.
Debora Gooch serves as the Operations Secretary at the Central Administration Center. Deb has completed 19 years with the district serving as a Teacher Assistant at Roosevelt and Union Elementary schools and Receptionist at Po-Hi. She came to the Central Administration as Operations Secretary in 2014.
Caroline White is currently serving as the Secretary at the district Registration Center. She has been with PCPS for 29 years. She began her tenure as a Teacher Assistant before becoming a Secretary at Garfield Elementary. She moved to the Central Registration Center when it opened in 2015.
Susan White is a Bus Driver in Transportation. She has been with the district serving as a Bus Driver since 1991 – that is 28 years!
Louisa Williams is the Secretary at Roosevelt Elementary. She has been with PCPS for 21 years. She began as a Teacher Assistant at Liberty Elementary and then became the Secretary at Washington Elementary. When Washington merged with Roosevelt in 2005, she became the Secretary at Roosevelt and has been there ever since.
Pictured Front Row L-R: Kassie Bridges, Linda Broome, Caroline White, Louisa Williams, Debora Gooch
Back Row L-R: Amy Kurtz, Cheryl Combs, Dianne Degan, Larry Degan, Mike White, Kym White, Jeff Denton, Barbara Davis