GEAR UP Local Education Agency Representatives Attend Partnership Meeting


WILBURTON, OK (Sept. 24, 2014) - Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program hosted its annual partnership meeting for area school teachers, counselors and administrators on September 17.

Fifty–three representatives from 27 partner schools, Eastern Oklahoma State College staff, representatives from Texas Instruments and GEAR UP team members attended the partnership meeting to learn about programs and resources available to GEAR UP students, teachers and parents for the 2014-15 school year.

"The partnership meeting is a great opportunity to meet with our local education agency partners,” GEAR UP Project Director Linda Morgan said. “Representatives from Texas Instruments were on hand to discuss programs available to our partners.”

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal grant program designed to meet the needs of low-income, underserved, and underrepresented students in geographically-isolated, rural schools in six southeastern Oklahoma counties. Eastern was awarded $12.6 million grant over a seven-year period to serve a cohort of students in 30 partner schools.

As we enter the fourth year of the GEAR UP for Success grant, we are serving over 2,400 ninth and tenth grade students,” Morgan said. “We started with this group of students in 2011 when they were in the sixth and seventh grades and will follow them through their high school graduation and first year of college.”
The goal of the grant is increase student academic performance, increase high school graduation rates, increase completion of postsecondary education, improve opportunities for teacher professional development and improve parental involvement.

Morgan reviewed activities completed during the 2013–2014 academic year as well as revealing new programs for the coming year. The GEAR UP staff will teach a new curriculum based on the book “Your Starting Point for Student Success—How to Get Started When You Don’t Know Where to Begin” by well-known motivational speaker Arel Moodie. GEAR UP plans to bring Moodie to southeastern Oklahoma in 2015 for a workshop with GEAR UP students.

In addition, GEAR UP sophomores will have the opportunity to attend an ACT review workshop presented by Chad Cargill, a known expert in test preparation. GEAR UP will pay the registration fee.

The grant provides services such as tutoring, mentoring, career planning and advisement for students and parents, on-going professional development for teachers, college financial aid workshops, ACT test preparation, summer camps, and educational and cultural field trips.

Area schools participating in Eastern’s GEAR UP for Success program include Antlers, Atoka, Bokoshe, Buffalo Valley, Canadian, Clayton, Crowder, Haileyville, Hartshorne, Indianola, Keota, LeFlore, McAlester, McCurtain, Moyers, Panama, Panola, Pittsburg, Quinton, Rattan, Red Oak, Savanna, Spiro, Stringtown, Talihina, Whitesboro and Wilburton.

Atoka County
Marci Bond, Atoka; Ernie Michaelis, Atoka; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Kamy Patterson; and Beth Buretta, Stringtown

Haskell County
Veronica Lovell, McCurtain; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Dara Self; Cydney Meglemre, Keota; and Kelly Husted, Keota

Latimer County
Front Row: Jerry Mathews, Buffalo Valley; Eddie Glenn, Buffalo Valley; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Melissa Juarez; Carmen Harkins, Wilburton; Diana Hames, Buffalo Valley; Jo Lynne Deaver, Panola; Christy Bryan, Red Oak; Trina Patten, Red Oak; and GEAR UP Education Coordinator LaDonna Baldwin
Back Row: Gary Lay, Wilburton; and Bryan Deatherage, Red Oak

LeFlore County
Front Row: Judy Phillips, Whitesboro; Suzie Cormier, LeFlore; Maria Carden, Talihina; and Ashley Gravitt, Talihina.
Back Row: Grant Ralls, Panama; Janet Hopson, Panama; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Melissa Juarez; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Dara Self; Dennis Shoup, Bokoshe; Melissa Darneal, Spiro; and Richard Haynes, Panama

Pittsburg County
Front Row: Bonnie Weeks, McAlester; Brad Kellogg, Savanna; Paula Meadows, McAlester; Angie Wilson, Savanna; Veronica Miller, Haileyville; Tani Scott, Haileyville; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo; Alaina Patrick, McAlester; Gina Hernandez, Indianola; and GEAR UP Education Coordinator Lori Douglas
Back Row: GEAR UP Education Coordinator Ron Sullivan; Chad Graham, Pittsburg; Jason Lindley, Hartshorne; Mike Reddick, Hartshorne; Rodney Karch, Canadian; Mark Ichord, Hartshorne; Stacey Henderson, Quinton; Bud Rattan, Canadian; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Kamy Patterson; Roger Hemphill, Haileyville; Patti Tucker, Crowder; and Mark Baumann, Indianola

Pushmataha County
Neil Birchfield, Rattan; Michelle Birchfield, Ratan; Lawanda Vaughn, Moyers; Melinda Martin, Antlers; Bryan McNutt, Antlers; Marcia Armstrong, Moyers; Lavada Morris, Clayton; Ramonia Davis, Clayton; and GEAR UP Education Coordinator LaDonna Baldwin

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