Category Archives: Faculty

Learning from mistakes

Webster teacher Randall Padek supervises TRAICE students as they head to lunch. Students in TRAICE must wear orange construction vests to identify themselves and eat at a different time than their peers. PHOTO BY KEAUCHA WILSON

By Brad Bain, Cassie Hale, Rebecca Mallard and Keaucha Wilson
Staff Writers

Webster teacher Maurice Johnson said TRAICE is a place where students can learn from their mistakes.

“Most of the worst students are the ones not wanting to work and learn from their mistakes,” said Johnson, who also teaches world history, African-American history and economics at Webster.

TRAICE — which stands for Tulsa Resource and Adolescent Intervention Centers of Excellence — is where students are sent when they are past the point of a discipline card, but their actions do not require a suspension.

Johnson said students come into TRAICE, and 40 percent of them leave changed.

“There are times even when some good students have bad days,” Johnson said.

Randall Padek, who teaches environmental science and biology, is also a TRAICE teacher at Daniel Webster Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet High School.

Padek said some of the students coming into TRAICE surprise him.

He said most students are in TRAICE for not following teachers’ directions or for being tardy to class.

“It helps the teacher when TRAICE is a place students don’t want to visit,” Padek said.

TRAICE students wear orange construction vests to identify themselves.

They  have to arrive first thing in the morning just like a normal class.

They sit quietly in a room, isolated from their peers and usual teachers.

For lunch, they must eat a sack lunch containing only a single ham and cheese sandwich, milk and a piece of fruit, Padek said.

“I do think that they are treated fairly,” Padek said. “The reason they wear the vests is to isolate them as a student and to show others that they must re-learn the rules. The same goes for the sack lunches.”

Some students disagree.

“I can understand that they want to isolate them, but there are other ways to get the point across,” said Vanessa Sparks, a Webster senior. “They don’t send kids work, and they need to fix the lunch policy.

“I get we were ‘bad’ kids, but you don’t have to treat us like we’re poor or something. Even people in jail get a halfway decent meal.”

Taylor Morris, a sophomore at Webster, said she also had trouble getting her work while she was in TRAICE.

“They could definitely work harder to get your work. I went an entire day without receiving anything from teachers,’’ Morris said.

Johnson said he passes out schoolwork to the students in TRAICE so they can keep up with their classes, but it’s up to them to do it.

Daizhan Ferguson, a sophomore at Webster, is in TRAICE for excessive tardiness.

Ferguson said he is not in TRAICE that often.

He said he doesn’t like it, but he does his work.

The TRAICE students have to do community work around the school.

Ferguson doesn’t mind going out and cleaning up.

“I do that at home,” he said.

Brittney Edgehill, a freshman at Webster, was sent to TRAICE for walking out of class.

“I like Mr. Johnson. He’s OK,” Edgehill said.

She said she doesn’t really learn from TRAICE.

Sparks, however, learned from her experience.

“I’m a good child. I don’t belong in there. Being in there will make you think twice before acting up,” Sparks said.


Students, teacher discuss role of music in their lives, society

By Garrett Garroutte
Staff Writer

Carl Curtis, a music teacher at Daniel Webster Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet High School, has been involved in music since the age of 14, which according to him, adds up to about 40 years.

Curtis plays the piano, and his favorite type of music is jazz. His favorite artist is Chick Corea. Music is important to Curtis.

“It gives me a sense of accomplishment and focus,” he said.

Curtis said music is important to the world.

“It is a piece of every culture in the world and has been around since the dawn of time,” he said. “Turn on your TV or radio and see if you can get by without hearing music.”

Curtis said music has helped try and right the wrongs in the world.

He said it was a big part of the peace movement and the civil rights movement.

Dylan LaCrone, a Webster student, has been involved in music since fifth grade. He plays flute, saxophone and piano and has a music scholarship to the University of Tulsa.

He said music is very important in his life.

“It has brought people from low points in their life,” he said.

Gabbie Wright, also a Webster student, has been involved in music since fifth grade and plays a variety of instruments: flute, bassoon, piano and piccolo.

Wright said music just makes her happy and keeps her busy at the same time.

Her favorite type of music is metal, “because the concerts are really fun,” she said.

Kristy Fleming, another Webster student, has been involved with music for 12 years.

“Music has helped me see the beauty of everything,” said Fleming.

She said she enjoys folk music.

“It’s the voice of a common man,” Fleming said.

Fleming plays the violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, banjo, vibraphone and dobro.

“Music has defined not only my personality, but every other area of my life,” she said. “Music is the purest facet of the human experience. It goes beyond words.”

Victims mistake abuse for ‘tough love’

By Meisha McDaniel
Staff Writer

According to a study by Teenage Research Unlimited, nearly 80 percent of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser.

“I thought the abuse in my relationship was tough love when I was younger,” Tiffany Burns, a 21 year-old, said, reflecting on her abusive relationship during adolescence. “When you’re young and naïve, it’s so hard to get out.”

According to CBS News, 30 percent of young women ages 15-24 are in an abusive relationship.

“I’ve seen more prevalent cases in the last five years. Young ladies are more tolerant of more behaviors that should not be tolerated from young men,” said Cassandra Smith, a social worker based at Daniel Webster Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet High School.

Why do so many young women today end up in abusive relationships?

Cases show similar patterns of abuse in the household or young women lacking father figures.

“My dad was just a terrible jerk. I had that problem dating older men, and I always found myself in awkward situations,” Madi Barbee, a Webster senior, said. “But luckily I don’t have that problem anymore.”

Smith said girls and younger women are particularly vulnerable.

“Young girls need to feel validated, so they seek older partners. If you’re a young woman — say, 16 — an older man will still prey on their vulnerability,” Smith said.

Teen males also fall victim to domestic violence.

“Girls also take advantage of boys, but there isn’t as much as evidence. One of 20 males will report an incident on dating violence, and that’s unfortunate,” Smith said.

For further information, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE or visit

Intern inspires Webster students

Kate McGee organizes graded papers in Emily Priddy’s classroom. McGee spent the first part of this semester at Webster. PHOTO BY MIKAYLA MASSEY

By Jennia Gibbs and MiKayla Massey
Staff Writers

Henry Brooks Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Intern Kate McGee has had an opportunity to influence students this semester at Daniel Webster Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet High School.

McGee is a teacher in training who helps out in Emily Priddy’s classroom.

McGee said she was given the opportunity to go to graduate school for free.

“I fell into it. It wasn’t planned,” she said.

McGee has enjoyed her time at Webster, which ended Friday.

“What surprised me is how good the experience was and how much creativity the job takes — how much fun it was to work with Ms. Priddy also,” McGee said.
“Ms. Priddy has inspired me; one of the best things is meeting Ms. Priddy.”

Several students said they will miss McGee.

“When Ms. McGee leaves, it will be a very sad thing for us students,” said sophomore Jackson Harrison. “She’s nice. She seems very helpful to Ms. Priddy.”

Kimani Williams, a junior at Webster, appreciates McGee’s hard work.

“Ms. McGee inspires me because of her work ethic. She’s always here and there,” Williams said.

Sophomore Jerick White also said McGee inspired him.

“Ms. McGee inspires me because she’s a young, fun teacher that I think will succeed in her career,” White said.

“She makes me realize that education is important, but sadly, she’s leaving, and we will miss her very much.”

McGee said she isn’t sure where she will go in the future; she just knows she’s going to teach. She plans to teach middle school or high school.

She said she loves the small-town feel at Webster. McGee said the things she is looking forward to as a teacher are helping and having independence.

“My weaknesses would be lack of confidence and classroom management,” McGee said.

Priddy said McGee will do well in the future.

“She is very good at teaching writing. She explains things very clearly, and she connects very well with the students,” Priddy said.

“She really cares about the students, and that’s important. You could be the smartest teacher in the world and not care about your students, and they won’t learn.

“She is a very promising teacher, and as she gains experience and confidence, she’ll just keep getting better and better.”

Teachers weigh in on use of Facebook

By Kimani Williams
Staff Writer

Daniel Webster Broadcasting and Digital Media Magnet High School faculty members find freedoms and limitations in using Facebook.

Jim Rector, principal at Webster, said Facebook is blocked during school unless there’s a legitimate class reason, but teachers are free to use it on their own time.

“Privately, it’s the teacher’s discretion. Outside of school, it’s completely private. If the teachers identify themselves as a teacher … they have to be aware of what they’re posting,” Rector said.

Rector has a Facebook page of his own; however, he doesn’t befriend anyone until after graduation.

“It’s easier to have a standard policy and be safe than be lenient and compromise things,” he said.

Wilfred Berlin, science teacher at Webster, originally started his Facebook page in 2007. He has had it for almost five years and currently uses it at least six days per week.

Berlin said he posts anything on his wall that may be of mutual interest and is legal, and anyone may confront him.

“I live in a glass house, and anyone may see what is there,” Berlin said.

Berlin uses his page both as a teaching tool and for social reasons.

“I originally joined FB for the sole purpose of helping with the Ron Paul campaign but didn’t realize the full potential for some time of what I could be doing,” Berlin said. “After realizing the potential for sharing information, I began to spend more time, and so much of what is posted is political.”

Kimberly Kiss, English and French teacher, created her Facebook page to stay in touch with former students in another city after moving back to Tulsa in 2008. She has had her page about three years and logs on almost every day.

“In addition to posting, I check on my family, and I also have a few pages where I like to keep updated with things going on in Tulsa,” Kiss said. “I also follow a lot of athletes and my favorite sports teams as well as political happenings on Facebook.”

Her own personal guideline is not to befriend students in her classes or former students who still attend Webster.

“I keep the line pretty closely drawn so as not to risk any problem for a student or myself,” Kiss said.

She said she looks forward to befriending students, if they so choose, after they graduate.

Longtime friends reunite

Principal Jim Rector tries to look stern toward teacher Elizabeth Beeson, who appears less than impressed. Rector has known Beeson for 16 years. PHOTO BY GABBIE WRIGHT

Beeson, Rector met when she was a student

By Merissa Watts
Staff Writer

English teacher Elizabeth Beeson and Webster Principal Jim Rector have been friends for many years, but it was Beeson’s talent as a teacher that got her hired.
“I didn’t hire her because she was a good friend,” Rector said. “I hired her because she was a good teacher.”
Rector and Beeson met in Broken Arrow 16 years ago, when Rector was a sixth-grade teacher at Beeson’s middle school.
“We were all a little scared of him, and he always wore cowboy boots,” Beeson said.
Even though Rector didn’t have Beeson in any of his classes, he observed her around the school and said she was very smart and very reserved.
Ever since then, they have kept in touch and have become good friends.
They started growing their friendship when Beeson worked at a library that Rector visited often.
“The library is like my second home,” Rector said.
When Beeson was in college, Rector used his teaching experience to help her with her education.
After college, she had a teaching job that she could have stayed at, but she was unhappy, which led to her decision to come to Webster.
Beeson said being friends with her boss makes for a pleasant work environment.
“I know if I have a question, I can ask him, and he will listen,” Beeson said.
Assistant Principal Saundra Ford has observed Beeson’s classroom and said Beeson is a good teacher.
“She’s energetic, and she’s very positive,” Ford said.
She said Beeson is an asset to the Webster faculty.

Bowlin transferred to Penn

Webster graduate and longtime employee Ricky Bowlin repairs a computer. Bowlin was transferred to Penn Elementary School last week. PHOTO BY KEAUCHA WILSON

By Keaucha Wilson
Staff Writer

Ricky Bowlin, a 2002 Webster graduate, loved high school so much that he decided to stay.

Bowlin went to Webster for all four years of high school. After graduation, he became a teacher’s aide.

Last week, he got news that he would be transferred to Penn Elementary School, located near McLain High School, to work as a sixth-grade teacher’s assistant.

Bowlin said he will miss all the people he has met and the friendliness, because Webster is like a family.

“I will still be the voice of the Warriors at all the sporting events,” he said.

Bowlin said his favorite moment at Webster was his senior year, when he was crowned band king.

He has seen changes since then. Bowlin said he can’t believe the way students have acted since he’s graduated.

“They have gone downhill since then,” he said.

Linda Bingaman, college and career readiness teacher at Webster, has worked closely with Bowlin and doesn’t like it at all that he’s leaving.

“The whole school is going to miss him. He did a lot of the troubleshooting, so since he’s leaving, I’m going to have to do it during my plan period,” Bingaman said.

She said it’s going to be hard for her to do any troubleshooting during her plan period, because she has to cover classes or go to meetings.

“Everything is going to be put on delay. That’s sad, though, but Ricky was able to work on the computers right away,” she said.

Bingaman said she will have to put a lot of work orders in for district computer technicians to handle.

“This will not only affect Webster, but everyone as well,” she said.

Jim Rector, principal at Webster, said it was the district’s idea for Ricky to leave.

“They changed allocations, because the elementary has been getting more kids, and that’s where he is needed,” he said. “I hate to lose Ricky. I don’t know what else to say, but it’s a sad day.”

Rector said Bowlin will not be replaced.

“If we had the money, we would keep him,” he said.

Dale Edwards, special assistant to the principal, said Bowlin will be missed.

“Everyone is sad because Ricky has been here for 10 years,” Edwards said. He said Bowlin is a “multitalented guy” when it comes to technology.

“He is the feet and ears of everyone on this staff. No one can take his place,” Edwards said.

He said the teachers will have to step up to the plate now that Bowlin is gone.

“It will slow down the education process, though,” Edwards said.