Governor Stitt makes an appearance at the high school


Nikolas Harris

Governor Stitt poses with BA Teacher of the Year Donna Gradel, Oklahoma’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, and Superintendent of Broken Arrow Schools Janet Dunlop.

On Jan. 23, the high school had a surprise visit from Oklahoma’s new governor: Kevin Stitt. Mr. Stitt toured the high school that morning and finished his day at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center with a special announcement. During his visit at the high school, he spoke with many different students and looked in to several classrooms to see how our school operates. The administrators and Donna Gradel escorted Stitt around the campus as well as attending his press conference at the BAPAC. At the press conference, Stitt announced that Ms. Gradel is one of the four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

“It was exciting to have Governor Kevin Stitt visit Broken Arrow High School today as a part of the celebration of our very own Ms. Gradel, I am hopeful that his visit demonstrates a commitment to public education and to our teachers and students that will continue to be felt throughout his term in office,” principal Elizabeth Burns said.

During his visit at the high school, a handful of student council students had the opportunity to meet Stitt and talk with him. The students’ main job was to greet him and show him the new field house.

“Mr. Stitt was very kind and was very interested in our school and community,” senior Bailey Vought said. “I believe this experience was very unique and I am grateful he took time out of his day to visit our school.”

Before leaving Broken Arrow High School, Stitt stopped by one of the classes that Gradel had started at this school. The class is called “Innovative Research” and many students take this course to learn about the environment and what they can do to help improve it.

“Mr. Stitt came to my class to get some student opinions on what a great teacher Ms. Gradel has been for all of us, and he wanted to know what we have been working on in class,” senior Kate Garner said. “It was definitely an interesting experience to have the governor come and ask questions about my high school.”

Stitt’s appearance at the high school was a great opportunity for many students and administrators. His announcement about Gradel at the PAC brought attention to many about her accomplishments this year. Te school is looking forward to see if she becomes the National Teacher of the Year in the spring when she attends a ceremony at the White House.