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Vickie Penson

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Background Information

Employment History


Jefferson Elementary School


Jefferson Es

Third-Grade Teacher

Jefferson Es


The Horace Mann Companies


Web References(9 Total References)

Vickie Penson, principal of Jefferson Elementary School, reflected Houston's feelings of wanting a bigger turnout."For those that showed it was received really well," Penson said."I am a little disappointed that we didn't get more."Houston and Penson said the event (held at each of their respective campuses) was very well organized and staffed.

News-Star OnlineFormer teacher's aide rises to leader's role 09/14/03

So Vickie Penson began working her way from support personnel to classroom teacher to her new role this year as principal at Jefferson Elementary School. "So far, I can honestly say I love my job," Penson said Thursday."I'm looking forward to being here a long time." Twenty-five years ago, Penson was hired as an aide for the new coed physical education program at Shawnee High School.She loved sports and was excited about her duties, which included helping coach cross country and track. In 1985, Penson added athletic director secretary to her tasks and began helping with the driver's education program.Soon, she was coaching the pom pon squad, a post she continued for nine years.She also coached softball and track at the high school and taught an hour a day at Faith 7. Along that time, she was asked to take the position of principal's secretary at the high school.She served as registrar, taking care of transcripts and records and helping the principal. "I enjoyed that job a lot, but I felt more removed from the kids," she said."I had some contact, but I wasn't getting a lot of one-on-one time with them." Staff members at the high school had begun telling Penson she ought to go back to school and become a teacher.She listened to their encouragement and finally made the decision: she'd enroll in college and become an elementary teacher.She told her husband, Larry, also an educator, and he and their two kids offered tremendous support, she said. "I didn't think I would finish the first semester.I was so unsure of myself," Penson said."But then I got my grade report, and I'd made a 4.0.I was elated." Penson attended two years at Seminole State College, then earned a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Central Oklahoma.To pay the rest of her costs, she made cheerleading uniforms for squads across the state, sometimes driving many miles to deliver them. After earning her teaching certificate, Penson applied for positions at both Jefferson and Horace Mann elementaries in Shawnee.She was hired at Jefferson -- a dream come true, she said -- but after three weeks she was transferred to Horace Mann because of its population explosion. "I was devastated at first," she said."But it was the best experience at Horace Mann that I could have had.It prepared me for teaching.I love those kids over there.They need your love and attention so much." Penson taught fifth grade at Horace Mann from 1994 to 2000.In those years, she also earned her master's degree from UCO, focusing on administration. In 2000, she became a third-grade teacher at Jefferson and continued through spring of this year.But when she learned the principal's post would be open, she felt it was time to apply.She earned the job, and began the year as the head of the school. "The kids know me as a teacher, and they're learning me as a principal," Penson said."Now I can be there for all of them.I'm not going to know just 20 kids -- I will know almost 400 kids.That's rewarding for me to be there for them." Penson said she had some concern about leading a school where she'd just been teaching, but she's been met with a supportive staff who knows her skills. Penson said her years of working in all areas of school life have been great preparation for being a principal.She knows how to get things done, and she's learned do's and don'ts from other administrators over the years. Principals must wear many hats -- from comforting a child to filling out forms to fixing a leaky roof -- and Penson said she loves the variety of the job.She takes pride in being consistent, fair and calm, she said, and enjoys the problem-solving parts of her position. But, like her staff, Penson goes to school each day for one main reason: the children. "We're all working toward the same goal -- student success," she said."I can't name one person who doesn't feel that way.I want students to feel like this is a second home.When they leave the building for the day, I want them to say they were happy to be at school today." Penson said working with youth comes with big rewards: the hugs they give, their coming into her office for a piece of candy to celebrate a good day, their capacity for love. But the career also brings heartache.Many children come from broken homes, Penson said, so an educator's job must go beyond reading and math. "Some kids are needing attention so bad," she said."Their parents are divorced and they just don't know where they belong.Kids bring baggage -- they're just like us.But they don't know how to deal with it yet.Sometimes their hearts are broken, and we help them through it." Penson said she's mindful of her rise from teacher's aide to principal.But she didn't think much of the journey until someone queried her about doing the same thing. "I told them they could do it," she said.

News-Star OnlineVolunteers to landscape school 04/08/05

Jefferson Principal Vickie Penson said, "We were thrilled and honored that our school was mentioned."Penson said the school was "really in need of having some landscaping."

News-Star OnlineParents, teachers voice concern about violence near school 03/11/05

Principal Vickie Penson said the purpose of the meeting was to allow parents and teachers the chance to speak with Collard about the incidents and the possible formation of a neighborhood watch.

News-Star OnlineBook fair goes out for business 02/08/04

Principal Vickie Penson, with the help of corporate sponsor OG&E, has sent a letter out to businesses asking for help to raise money to purchase new playground equipment. Penson said the playground has been a concern for some time. "Most of the playground equipment is older than the hills," she said. Last year, she said, the school librarian started raising money as well as working on a grant.The grant fell through, but she did raise $5,000.However, Penson said the single piece of equipment they are hoping to buy costs $24,000. Penson said the "huge toy" has several slides, different climbing regions and is reported to hold 100 kids.The current equipment consists of two swingsets and monkey bars. She said the school is also planning to put down a ground cover to increase protection for the students. The letter to businesses lists several ways to help the playground drive. Penson said cash donations are acceptable -- one business has already called to pledged money -- but there is also an opportunity to promote reading. Penson said the book fair is open to all interested readers.

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