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About Lakehoma

Lakehoma Elementary was the third Mustang elementary school, which was built in 1978. The principal was Mr. Larry Bruce. Our school secretary was Mrs. Sandy Jantz. Mrs. Vickie Hadlock was our cafeteria manager. Our custodian was Mr. Melton. That year we were home to 428 students:
58 Kindergarten students (Mrs. Knippers, Mrs. Stewart); 89 First Grade students (Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Mayo); 72 Second Grade students (Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Owens, Mrs. Smith); 69 Third students (Mrs. Goodman, Mrs. Homan, Mrs. Purdy); 69 Fourth students (Ms. Hull, Mrs. Moen, Mrs. Schwartz); 71 Fifth Grade students (Mrs. Engel, Mrs. Fishburn, Ms. Holmes). The essential teachers were: Mrs. Maynard-Counselor; Ms. Wedman-PE; Ms. St.Cyr-Art; Ms. Burchett-Reading; Mrs. Crowder-Music; Ms. Prather-Library Media Specialist; Mrs. Womack-Learning Lab; Ms. O'Toole-Learning Lab.

For many years, Lakehoma served as a Kindergarten through 5th grade. As the years have changed, the school has grown and developed. Now Lakehoma currently serves students from Kindergarten to 4th grade. We are seeing some second generation students and it is so much fun to see the Lakehoma tradition continue.

We are a Great Expectations Model school. This means that we have been recognized by the character education program, Great Expectations, as having implemented the practices so thoroughly we are a model of their program.

Teacher of the Year 2016-2017
2017 Lakehoma Teacher of the Year Amy Leochner
 
 First-grade teacher Amy Leochner is Lakehoma Elementary's teacher of the year. The 2001 Mustang High School graduate has been with Mustang Public Schools for two years and has been teaching for nine.
 

Leochner attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies. She thought she would pursue counseling or teach high school or college.

In 2005, she started work on a master's degree in religion studies at the University of Kansas. She needed a job, and the school's child development center needed a preschool teacher.

Her graduate adviser was suggesting she enter a doctorate program or law school. The child development center director pushed her to consider working with elementary and preschool children.

“By the end of the two years there, it was like, ‘OK, I think I need to be with the little people and not working in secondary,' ” she said.

She returned to Oklahoma, took a job at an Edmond day care and began the alternative certification process. She finished in July 2008 and took an opening in an Oklahoma City school that needed a fifth second-grade class because of large class sizes.

“I walked into a classroom that was completely empty. The only things I had to teach with other than textbooks were things I had purchased with my own money."

 

“It was the first time I experienced what they experience every day, prejudice and racism,” she said. “It opened my eyes to that population and that community. I take that with me now. When I do my Great American research project with my class, I try to make it as diverse as possible so that way the students learn about another person's culture and struggles."

The principal put one student with her in March because the other teachers couldn't handle him. He would throw furniture in a rage and pepper her with obscenities. By the end of the year, he was different.

“Even though it was hard, we built a relationship. It opened my eyes about the importance of relationships because for me, that's the first thing I now do with any child," she said.

After working at the preschool in Kansas, her approach comes from child psychology. She stressed the difference in punishment and consequences. Punishment is taking away recess or writing sentences. The consequence for throwing a chair, for example, is putting it back where it belongs.

“If it's a fit of anger, we don't need to create this huge drama over it. I think that sometimes children look for this drama because that's how they believe the child/adult relationship works. For some children, it's retraining to show how healthy relationships work even though it might not be what they have known. I want the classroom to always feel like a safe and welcoming place, physically and emotionally."

Leochner moved on from that school to teach in Edmond and at a private school. She was hired in 2015 to teach at Lakehoma, the same elementary she attended, and has been a first-grade teacher the past two years.

“I wanted to see positive change in the world. For me, this happens by being hands-on with people, not studying it from afar," she said. “I'm living out my purpose by working with the children to guide them to be kind, compassionate world-changers who love learning."

Shannon Rigsby is communications officer for Mustang Public Schools.

Previous TOTY Winners
 2016-2017 Amy Leochner, 1st Grade
2015-2016 Belinda Bennett, Kindergarten 
2014-2015 Amber Terrell, 4th Grade
2013-2014 Vikki Dodson, 2nd Grade
2012-2013 Sonya Glover, 1st/2nd Grade
2011-2012-Kendra Cope, Spec. Ed
2010-11 Melissa White, Counselor
2009-10 Terri Dill 4th Grade
2008-09 Mary Jane McDonald 5th Grade
2007-08 Jenny Prather 1st Grade
2006-07 Paula McCullough Reading Lab
2006-07 District Teacher of the Year Paula McCullough
2005-06 Kim Iraggi 5th Grade
2004-05 Liz Barber 3rd Grade
2003-04 Guy Walcher 5th Grade
2002-03 Linda Womack Spec. Ed.
2001-02 Jana Countryman 4th Grade
2000-01 Cheryl Burchett 1st Grade
1999-00 Laura Scalf 3rd Grade
1998-99 Rick Burroughs PE
1997-98 Ann Willett 5th Grade
1996-97 Paula McCullough 3rd Grade
1995-96 Kathy Neuenshwander 3rd Grade
1994-95 Ginger Jacob 3rd Grade
1993-94 Terre McDonald Music
1992-93 Judy Sternberger 4th Grade
1991-92 Pat Hildebrant 4th Grade
1990-91 Connie Graham 2nd Grade
1989-90 Linda Womack Spec. Ed.
1988-89 Paula McCullough 2nd Grade
1986-87 Earlyne Fishburn 5th Grade
1985-86 Pam McLaughlin 5th Grade
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906 South Heights Drive, Mustang, OK    Phone: 405-376-2461