By August 5, 2016 Uncategorized 3 Comments

Here’s a story you probably didn’t see in this morning’s newspaper…

Perennial all-star mathematics teacher, Ms. Roshelle Eastcreek, signed a contract extension with the Sand Springs Sandites on Thursday, ending speculation that has run rampant since fellow high school math teacher, Kevin DeLozier, departed for the Waco school district in Texas earlier in the summer.

If Kevin’s departure from the Sand Springs District was one of the darker days in Sandite history, Eastcreek’s announcement yesterday may be one of the brightest.

The district office did not disclose terms of the deal, but sources told Rachel Snyder at the Sand Springs Leader Newspaper that the new contract is potentially worth $112,000 over the next three school years. The deal includes a teacher option that would allow Eastcreek to still become a free agent after the 2017-18 season.

With Eastcreek’s commitment, Charles Page High School Principal Stan Trout can finally move forward in completing his final teaching roster and master schedule for the 2016-2017 school year.

Trout commented that Eastcreek’s signing resulted in a “huge, collective sigh of relief in his building,” and will allow the rest of his teachers to devote their full attention to preparing for the upcoming academic calendar.

Trout added, “Roshelle is a true superstar at our school. Her classroom awareness, her ability to get all students involved in the daily lesson, and her skills to change direction quickly while on the move, make her a unique and special teacher.  As a result, she makes those around her better.”

“Twenty years ago, that’s me,” Trout said of Eastcreek. “The attitude, trying to prove yourself, showing so much passion for the profession of teaching. You see it in her classroom. You can tell she loves to teach, she does so with energy and flair.”

“There’s nowhere else I would rather be than Sand Springs,” Eastcreek said at a news conference to announce the deal. “You guys have basically raised me. I’ve been here since I was 22, 23 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely, when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that’s the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by.”

Asked why she agreed to the extension now rather than wait until next school year, Eastcreek was emphatic: “There’s no need to wait if you know where you want to be.”

Talks between the sides centered around the addition of two more years to Eastcreek’s current contract, which expires after the 2016-17 season. The new deal calls for Eastcreek’s salary to jump from just under $37,000 next year to almost $37,700 in 2018-2019, a 1.8% increase over the next three years!

Per the agreement, if Eastcreek also completes her Master’s degree before 2019, she could earn an additional $900 a year in bonus money.

In the wake of DeLozier leaving, the Sandites made locking up Eastcreek to a long-term deal their primary summer objective. Sand Springs approved the retirement of one of its high school social studies teachers to free up salary space to offer Eastcreek a max extension.

Eastcreek said she found out about DeLozier’s departure through social media. Asked if DeLozier choosing to move to Texas for a $15,000 pay raise made it sting more, Eastcreek responded, “Sting for who?”

“With Kevin going it opened up a few things for me,” she said. “For me, just being able to see the teachers we have … I felt like this is the best place for me and the strongest math department in the state. As the new department chair, I love being here, and this is the place I wanted to be.”

In a statement released Thursday, Sand Springs Assistant Superintendent Rob Miller said: “On behalf of the Sandite organization and the entire Sand Springs community I want to congratulate Roshelle and offer my sincere appreciation for not only her profound presence and skill as an educator but for her high character, personal integrity, and extraordinary leadership. We are thrilled she will continue with us and we look forward to exciting days ahead for the Sand Springs Sandites.”

Enthusiasm for Johnson’s signing extended to Sand Springs City Hall, with Mayor Mike Burdge proclaiming Thursday “Roshelle Eastcreek Day” and awarding her a special certificate and a free lifetime pass to the city’s annual Herb and Garden Festival. Burdge called Thursday “a momentous day” for the Sand Springs community.

In a related story, coincidentally, NBA basketball player Russell Westbrook also  renewed his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday.

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