Jenks School teacher glad to be back in the classroom

Thursday, August 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

You've got to wonder if this year will be as bad as last year's, when it comes to school budgets.

Many school districts are cautiously optimistic that things will be a little better this year. But they're still dealing with cuts made earlier this year. News on 6 anchor Terry Hood has an education update on a budget cut story with a surprise ending.

All summer long, students knew this day was coming. The day they'd have to go back to school. But many Tulsa area teachers didn't know if they would be returning to the classroom. 1st year Jenks school teacher, Tamara Branch, "my contract ends June 30th and there's no guarantee that I will have a position next year."

Tamara Branch was one of 48 Jenks teachers on temporary contracts. Last spring, Jenks schools didn't re-new those temporary contracts because of budget cuts. So despite good reviews from her principal, students and parents, branch was looking for a new job.

A tough order, since most Tulsa area schools were cutting back on teachers, not hiring them. But branch had a few things working in her favor. "I had a lot of support from parents from people I worked –12 who actually sent letters to the principal to the superintendent wanting me to get this position back." The effort worked.

Tamara Branch and 20 other temporary teachers are back in Jenks Schools Thursday. I can tell you, she gets emotional just talking about how it all worked out, she's delighted to be back in the classroom.