School superintendent recommending district be annexed

Tuesday, November 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FITTSTOWN, Okla. (AP) _ The superintendent of a small Pontotoc County school district is pushing the idea of merging his system with a larger neighboring one even though it may result in him losing his job.

McLish Superintendent Ron Brown said Monday he hoped that the school, possibly the oldest wood-frame school still operating in Oklahoma, could be retained for educational purposes. The school was built in the 1930s.

Stonewall and Roff are the most likely districts to inherit McLish's students, since the district is located between both towns. Stonewall Superintendent Floyd Gibson visited the McLish School Board last month.

Brown noted that only five members of the school's 14-member basketball team may return next year. McLish's senior class has 16 members, the largest of any class in the school, Brown said.

``We're a small rural school. In the combined third and fourth grades, there are only 12 students,'' he said.

There are fears enrollment could drop from a present average of 118 daily to 100 next school year. Brown also said it's getting harder each year for the school to keep the necessary teachers for required classes.

Brown said annexation was being debated when he came there four years ago and has been discussed for the past 25 years.

The school boards for McLish and the annexing district would have to pass resolutions in favor of the annexation, said Dwight Bruss with the Education Department.

Patrons in the McLish district also would vote on the annexation before it could occur. According to state law, both the losing and receiving districts have to support the annexation for the transfer to occur.