Hi, my name is Brenda Archer and I'd like to welcome you to Hammon Schools and my classroom. I am the oldest child of Jodie and Dolores (Stinson) Archer. I am completing my 36th year here at Hammon, and it seems like I started yesterday. Most of my life has been spent here inside these walls, since I am also a proud graduate of Hammon High School. My school days began here at Hammon in the First Grade. I will never forget how scared I was and my teacher, Mrs. Hammersly, was quite a little lady. The rest of my school days were spent at Hammon School, ending with my graduation from HHS in 1973. During those years I had some phenomonel teachers. After leaving Hammon, I attended SWOSU at Weatherford and received by B.A. in Ed. in 1977. My major was in Speech Theatre and minor in Social Studies Specialization. My college years were so much fun and I made a lot of friends. I experienced dorm life for two years and lived in an apartment with my brothers--Kerry and Terry--who are twins, for a couple of years. Imagine how I felt when my parents told me that I was going to have to live with my "little brothers" at college! Right after graduation, I was encouraged to go back one more year and get two more minors--English and Library Science--and I finished in the spring of 1978. I was hired by Superintendent Eldon Payne and the Hammon Board of Education for the fall of 1978 and the rest I guess is history.
Through the years, I have taught a variety of subjects--7th, 8th, and 9th grade English, 7th and 8th grade Reading, Oklahoma History, 7th grade Geography, and Speech. I sponsored a variety of extra-curricular activities--competitive speech, Academic Bowl, and Cheerleading. For most of my 36 years I have been the junior high English and Reading teacher. I was also librarian for the school K-12 for about 15 years, as well as doing the yearbook.
I served as the Staff Development Chairman for many years and currently serve as the freshman class sponsor. In the past, I have sponsored every class 7-12 at least three times, and was Academic Bowl Co-Sponsor for ten years. My years as a co-sponsor for the Academic Bowl were some of my most rewarding. In 1996, the team won the Class B State Championship and that was something I'll never forget.
My speech students have also experienced much success. We went to the State One-Act play contest many times and had State appearances in I.E. events for many years. Hammon School produced two All-Staters in One Act competition--1987-Nena Howard and 1990--Kurtis Ivey. My students have won eight individual State I.E. Championships, and eight I.E. All State Awards. Those students winning the State Champion crown and the All-State Award are: 2002 Chancen Flick (DI); 2003 Gini Sexton (PO) and (DD); 2003 Chancen Flick (DD); 2004 Mackenzie Shephard (PR); 2007 & 2008 Darin Scott (PR); and 2013 Alexsis Thain (SO). Five studnets won State I.E. Runner-up Awards and they are: 1996 Jessica Partain (OO); 1998 Chantry Banks (PO); 2001 Chancen Flick (PR); 2005 Mackenzie Shephard (SO); and 2012 Annie Chaney (PO). Eight students also won the State School Superintendent Award for Arts Excellence--1994-Stacey Trent, 1098 Chantry Banks, 2003--Gini Sexton and Chancen Flick, 2008-Riley McCallay, 2010-Darin Scott, 2012-Saydi Dowd, and 2013-Corianne Fairchild. I am extremely proud of all of not only the State winners, but the students who worked hard every year and made it to the State contest. Those kids are winners too!
In 2002, Chancen Flick, a senior at Hammon School, won the 2002-2003 VFW Voice of Democracy National Award. He won an all expense trip to Washington, D.C. a $25,000 National Scholarship, an all expense trip to the Freedom Conference at Valley Forge, and a trip to the National VFW Convention in San Antonio in August of 2003. His parents and I attended the Convention with him and it was truly an experience of a lifetime. Chancen sat on the platform with many important people. Besides the National VFW officers, he was seated with Sen. John Kerry, The British Navy Rear Admiral, National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and the second in command in China. He spoke before a crowd of more that 10,000 veterans and their spouses. Chancen was mobbed by groups of veterans throughout the three day stay. They all wanted to shake his hand, take his picture, and get "his" autograph!
In 2003-2004 Mackenzie Shepherd, won the State VFW Voice of Democracy Contest. That same year, I was selected to represent Oklahoma as the VFW Oklahoma High School Teacher of the Year in the National Citizenship Teacher Award contest. In 2007-2008, Riley McCallay was the State winner and placed 14th in the National contest. The VWF also has an essay competition for 7th and 8th graders. In 2006-2007 Ashley Cole was the State Runner-up in the Patriot's Pen competition and in 2007-2008, Garrett German was the State Winner and 10th in the Nation. Each of these students won an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., a cash prize, and several other awards. I have not had any state winners recently, but every year my students have won at least the District competition!!
Honoring our local Veterans is something that is very important to me. Every year we have a huge Veterans Day Program for local veterans and those from the VA Center in Clinton. Several years ago we put together a Wall of Fame--a portable wall that holds pictures and biographies of local veterans. A total of 145 veterans were recognized the first year. The next year more veterans were added and we also put together a book entitled, Local Heroes. The book contained 250+ veterans and the book was given FREE to each veteran or spouse that was pictured in the book. Later a second book--Local Heroes--Book 2 and finally a third book--Local Heroes 3 was completed to honor our local veterans. Several of my students go to the VA Center in Clinton every Veteran's Day and help with their program. I also organize and supervise a Kleenex Drive for the veterans in the VA Center every year.
Hammon School is an awesome place. I have been so blessed to spend my entire career here at Hammon. I have often said that Hammon has the BEST kids and I wouldn't trade them with anyone! Each day can be a shock, surprise, headache, and a joy, but most of all it's where I want to be!!!!