When Purcell students returned to school on Wednesday, there were 15 new faces among the faculty to greet them.
The breakdown across the district was five new teachers each at the high school and elementary school, two at the junior high and three at the intermediate school
Purcell High School
Joining the faculty were Charles Ankenman, Roger Raper, Ray Samford, Cole Sharp and David Sikes.
Ankenman is teaching Spanish.
“I love to teach, to learn more about my subject and to find new and better ways to teach,” he said.
He previously taught at Deer Creek High School.
Ankenman is a graduate of Las Vegas Academy, Brigham Young University and the University of Oklahoma.
He is married and has a son, 7, and a daughter, 4. He enjoys hiking, spending time with his family and exploring new places.
Raper is teaching military history and government and will coach boys basketball.
He is a graduate of Owasso High School and University of Central Oklahoma.
Raper, who previously was head boys basketball coach at McLoud High School, was drawn to Purcell by the Dragons’ boys basketball “winning tradition.”
He has two children – Annistyn, 12, and Anika, 11.
Samford is teaching physical science and biology.
He graduated from Broken Arrow High School and Oklahoma State University.
He previously taught government and military history at Purcell High School.
Samford and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons – James, 6, and Andrew, 3.
Sharp is teaching Oklahoma history, government and military history. In addition, he is the Dragons’ head baseball coach and assistant football coach.
“Purcell was the place to be where I grew up in this area,” he said. “And the baseball job came open and I was excited to see that.”
Sharp graduated from Wayne High School and East Central University. He taught two years at Maysville, followed by seven years at Wayne.
“I have been part of a state championship in football at Wayne (2011),” he said, adding he was named Rookie Coach of the Year in 2017 by the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association.
He is married to Kourtney Sharp.
Sikes is teaching history and physical education. He also will be head girls basketball coach at the high school and PE teacher at the intermediate school. He is a graduate of Mill Creek High School and ECU. Previously, he taught at Lexington High School.
“We have lived in the community for three years and we are excited to now be part of the school system,” he said.
Sikes and his wife, Samantha, have two children – Karolina and Oakley.
Purcell Junior High School
New faculty members are Lou Decker and Nic Gwin.
Decker is teaching eighth grade U.S. history.
She is a graduate of Petrolia High School and Midwestern State University.
She previously taught health and physical education and was a coach.
“We moved to Purcell last June,” she said. “I subbed until a position came open.”
Decker and her husband, Ryan, have three adult children – Joseph, Marti and Jaci.
Gwin is teaching seventh grade geography.
He is a graduate of Lexington High School and ECU.
Previously he was a teacher’s assistant at Wayne, where he also taught PE and was assistant football coach.
He chose Purcell for the “opportunity to invest in the sports programs and student athletes.”
Gwin is a member of First Baptist Church in Purcell. He and his wife, Leigh, have two daughters – Lilly, 6, and Magnolia, 11 months.
Purcell Intermediate School
New teachers are Lori Frankenberg, Samantha Sikes and Angie Wren.
Frankenberg is teaching third grade. She returns to the classroom after three years of retirement.
An educator for 30 years (20 in Purcell), Frankenberg retired in 2014.
“I felt called to return to the profession I love and was called to do,” she said. “Purcell Schools was the obvious choice for me.”
She graduated from Covington-Douglas High School and OSU.
She and her husband, Glenn, have three children – Conner, 21; Cooper, 17, and Camdyn, 12.
Sikes is teaching fifth grade reading. She previously taught sixth grade reading.
She is a graduate of Mill Creek High School and UCO.
The Purcell assignment allows Sikes and her family to “stay in the community we live in and attend church in.”
She is married to David Sikes.
Wren is teaching fourth grade. She is another longtime Purcell educator returning to the classroom here.
“I am so excited to be back to Purcell Schools and to have the opportunity to work with fourth graders,” she said.
During 19 years with the district, Wren taught grades four through eight. She later worked as a learning specialist at the University of Oklahoma and last semester taught English language arts to fifth graders at Noble.
She is a graduate of Purcell High School, OU and UCO.
Wren and her husband, Kevin, have a son and daughter-in-law, Colton and Laney; two daughters, Riley and Avery; and a 10-month-old foster child.
Purcell Elementary School
New teachers are Samantha Bottoms, Dara Evans, Shelly Foulk, Amber Lovett and Zoe Swift.
Bottoms is teaching early childhood special education.
She is starting her fifth year teaching, having previously taught second and third grades for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
She is a graduate of U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City and ECU.
“I wanted to come to a smaller district,” she said. “I also wanted to help children with special needs.”
She and her partner, Scott, have two children – Jayson, 4, and Wyatt, 3.
Evans is teaching music.
She is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and in a nine-year career taught at Noble, Chickasha, Norman and Mid-Del schools.
She and her husband, Cody, have two children – Brason and Beckam. The family moved to Purcell two years ago when Cody became worship pastor at First Baptist Church.
“I am happy to be able to teach in the community we live in,” she said.
Foulk is teaching first and second grade special education.
“I want parents to be able to see significant improvement in their child’s educational, behavioral and social development,” she said.
A graduate of West Texas High School and West Texas A&M University, Foulk previously was a private pre-K teacher at Primrose School in Texas.
She and her husband, Gage, have two children – Jace, 20, and Jessica, 6.
Lovett is teaching kindergarten.
The first-year educator is a graduate of Purcell High School and University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
She said she wants to be a “bigger part of the community where my kids grow up.”
She and her husband, Daniel, have two daughters – Logan and Parker.
Swift is teaching first grade.
“Purcell is where I grew up and developed my love for learning,” she said. “I was inspired to teach by so many Purcell teachers and I am grateful to follow in their footsteps.”
She is a graduate of Purcell High School and USAO. She previously taught two years at Buchanan Elementary School in Oklahoma City.
Swift and her husband, Kody, have a daughter, Kaizer.