Story provided by Stillwater Public Schools
Stillwater High School Social Studies Teacher Rusty Atkins will soon be taking on a role in the school district that’s new to him. At a November 9 meeting, the Stillwater Board of Education approved Atkins as the districtwide Indian Education Coordinator, following the resignation of the previous coordinator.
A 1984 Stillwater High School graduate, Atkins received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He has served the district in a variety of roles for 29 years. Currently in addition to teaching, Atkins also serves as head coach for Stillwater Track and Field and as the Native American Student Association club sponsor. Earlier this year, he was named the National Indian Education Association Teacher of the Year.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds,” says Atkins, “and about the opportunity to work with our native parents with transparency and collaboration. Together, we can set obtainable goals for our students and continue to move forward.” He says he’s excited to share native cultures and to continue to learn and explore many possibilities for the position.
In his new role, Atkins will work to coordinate Title Vll and other federal, state, and local programs to maximize services to eligible students, liaison with student families, and create programming to help assure that the more than 650 SPS Native American students that benefit from the Indian Education program are academically, socially, and culturally successful.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to continue working with students and specifically our native students,” says Atkins. “I appreciate Dr. Moore, Cathy Walker, and the Stillwater Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to continue to build a program and help our native students reach their goals.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Rusty Atkins in this role,” says Superintendent Marc Moore. “Time after time over the years, he has demonstrated his commitment to the education of Stillwater’s children, his excellence as a professional, and his dedication to the Indian Education community. We are incredibly proud of the national recognition he has achieved this year and look forward to the exceptional level of service he will bring in this new role, resulting in an increase in educational services provided to our students across the district.”
Atkins will continue teaching for the remainder of this semester. He will assume some duties related to his new role in the coming weeks and transition fully to the new position on January 5.