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Union Community

Parents and Community Involvement

Union is part of a community that consistently supports the school system. More than 2,000 volunteers from throughout the community work in its schools.

The Parent Teacher Association is active in all the schools and works with Union to provide equipment and scholarships for students and supplies for teachers. The Union Schools Education Foundation, which was established in 1991, raises and distributes funds to teachers for classroom-based projects. In addition, a number of parents are active in booster clubs for athletics and spirit programs, as well as band, music and drama.

The Community Action Project partners with Union to provide a program for three year-olds at the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center, while the Community Service Council, the City/County Health Department and a number of organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America team with the district to offer a variety of services and programs.

Shea Ludwig, executive director of Union Schools Education Foundation, at Union Tuttle Stadium


Board of Education & Voter Support

Heather McAdams ran unchallenged for Zone 3 on the Board of Education during the 2022-2023 school year.

Union Board Member Dr. Chris McNeil was recognized as one of “Ten People to Watch in 2023” in the New Year’s edition of the Tulsa World. In addition to his second year of residency as a doctor and serving on the Union Board of Education, he also finds time to inspire young black men to pursue a career in medicine through his involvement in the Black Men in White Coats program.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Union’s 5-year bond issue. Proposition I asked voters to consider approval of $146,540,000 to provide funds for the purpose of constructing, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment and acquiring and improving school sites. Within this proposition, $51.6 million will be set aside for a major redesign of the Union 6th/7th Grade Center. Proposition II asked voters to consider approval of $5.46 million for the purchase of vehicles, including regular student route buses. Under state law, a supermajority of 60 percent approval of the voters is required for passage of EACH proposition. In total, both propositions amount to $152 million in improvements as part of a five-year general obligation bond. Visit the Planning section for more information.

Community Support

Union hosted an appreciation breakfast at the UMAC for more than 225 people representing the district’s community partners. District Community Schools Coordinator Kul- sum Siddiqui, who organized the breakfast, was lauded by Dr. Hartzler for coordinating Union’s community schools initiative. The district’s community schools coordinators were also recognized, as well as Theresa Kiger, executive director of Elementary Education. Hartzler said Union’s path toward building community schools started with an idea by Kiger some 20 years ago.

Union Public Schools received donations of $8,000 in July and $8,500 for the second half of 2022 from TTCU Federal Credit Union as part of its TTCU School Pride® program.

CommunityCare made donations totaling $20,000 to the education foundations of eight Tulsa-area schools to support teachers, including the Union Schools Education Foundation. CommunityCare is Oklahoma’s largest locally owned health insurance organization, owned and operated by Saint Francis Health System and Ascension St. John.

Union High School honored 13 scholars, educators and professionals who have made an impression in the medical field during the first-ever White Coat Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Redzone Room at the UMAC, hosted by the Tulsa Union Medical Society. Those honored include Dr. Lucille Stevens, Class of 2013; Dr. Samuel McNulty, Class of 2014; Sr. Alicia Tomlin, Class of 2012; Dr. Valerie Ritter, Class of 1992; Dr. James Hensel, Class of 2007; Dr. Samuel Jellison, Class of 2012; Dr. Michael Baxter, Class of 1994; Dr. Carlie Gatlin, Class of 2012; Dr. James Herrington, Class of 2002; Debbie Furgerson, nursing 1988-2022; Penny Leary, science teacher 2001-2017; Steven Moran, science teacher 1983-present; and in a surprise, biomedical teacher Stacia Bowden.

Roy Clark Elementary looked a little greener thanks to 30 volunteers, Up With Trees and a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation. Volunteers planted 35 trees of different varieties all over the campus area. Roy Clark Elementary was chosen for the planting because the school was identified by the Tulsa Urban Forest Master Plan as a high-need planting area due in part to its low canopy.

Union’s Jamie Rogers was recognized as the Oklahoma Parent Teacher Association’s Volunteer of the Year.

Grove Elementary had more than 600 students and family members attend the Spring Carnival hosted by Asbury Church. As usual, they provided an incredible event for our families.

Broken Arrow firefighters took time to read to McAuliffe students in grades pre-kindergarten through first grade.

Roy Clark and Grove elementary third graders received dictionaries from Rotary Club of Southeast Tulsa.

Union Schools Education Foundation

The Union Schools Education Foundation awarded 145 educational grants in fall 2022 valued at $119,880. The projects to be funded ranged in value from $110 to $4,843 for a program providing materials for all visual arts educators in the district.

Besides funding educational grants, the Foundation also committed to backing various district-wide initiatives in the 2022-23 academic year. These included ongoing support for programs like Union High School’s College & Career Center, Union Pre-K Camp, Union High School Leadership, New Teacher In- duction, BizTown, Union’s Special Olympics Team, Teacher and Support Person of the Year, and Graduation Celebration. Addition- ally, a new program called “For The Girls” was introduced last school year. This effort utilized donated funds to provide feminine products to school nurses for distribution as needed. The total support pledged to the district for 2022-23 amounted to $170,000. The teachers, administrators and staff of Union Public Schools pledged an incredibly generous $77,154 to USEF during the 2022 Month of Giving. These funds directly support USEF educational grants.

The Foundation welcomed a record 620 guests at its annual dinner and auction – Hats Off to Union…A Derby Day Soirée! May 6, 2023 at River Spirit Resort. National Teacher of the Year, Union’s own Rebecka Peterson, the national 2023 Teacher of the Year, gave an inspiring presentation and Union patrons raised a record $336,551 in support of Union Schools Education Foundation.

The accompanying online auction raised an additional $16,865 for a total of $353,417. These funds will directly benefit educational programs throughout the district.