Brock, Dronyk, and Fee inducted into BPSF Educator Hall of Fame

posted Apr 8, 2017, 1:45 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 12, 2017, 5:08 AM ]
2017 BPSF Hall of Famers
2017 Educator Hall of Famers Leonard Brock, Cindy Dronyk and Ed Fee with members of the Foundation's Board of Directors
On April 6, 2017 the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation inducted its eighth class of honorees into its Educator Hall of Fame. Leonard Brock, Cindy Dronyk, and Ed Fee were honored for their service in Bartlesville Public Schools.

The event was held as a breakfast event at the Bartlesville Community Center in a Community Hall filled with tables sponsored by community members and organizations. The event raises money for the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation (BPSF), which funds grants to teachers in the public schools for professional development, classroom materials and equipment, and to bring experts into the schools for face-to-face interactions with students. The foundation has funded well over two million dollars in creative projects outside of traditional sources since it was founded in 1985.

The annual Hall of Fame event usually starts by highlighting successful students. Bartlesville High School teachers and coaches David Ayres and Bon Bennett introduced the state champion cross country boys and girls teams. This school year marked the third consecutive state championship for the girls team, while the boys won their first-ever state title and were also named the Class 6A state academic champions.

Cross Country Introduction

Justin Krebbs & Chuck McCauley
In a change from prior induction ceremonies, instead of guest speaker there were brief remarks from BPSF Chairman Justin Krebbs and district superintendent Chuck McCauley. Mr. Krebbs mentioned that the group's Elementary STEM Challenge Grant was very near its $41,000 goal and that the group was hiring Blair Ellis as a full-time director to be housed at the district's Education Service Center.

The highlights of the event were the introductions of and remarks by the three Hall of Famers. Leonard Brock was introduced by retired educator, community volunteer, and author Vicki Stewart, who spoke about various milestones in his career, including serving as principal at various elementary schools in Bartlesville and eventually coordinating all of them. The Foundation donated $1,000 to a district program of each honoree's choosing, and Mr. Brock picked Ranch Heights Elementary School.

Vicki Stewart and Leonard Brock

Karen Lowe, co-founder of the Lowe Family Young Scholars Program, introduced inductee Cindy Dronyk, including Cindy's involvement in and leadership of many different education groups throughout her teaching career in Bartlesville and continuing after her retirement. The Foundation will donate $1,000 to the Bartlesville High School Math Department on her behalf.

Karen Lowe and Cindy Dronyk

Bill Beierschmitt, retired administrator for Bartlesville Public Schools and Rogers State University, introduced Ed Fee, speaking of their long friendship dating back to when they led Sooner High School and of Ed's long career of service in Bartlesville's secondary schools. Mr. Fee asked the Foundation to direct its $1,000 on his behalf to the Bartlesville High School Science Department.

Bill Beierschmitt and Ed Fee

The district's schools, educators, students, and parents benefit greatly from the support of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation. This was illustrated by a professional video shown at the end of the ceremony with segments on recent grants.

Recent Grants

Classroom Grants for Teachers
funding new and innovative approaches to education
2013-2014: 13 grants totaling $16,933.36
2014-2015: 12 grants totaling $12,430.79
2015-2016: 18 grants totaling $19,267.68
2016-2017: $31,738.76 in grants

Experts in Residence
brings professionals to the classroom to share their experiences directly with students
2014-2015: 3 grants totaling $12,900
2015-2016: 4 grants totaling $6,200
2016-2017: $6,855.36 in grants

Professional Growth
allows certified teachers and principals to enhance their instruction and management skills by attending national, regional, and state professional development conferences and workshops
2013-2014: 9 grants totaling $16,799.76
2014-2015: 10 grants totaling $17,011.55
2015-2016: 5 grants totaling $9,917.15
2016-2017: $1,176.90 in grants

BPSF Hall of Fame Sponsors

$10,000 Matching Grant
Truity Education Foundation & BPS Foundation; to be awarded to school in the district

Hall of Fame Event Sponsor
Truity Education Foundation

Corporate Sponsors
ConocoPhillips
Truity Credit Union

Administration/School Board Sponsors
PSO

School Table Sponsors
Various sponsors paid for tables for schools and related groups in the district, allowing some staff members and others to attend the event:
  • BancFirst - Woodrow Wilson Elementary
  • Ford & Vanessa Drummond - Bartlesville High School
  • Doenges Family Auto- Bartlesville High School
  • Keleher Outdoor Advertising, Inc. - Hoover Elementary
  • Green Country Dental Arts - Wayside Elementary
  • Kevin & Kay Bjornen - Jane Phillips Elementary
  • Bill & Vicki Beierschmitt - Madison Middle School
  • Thad & Andrea Satterfield - Central Middle School
  • Tom & Jana Gorman - Richard Kane Elementary
  • Dr. Robert and Dr. Jean Oliver - Ranch Heights Elementary
  • Rep. Travis Dunlap, Sen. Julie Daniels, and Rep. Earl Sears - Washington County Retired Teachers
  • Charles and Corky Bowerman
Honor Roll Sponsors
Lesley Farr
Cheryl Cowles
Marilyn Blackburn
Scott & Pam Bilger
Doug & Penny Quinn
Sheila Stephenson
Frankie Sievers
Laura Birk
Carla White
Caughell-Rodgers Investments
Ginger and Anne Griffin

Music courtesy of Bartlesville High School Music Department
Flowers provided by Evans Nursery

Educator Hall of Fame Committees

Selections:
Stevie Williams, Chair
Bill Beierschmitt
Marilyn Blackburn
Spencer King
Granger Meador
Earl Sears

Event Committee:
Jessica Birk, Chair
Marilyn Blackburn
Cheryl Cowles
Blair Ellis
Lesley Farr
Sara Freeman
Stevie Williams

Promotions:
David Austin
Granger Meador
Stevie Williams

BPSF Committees

Experts in Residence: Frankie Sievers, Chair
Professional Growth: Lesley Farr, Chair
Classroom Grants: Sheila Stephenson, Chair
Finance: Matt Krieger, Chair
Governance: Blair Ellis, Chair
Fundraising: Jessica Birk, Chair

BPS Foundation Board of Directors

Officers
Justin Krebbs, Chair
Blair Ellis, Vice Chair
Matt Krieger, Treasurer
Jessica Birk, Secretary

Members
Marilyn Blackburn
Kay Bjornen
Jacqueline Bulleigh
Lesley Farr
Sara Freeman
Ginger Griffin
Janice Leonard
Sonya Reed
Brian Saltzman
Frankie Sievers
Sheila Stephenson

Ex-Officio
Chuck McCauley, Superintendent of Schools
Alison Clark, Board of Education

BPSF Board of Directors


2017 BPSF EDUCATOR HALL OF FAME

Leonard Brock
LEONARD BROCK

2017 EDUCATOR HALL OF FAME HONOREE

Leonard Brock worked in elementary schools for 24 years, rising from school teacher to principal while at Bartlesville, and going on to become the district’s first Director of Elementary Education. After retirement, he soon returned to drive a district bus for 14 years.

Leonard’s combined 38 years of commitment to schoolchildren and his leadership during critical times for the Bartlesville Public Schools are why he was selected to be inducted into the eighth class of the Educator Hall of Fame of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation. Joining Leonard in this year’s class will be esteemed former Bartlesville educators Cindy Dronyk and Ed Fee.

Leonard will tell you he was not a good student growing up in Fairland, Oklahoma. He even quit school in his sophomore year. But a few months of farming with a team of horses convinced him to go back and finish his junior and senior years. It helped that he could play football and was a self-described sports fanatic. That interest eventually paid off. After he graduated a semester after the others in his class, he went into the Army and two years later was going to college on the G.I. bill with a football scholarship.

He started at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami and then graduated from Northeastern State College in Tahlequah with a major in Physical Education. He and his wife, Mary, moved to California to teach. But she was homesick, so a few years later they returned to Oklahoma to teach in Bartlesville’s Limestone school district, which included the Limestone, Ranch Heights, and Wayside schools. They were absorbed into the Bartlesville district, and Leonard was teaching elementary classes half of the day and serving as a school principal for the other half, with no secretary and only one phone in the building. He worked at Wayside and then Ranch Heights, only to be recalled to Wayside, a week before school started one year, to solve a crisis.

The principal and custodian had resigned. The building had doubled in size, but construction was not ready for the start of classes. In fact, the new rooms wouldn’t be ready until the next calendar year, and the older rooms had no windows. Everything had been packed into the gym, and the cafeteria was filled with ceiling tiles. Leonard had quite a mess on his hands. He matched up two teachers to each usable classroom and got the cafeteria cleared out so that he could drop in a phone line and have his office at one end, have his wife teaching kindergarten at the other end, with the kids eating in the middle. Mary was also a beloved educator, and is already a member of the BPSF Educator Hall of Fame, having been inducted into its second class six years ago.

Leonard’s leadership landed him the position of the district’s first Director of Elementary Education and serving as Principal of the new Richard Kane Elementary. The end of the baby boom had brought another crisis. Bartlesville had two underpopulated junior high schools and too many elementary schools. Leonard helped develop and sell the successful middle school concept, transforming the junior highs to serving grades 6-8 while consolidating elementary schools. He recalls promoting the plan on the west side of town with Earl Sears while Bill Dunlap and Bill Beierschmitt promoted it on the east side of town. 

After he retired in the 1980s, Leonard went to work in Kansas for awhile, but returned to Bartlesville to join his brother-in-law and fellow former principal, David Boone, in driving a district bus. He drove a country route for 14 years, earning “mad money” for his retirement. He’ll tell you some of his best friends were his fellow bus drivers. Leonard will also admit that he “liked being around kids and all that kind of business.”


Cindy Dronyk
CINDY DRONYK

2017 EDUCATOR HALL OF FAME HONOREE

Cindy Dronyk’s commitment to education has never wavered. When she retired in 2007 after teaching math at Bartlesville High School for over 20 years, she promptly began mentoring a fifth grade girl through the Lowe Family Young Scholars program. A decade later, that girl has grown into a young woman who is a sophomore at Rogers State University in Claremore and has been on the Dean’s list for the last two semesters. Cindy Dronyk has been there all along, helping that student thrive.

Cindy Dronyk brought that same commitment to her teaching and leadership in Bartlesville Public Schools from 1984-2007, which has earned her induction into the eighth class of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame, along with two former teachers and administrators in the school district - Leonard Brock and Ed Fee.

Cindy also works with the Bartlesville Westside Community Center to help youth prepare for and find summer employment, and she serves on the board of the Washington County School Supply Drive, which donated over 2,400 filled backpacks last year to school children who needed school supplies. When asked why she is so committed to helping underprivileged children, she explains, “They are our future. If we don’t help them become productive members of society, we are jeopardizing our future.”

Growing up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement also influenced her to reach out. Cindy grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where her mother was a nurse and her father owned a small cafe. Cindy loved school, and recalls, “I was so excited to get my own library card when I was six. Eventually I became President of the Student Library Assistants of Mississippi - the S.L.A.M.!” 

Cindy majored in math at the Mississippi State College for Women and married Mike Dronyk, her husband of 47 years. She began her teaching career in Fontana, California in 1972, as the only female in the math department of a high school with 2,500 students. Cindy and Mike later relocated to London, England and then Stavanger, Norway, before coming to Bartlesville in 1984. Her philosophy in teaching high school math was, “I felt that every person can do math, they just might do it at a different rate than others. I wanted them to persevere and not give up.”

Regarding teaching in high school, Cindy comments, “I enjoyed the students. I loved their personalities - I like the idea that they are just starting out and what they may become. I am glad to have played a small part in helping these people who are so successful in life.”

Long a leader among teachers, Cindy was the President of the Bartlesville Education Association who helped the district resolve a difficult financial shortfall in 1995. Today she serves as communications chair of the Oklahoma Retired Educators and as Treasurer of the Washington County Retired Educators Association.


Ed Fee
ED FEE

2017 HALL OF FAME HONOREE


Ed Fee knows firsthand how valuable the Bartlesville Public School Foundation is for enhancing the education of Bartlesville students. During his 36 years of service in the district, he was awarded grants by the Foundation to assist his professional growth as a school administrator. Now the Foundation has tapped Ed Fee to be part of the eighth class of veteran educators to be inducted into its Educator Hall of Fame. Joining Ed in this year’s class will be Cindy Dronyk and Leonard Brock.

Ed Fee graduated from Watonga High School and earned his bachelors and masters degrees at Oklahoma State University. At OSU, one of his professors commented, “You will be teaching our future leaders!” How true that was. In 1963, during his first year of teaching, Earl Sears was a ninth grader in one of Ed’s industrial arts classes. Earl remarked that he would become a teacher one day. Not only did Earl do that, but he wound up also teaching industrial arts at the beginning of a 32-year career as a teacher and later principal at Bartlesville’s Central Middle School. Earl extended that leadership into politics, and has been a state legislator since 2007.

Another student of Ed’s in his first year of teaching was Jeff Grisham, who grew up to become a local ophthalmologist. Not long ago, Dr. Grisham was operating on Ed’s eyes. Ed couldn’t resist reminding his doctor what he had been taught in industrial arts: “Measure twice, cut once!”

Ed taught and mentored many future leaders over his long career in the district. After teaching industrial arts and woodworking at Central Junior High, he went on to teach Driver’s Ed at College and Sooner Highs and become an administrator over Adult Education. He was later named a Vice-Principal at Sooner High under John Coale and was an Assistant Principal when Sooner High became Bartlesville Mid-High. 

Ed has many fond memories of his professional colleagues. He appreciates how former superintendents G. M. Roberts and Wayne Richardson and former principal and superintendent Bill Beierschmitt supported him during his start in administration. He also remarked how he is delighted to be joining a Hall of Fame that includes former administrator Ron Jared.

Ed credits the many teachers he worked with over the years for helping him grow as a teacher and for making him proud to serve with them. While in Bartlesville, Ed met and married Mary Sue, an English teacher who continued to work in Adult Education after Ed retired in 2000. Mary Sue recently joined Ed in retirement, and their son Kent is an architect in Virginia, while their daughter Kathy is a lawyer who lives in Edmond with her husband and their twin daughters. Kathy’s husband worked with NATO in Belgium for the previous five years, and Ed remarked that since he retired he and Mary Sue have been able to travel more. He happily says, “Who knew visiting our kids and family would require so much travel?”


 
BPSF Hall of Fame

2017

2017 Honorees
  • Leonard Brock
  • Cindy Dronyk
  • Ed Fee
 Hall of Fame  Hall of Fame
 Hall of Fame  Hall of Fame
 Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
2015 Honorees
 Hall of Fame