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October 22, 2007
Counselor Tammy Garcia and student Austin Drennan
Union Public Schools will formally dedicate the newly-remodeled and expanded Union Alternative School, 5656 S. 129th E. Ave., at 1 p.m., Monday, October 29.
“We hope the public will join us in celebrating the completion of our extensive remodeling project which has allowed us to expand our services to include a middle school alternative program,” Principal Richard Storm said.
Persons planning to attend the dedication are asked to R.S.V.P. to Sandy Brazeal at 357-6001 by Friday, October 26.
The dedication will also feature the debut of the school’s new drum line under the direction of teacher Michael Murray as well as dancers. Speakers will include Principal Storm, Superintendent Dr. Cathy Burden, School Board President Ed Payton as well as comments from one of the parents and 2006 Alternative graduate Eric Goolsby, who is now a member of the Presidential Guard that safeguards the U.S. President.
The new complex features separate facilities for high school students and middle school students, a new cafeteria, expanded science and computer labs, a greenhouse and more classroom space.
History of the School
Union Alternative High School started in 1995-96 with three teachers and 45 students as a school-within-the-school program at Union Intermediate High School. A high need for services caused the school to be expanded to 4 teachers and 60 students for the second semester of that year. In 1997, a separate facility was built to house the program, which expanded to serve 112 students with 7 teachers, a full-time principal, and a full-time counselor.
During the past 10 years, the program has consistently been designated as an exemplary alternative education program by the Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center, it has received awards from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and from the National Dropout Prevention Network, it has received recognition from the United States Department of Education, it has hosted groups of educators from all over the nation and from England and Taiwan when they have wanted to learn about effective practices in alternative education, and it has been cited as a national model of effective alternative education by educational writers of national renown such as Franklin Schargel, Tony Thacker and Robert Barr.
For the 2007-08 school year, two adjacent buildings have undergone a $1.8 million remodeling to become the new home for the high school program, and the current building has been renovated to house a new alternative middle school for 6 teachers and 90 students.