CEO In Seminole Looking To Start His Own Charter School

Wednesday, September 7th 2016, 1:41 pm
By: Karl Torp

The CEO of an aerospace technology manufacturing company is proposing a charter school in the town of Seminole, Okla.

Paul Campbell of Enviro Systems says his company is expanding, but getting workers to move with their families to Seminole has been a challenge.

"We can't get people to work here. The main reason we found is because of the local education system," said Campbell.

Campbell approached both Seminole and Varnum School districts to figure out ways to help education in the area. Enviro Systems has since pledged $100,000 to sponsor a program with Varnum Schools that would allow students to shadow employees at the company.

Campbell thinks a Charter High School is also needed. As early as next fall, 60 or so high school juniors and seniors could be attending Academy of Seminole located at Seminole State College.

A non-profit out of Texas which has helped create 70 schools in two different states has signed on to run the school. If approved, Academy of Seminole would be the first rural Charter school in Oklahoma that started from scratch.

"Parents and students need a choice in this town," said Campbell.

The Seminole School District is expected to vote on the charter proposal next month and already some district leaders are questioning if another public school is needed.

"According to state standards we are providing an outstanding education," said Seminole School Superintendent, Alfred Gaches.

 Gaches thinks Seminole High School will be a high "B" or even an "A-minus" school this year.

If the district says “no” to the charter, it can be appealed to the State School Board for approval. It that happens, a decision would be expected in January.