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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness

Conversation opened. 1 read message. FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:FROM THE-------------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:


At a June 30 special meeting, the Stillwater Board of Education approved the hiring of Walter Howell as head principal for Stillwater High School and Michael Arnold as Chief

Financial Officer for the district.

Howell first joined the district in 2006 and has served the district in several roles. He was the assistant principal at the junior high for seven years, also serving as activities

director for junior high sports for five of those years. He served for a year as the assessment and accountability director at SHS and director of secondary ed for four years, as

well as the district testing director for one year. Howell has spent the last five years as assistant principal at SHS. Prior to joining the district he was principal at Mulhall-Orlando

High School for two years and taught math for eight years at Yale.

The new principal says he’s proud to have been a small part of the school’s academic successes to date and looks forward to new responsibilities in that area. “We achieve at a

very high level, and there are a lot of ways to judge academic success such as ACT scores, National Merit Scholars, scholarship money, and one of the lowest college

remediation rates in the state. SHS is truly the place where the efforts of all SPS employees are seen in the achievements of our students.”

A Del City High School graduate, Howell holds a secondary mathematics education degree from Oklahoma State University, where he also obtained his Masters of Educational

Administration. He has taught in an adjunct capacity at OSU several times and is currently pursuing his doctorate.

In his spare time, Howell enjoys playing golf, spending time with family and friends. Together with wife, Kim, a second grade teacher at Westwood, he has two children,

Jackson, a senior at OSU, and Grace, a freshman at the junior high.

The district’s new Chief Financial Officer Michael Arnold comes to the district following a career in Montana. He has extensive business experience, having owned his own

businesses, worked in the insurance and banking industries, and held positions in three public school districts in Montana; Malta, Havre, and Billings. During his time in Billings,

he served as CFO managing a budget of approximately $180 million in a district of nearly 18,000 students.

He says he works to use available resources and knowledge, not just to manage a budget, but to expand one. “Special funding programs, grants, those sorts of funds. I want to

make sure the district is accessing all the money that may be available, and that the community trusts that that money is being well spent. It’s important that we explain

transparently how money is being spent to the public and board members, and not just charts and tables on a page.”

A graduate of Hinsdale High School in Hinsdale, Montana, Arnold obtained his business degree from Montana State University - Northern. In his spare time, Arnold, the father

of two adult children, enjoys spending time with his family and maintaining a few head of horses. “Growing up on a ranch in Montana, I try to keep ties to that farming and

ranching background,” he says.



The Cowboy family is invited to celebrate the inauguration of Oklahoma State University’s 19th president – Dr. Kayse Shrum. The ceremony will be at 2 p.m., Aug. 26, at Gallagher-Iba Arena and serve as a ceremonial milestone for Shrum’s presidency, which began July 1, 2021.

The historic event, which was delayed due to pandemic considerations, is free and open to the public. It will feature messages from special guests, the presentation of the presidential medallion, live music provided by the Greenwood School of Music and a State of Orange address from Shrum highlighting OSU’s deep-rooted tradition as a premier land-grant institution, resiliency, progress and her vision for the future.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. The celebration will also be livestreamed for alumni around the globe at Following Shrum’s inauguration, a student celebration is planned for Aug. 30. For updates about these and other campus events, visit

On April 2, 2021, the OSU/A&M Board of Regents voted to appoint Shrum OSU president, making her the first woman to lead the institution and the first woman to lead a Tier 1, four-year public research university in Oklahoma.

Dr. Trudy Milner, OSU/A&M Board of Regents chair, said Shrum has proven to be an excellent leader, forging a new strategic vision for the university while adeptly navigating through difficult challenges.

Navigating the realignment of the Big 12 Conference in her first few months as president highlights notable achievements, including: the launch of a systemwide strategy process to guide the future of the university, securing a transformative gift to establish the world-class Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University and establishing the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE).

Shrum expressed excitement and gratitude following her selection announcement, noting the special place OSU holds in heart and calling the opportunity the “greatest challenge and honor of her professional career.”

After her first year in office, Shrum is focused on coming together as a community behind a set of long-term goals to take OSU to new heights of academic and research excellence.

Shrum formerly served as president of OSU’s Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS), which more than doubled its enrollment under her leadership. Her selection in 2013 made her the youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in Oklahoma. Before beginning her academic work at OSU-CHS, she served rural Oklahoma as a pediatrician.

As OSU-CHS president, Dr. Shrum secured a landmark investment in 2019 from Purdue Pharma for $197.5 million to create the National Center for Wellness and Recovery for addiction treatment and research to address the national opioid addiction epidemic. A strong supporter of collaborative partnerships, Shrum also worked with former Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and his administration to establish the nation’s first tribally affiliated medical school – the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation – which opened in the fall 2020 semester.

Shrum led the construction of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building – a state-of-the-art learning facility which houses the state’s largest and most technologically advanced hospital simulation center, and, in March 2019, was appointed Oklahoma’s first secretary of science and innovation. In that role, she played a critical part in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and her innovative leadership approach and medical expertise helped the state secure much-needed PPE supplies and led to the formation of a COVID diagnostics lab – Oklahoma’s largest – on OSU’s Stillwater campus.

A fervent champion of rural health and primary care medicine, Shrum has made the creation of a sustainable, rural primary care physician pipeline a top priority. While leading OSU-CHS, she launched innovative high school recruiting programs like Operation Orange and Blue Coat to White Coat; created the Rural Medical Track curriculum; and expanded the number of residency training programs in rural Oklahoma by securing support from the Oklahoma Legislature, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Her long list of awards and accolades includes induction into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame (2022), being named The Journal Record’s Woman of the Year (2019), and, most recently, DO of the Decade by the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Shrum and her husband, First Cowboy Darren Shrum, have a farm near Coweta. They have six adult children – three of whom have already graduated from OSU.




Note: The collection is based off of April transactions that were reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in May and apportioned to the City in June.


·         DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $24,833 (-0.78%)

·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $12,755 (0.45%)

·         Note: One cent ($0.01) of collected sales tax is dedicated to the Stillwater Utilities Authority and a half-cent ($0.005) is dedicated to Transportation projects, as determined by a vote of Stillwater residents.

·         DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $37,588 (-10.92%)

·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $31,776 (46.24%)

For more information about the budget and taxes, visit the City’s Financial Center at
We also update a sales, use and hotel/motel tax report monthly at

ABC News


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