Bartlesville Education Promise receiving a check from Noon Rotary

Pictured left to right, Tom Gorman BEP board member, Val Callahan Rotary President, Martin Garber BEP, Dianne Martinez BPS, LaDonna Chancellor BPS, Mike May BEP, Annah Fischer Rotary, Ginger Griffin BEP, back row George Halkiades BEP, and Dan Droege BEP.
Continue reading “Bartlesville Education Promise receiving a check from Noon Rotary”

Bartlesville Masonic Lodge No. 284 Presents $4,000 to BEP

Pictured from left to right, Bob Rees, Michael Robedeaux, Kurt Haberstroh, Martin Garber from the BEP, Karl Franks and Ron Summerlin all from the Masonic Lodge.

The lodge sponsored a Saturday morning breakfast in November on BEP’s
behalf. Also received is a $1,000 Team Volunteer grant from ConocoPhillips
when their employees and retirees helped prepare the breakfast.  The
Bartlesville Masonic Lodge has a long history of supporting local charitable
organizations with their breakfasts and over the last 18 years has raised
over a half million dollars to support Bartlesville Organizations.

Arvest Foundation Gives $5k to Education Program

Pictured from left to right are Mike May, Earl Sears, Martin Garber, George Halkiades, Kyle Hubbard, Mark Headley, Lisa Cary, and Vanessa Drummond.

Arvest Foundation recently announced a $5,000 contribution to Bartlesville Education Promise (BEP). The funds will be used to support BEP’s goals of improving the Bartlesville Public Schools District graduation rate.

Kyle Hubbard, president of Arvest Bank, and Earl Sears, Arvest business development representative, recently presented the check to Martin Garber, chairman of BEP, and BEP board members.

Bartlesville Education Promise was created in 2015 to guide the Bartlesville community towards assuming greater ownership for improving educational outcomes for all students in the Bartlesville schools, with a special focus on improving graduation rates and readiness for higher education, technical school or full-time employment.

“We are sincerely delighted to accept this contribution from the Arvest Foundation,” said Garber. “Arvest has been a significant donor and partner in our goal of improving the graduation rate in the Bartlesville school system. Their continued support recognized the improvement we are making by supporting our tutoring efforts in all nine public schools, our third-grade reading program, and the significant summer programs to continue learning at all levels.”

“We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to support Bartlesville Education Promise’s efforts to provide greater educational opportunities for students,” said Hubbard. “We are committed to our public school system and greatly appreciate the work our local teachers and administrators do daily to enrich the lives of their students. This donation is just one of many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to education and to the children in the region.”

Over $75,000 has been contributed by the Arvest Foundation in the Bartlesville region to date.

The Arvest Foundation seeks to provide funding to grantees who are actively working to create positive change for others. Major areas of focus include: K-12 education, economic development, and enhancing the quality of life throughout the Arvest footprint. For more information, go to www.arvestfoundation.org.


Garber: Grad rate encouraging |

Pictured from left to right are Stephen Colaw, Vanessa Drummond, Ginger Griffin, Ann Olegsby (Phillips 66), George Halkiades, Martin Garber, H.J.Reed (Phillips 66), and Jenny Brown (Phillips 66)

Members of Bartlesville Education Promise are encouraged that the number of Bartlesville High School students completing high school in four years has jumped from 83 percent to 89 percent.

“We are very proud that the graduation rate has increased. That’s a great stepping stone for the school board, all of the staff, and especially the teachers. You don’t get something like that without a lot of work,” said Martin Garber, BEP chairman, at a recent Bartlesville school board meeting.

BEP formed in 2015, when the group of education supporters teamed up with Bartlesville public school officials to develop innovative ways to help at-risk youth live up to their potential and have a successful future. The non-profit has a special focus on improving graduation rates and readiness for higher education, technical school or full-time employment.

During the 2017-18 school year, programs included elementary reading books and after-school tutoring for elementary students to assure all third-graders pass the state-sponsored reading test.

“BEP has really stressed third-grade reading. Kids who struggle with reading usually don’t have books at home, so we wanted to provide books they can take home,” said Garber, noting BEP donated $500 to each elementary site to purchase take-home reading books.

“It’s pretty obvious that third-grade reading is a cornerstone for any kind of graduation from high school. If you can’t read by the third grade, the state won’t let you go to the fourth grade. Statistics show that people who can’t read by the third grade are very likely not to graduate.”

After school tutoring in math and English is provided at both middle schools. It’s also available at the high school for math, English and science.

During the summer, funds were provided for numerous summer learning programs to provide a summer-learning experience for all students.

“We started a new program last year where we hired two teachers who are professionals in reading. We used their services for six weeks in the summer,” said Garber. “They first worked with the summer school kids, and then go to the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA and the Bartlesville Public Library each afternoon and work with kids.”

Over the next six weeks, the teachers helped more than a 1,000 kids read and encouraged them to read at home, Garber added.

“That’s obviously a big item and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to continue that type of in-depth summer reading program this next year,” he said.

Indeed, BEP will continue to expand and enhance its programs for students in the Bartlesville school district. All funding for programs is provided by local donors.

“We’re not giving up. We think there’s a lot yet to be done. We’re fundraising for continued activity and we expect that we’ll have aggressive programs for the rest of this year and this next summer,” said Garber. “We’re just delighted in helping kids get educated.”

By Emily Droege | edroege@examiner-enterprise.com

2018 New Board Members

The Board of Directors of the Bartlesville Education Promise announces the election of two new members to their Board of Directors. Elected are Mr. Dan Droege and Mr. George Halkiades. Both are strong supporters of education and have been longtime residents of Bartlesville.

George Halkiades is originally from Tennessee and a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with an Engineering Degree. He is listed as Who’s Who among students in American Universities and Colleges. He moved to Bartlesville to work for Phillips Petroleum Company in the Research and Development department. He joined Applied Automation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips in 1968. He worked for successor companies until he retired from Siemens as plant manager in 2003. Halkiades is an active volunteer in numerous Bartlesville organizations, including American Legion Baseball, Bartlesville Citizens Police Academy, Leadership Bartlesville Class XIII, past President of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters, past member of the Charter Review Committee to rewrite the Bartlesville City Charter, on the review committee of Code of Ethics for the City, Current Vice Chairman of the Tri County Tech Board of Education, on the Library Literacy Services , current Secretary/Treasurer of the Bartlesville Rotary Club, Past President of the Bartlesville Public Library Board, on the board of the Washington County Chapter of Red Cross, current lead mentor of Robotics Team 2165, Chairman of the board of Lowe Family Young Scholars program, Current Treasurer of friend of the Library board, current Bartlesville Singles Connection coordinator, served as member of united way Community Investment Committee, as serves as Treasurer of the board of Bartlesville Regional United Way, current President of Friends in Deed which hold an annual Christmas Day dinner, Winner of Big Brothers Big Sisters Ray Steiner award, winner of Boy scouts Distinguished Eagle award, winner united way Spirit award, and is in the Bartlesville Community Foundation Legacy Hall of Fame. George’s wife Jeanne passed in 2004.

Dan Droege is a resident of Bartlesville since 1970 and worked as corporate communications manager and executive speechwriter for Phillips Petroleum Company and ConocoPhillips for 32 years. He serves as a volunteer communications consultant to the BPSC bond issues team, and a founding member of the Public Education Advocates for Kids (PEAK). He is the former president of the Bartlesville Rotary Club, former chairman of SunFest, has served on the boards of the Bartlesville Regional United Way, Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Indian Summer, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He is the founding member of the Bartlesville Depot Train Display restoration team. With wife Melinda they have six children, all BHS graduates. Seven of 15 grandchildren now are attending Bartlesville public schools, another three BHS graduates.

Bartlesville Education Promise is a 501C3 organization. Its mission is to guide our community toward assuming greater ownership for improved educational outcomes for all students of our schools with special focus on improving education rates and readiness for higher education, technical schools or full-time employment. Working with schools involves special attention to identify and help students who are struggling and are at risk of dropping out of school before graduation. Private funds are raised to purchase elementary books and provide after-school tutoring at all nine Bartlesville schools. Special emphasis is provided to assist third-grade students to pass the State mandatory test. BEP also provides summer camps, transition between elementary schools and the middle schools and from the middle schools to high school, and STEM and Art Camps are provided during the summer.
The organization doesn’t’ have any paid staff. It relies entirely on the generosity of its donors and the volunteers efforts of its Board members and various volunteers.

2018 Board Elections

The Board of Directors of the Bartlesville Education Promise is proud to announce the election of three new board members as directors. Elected are Mr. Markland Headley, Mr. Spencer King, and Mr. Thomas A. Gorman.

Mark Headley recently retired from ConocoPhillips after more than 37 years of service, most recently as the manager of its Real Estate and Facilities operations as well as serving as the companies lead employee in its Bartlesville Campus. Headley has previously served on the Bartlesville Development Corporation Board as Chairman and on the Oklahoma Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Board as Vice Chairman. Headley currently serves as Chairman of the Bartlesville Community Foundation Board and is on the boards of the Frank Phillips Foundation and the Jane Phillips Hospital. Mark and his wife, Tammy, have been married for 37 years and have 3 adult children.

Spencer King is employed by Phillips66 in their Bartlesville Financial Operations. He is a Professional Certified CPA. Mr. King has been active in Bartlesville non-profit activates and currently is a board member of the Bartlesville Community Foundation and has served as Chairman, VP, and Treasurer. He is also a current board member of the Bartlesville Convention and Visitors Bureau and has served as Chairman. Former board member and Treasurer for Building Bridges of Oklahoma, member of the BPSF Educators Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and serves as a High School Sunday School teacher and finance committee member for First Wesleyan Church. He is married to his wife Carrie and they have one daughter.

Thomas Gorman is a lifelong resident of Bartlesville and is the President of Gorman Management Company which currently manages over 3,500 units of apartments in Oklahoma. Tom has been involved in numerous civic organizations including the United Way, Bluestem Therapeutics Horseback Riding and Leadership Bartlesville Class VII. He has also been involved in the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, most recently as its Chairman and various volunteer positions within the City of Bartlesville ranging from Chair of the Board of Adjustment, Water Resources Committee, Council Member and Mayor. He is married to his wife Jana and they have three children.

The Bartlesville Education Promise is a 501C3 organization with its mission to guide our community towards assuming a greater ownership for improved educational outcomes for all students of our schools, with a special focus on improving graduation rates and readiness for higher education, technical school or full-time employment. Working with the schools, this involves special attention in identifying and helping students who are struggling and are at risk of dropping out of school before graduation. Private funds are raised to purchase elementary books and provide after-school tutoring at all nine Bartlesville Schools. Special emphasis is provided to assist 3rd-grade student pass the State mandatory test. BEP also provides summer camps in transition between elementary schools and the middle schools and from the middle schools to high school. STEM and Art Camps are also provided during the summer.

The BEP has no paid staff, and it relies entirely on the generosity of its donors and the volunteer efforts of its board members and various volunteers.

2017 – 2018 Activities


  • There has been a 55% reduction in the number of 3rd graders that failed to be promoted to the 4th grade due to not passing the State mandated readiness test or qualified for an exemption over a 2 year period.
  • In the summer of 2017 of the 22 “at risk” students that attended the BHS Transition Courses, 21 were promoted to the 10th In the summer of 2018 we had 38 students attend the BHS Transition Course.
  • After school tutoring was continued at ALL Bartlesville Schools.
  • 350 Students attended either math or English after school tutoring at Madison or Central. Numbers were reduced because a policy change allowed students to obtain tutoring during the day during their study hour. This was very popular.
  • 140 students received 3rd grade and 62 2nd graders attended after school tutoring in reading.
  • 407 students Pledged to read over the summer, and 1,078 attended small group meetings.
  • 450 students attended afterschool tutoring at the High School in math, science, and English. 50% of these students were economically disadvantaged. Numbers were reduced somewhat because of the start of dual scheduling for those students that took makeup classes.
  • Watch Dog (dad’s involvement) was continued at Madison and Wilson and one additional school is scheduled to start in 2018. (Hoover)
  • 350 students attended teacher-led Art Camp at the Boys and Girls Club. Another 100 students attended a science-oriented field trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium.
  • 300 students attended Transition Camps at Central, Madison and the High School. The 38 students that attended the High School Transition Camp was primarily directed toward “at Risk” students.
  • 241 students attended 3 one week STEM Camp at Tri-County Tech with 91 “high risk” students receiving scholarships.  Business support was strong outlining the types of education needed to be succeeding in various careers.  This was a 33% increase in campers and 37% increase in the number of scholarships.
  • Over 3,300 students participated in at least one aspect of BEP activities. This is approximately an 18% increase in the number of students participating.
  • BEP supported the Educational Summer Programs of the Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville by providing funds for their summer instructors. BPS employees were utilized. Their educational programs were attended by over 300 students and they provided 294 hours of educational programs and 294 hours of STEM type education.
  • 92 BPS and 17 Tri-County Tech teachers participated in BEP educational efforts and received hourly compensation with benefits, and over 100 volunteers helped in the schools.

Total involvement:
Tutoring at Bartlesville School’s          987 students
Summer Reading                                 1,000 students
Summer STEM                                         241 students
Summer ART                                            350 students
Summer Transition                                300 students
Boys & Girls Club                                    400 students
Test Prep                                                     30 students
Approximate Total                              3,300 students


Fundraising Breakfast

The Bartlesville Education Promise and the Bartlesville Masonic Lodge wishes to announce a fundraising breakfast on the morning of Saturday, November 3, 2018. The breakfast will be held at the Bartlesville Masonic Lodge at 610 NE Washington Boulevard. Funds raised will go to the educational programs of the Bartlesville Education Promise.

The Bartlesville Educational Promise is a 501C3 tax exempt organization with the mission of supporting the Bartlesville Public Schools with the goal of helping all students to graduate from high school. Programs are administered in association with the school staff and teachers. During the 2017/18 school year programs include elementary reading books and after school tutoring for elementary students to assure all 3rd graders pass the State sponsored reading test. After school tutoring is also provided at both middle schools in math and English and at the high school in math, English, and science. During the summer funds were provided for numerous summer learning programs to provide a summer learning experience for all students. During the 2016/17 school year, 91 Bartlesville and 17 Tri-County Tech teachers participated and 3,300 students took advantage of at least one program of the BEP activities. All funds provided are from local donors.

Tickets for the breakfast are $6 if purchased in advance and $7 at the door on the morning of Saturday, November 3. Tickets can be purchased from members of the Masonic Lodge and board members and volunteers of the Bartlesville Education Promise.  In addition, many local businesses have tickets for purchase.

For more information or tickets for this event contact mgarber@cableone.net or Martin Garber at 918-397-4286.

Reading Program Aims to Motivate Students

Thousands of books are expected to be read by elementary students this summer, thanks in large part to Bartlesville Education Promise.

The nonprofit recently announced its first-ever Elementary Summer Reading Partners Program, a new service intended to inspire students to keep the book pages turning when school is out.

Some of the best reading teachers in Bartlesville’s school district are lined up as instructors for the program, which starts next month. BEP’s first-year goal is to have 500 students read at least one book each this summer.

“Research indicates that continuing to read in the summer helps students avoid regression that can occur when they don’t read,” said Dianne Martinez, executive director of the district’s elementary and middle schools. “This is truly a collaborative effort designed to motivate and inspire students to continue reading this summer.”

The sessions will be held at Hoover Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Jane Phillips Elementary, Bartlesville Boys & Girls Club, and the Bartlesville Public Library. The program is made possible through funding from Bartlesville Education Promise and the Bartlesville Community Foundation, according to BEP chairman Martin Garber.

“The idea was actually the brain child of our board member Vanessa Drummond. I saw the announcement of a Bartlesville Community Foundation Flash Grant for $5,000 that was being offered, and I sent the announcement to our board of directors for ideas. Vanessa came back with the idea of a reading program,” said Garber.

Indeed, Drummond was excited to hear about the Flash Grant and the possibility of using it to encourage reading and academic success.

“I thought about what could help make reading fun for kids over the summer. I love book groups for both adults and kids, because it helps make a fairly solitary activity a social one,” said Drummond.

Garber said that BEP has a special interest in helping to improve the reading outcomes for students in the third grade.

“Knowing we have a reading problem with third-graders, we decided to try and continue a program to promote reading throughout the summer,” said Garber, adding the program is open to all students.

By observing students reading at least one book this summer, teachers will have a better assessment of how the student will do in the third grade and allow BEP to provide added assistance once school starts next fall, Garber explained.

“Our teachers will be utilizing books from our partners, the school libraries, and we are purchasing a limited number of books that teachers will have to recommend to students,” he said.

Drummond added that it’s great to have some positive peer pressure around finishing and discussing a book.

“I hope the summer reading program will encourage kids to keep their reading skills up over the break and help develop a lifetime love of reading a good book,” she said.

According to Garber, this is the third year BEP has provided books to all six elementary schools in Bartlesville and the organization has provided about $3,000 in grants to provide books to several at-risk students who don’t have books at home.

“We also had a partnership with Friends of the Library, where they provided our elementary schools thousands of books that are elementary-appropriate,” said Garber.

For additional information about the Summer Reading Partners Program, including the schedules for each school, contact Therese Rawlinson, rawlinsontd@bps-ok.org or Kirby Lowry, lowrykm@bps-ok.org.