Oklahoma's top education official visits Durant preschool - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma's top education official visits Durant preschool

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Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister interacts with students at Durant's Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center. (KTEN) Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister interacts with students at Durant's Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center. (KTEN)
Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma's Superintendent of Public Instruction, visited students at the Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center in Durant on Monday. (KTEN) Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma's Superintendent of Public Instruction, visited students at the Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center in Durant on Monday. (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- The Durant Independent School District welcomed the state's top education official Monday to its new preschool facility.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister toured the Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center, which opened to students in August. 

The new center includes a playroom with kid-size buildings like a fire station and doctor's office. All of the "buildings" were sponsored by local businesses.

"We know that our school districts in this area are doing an outstanding job -- not just because of great teachers in the classrooms, but because of great partners in the community," Hofmeister said.

Staffers at the childhood center said the remodeled school helps the young students get an individualized education.

"Everyone that has children here has just been, in my opinion... is extremely happy and pleased with what we're doing here," said Durant schools Superintendent Duane Merideth. "The kids look forward to coming to school on Monday, and some of them don't like to be gone on the weekends."

Hofmeister, a mother of four and former public school teacher, said it's important to close the education gap early to reduce the possibility of problems in the future.

"Any steps moving forward is built on effectiveness and decisions about what is best for the community, and I think the community knows best," Hofmeister said.

"Hofmeister was also at the Choctaw Event Center Monday for the 38th Oklahoma Council for Indian Education conference.

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