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Elmer “Jack” Cambio, age 82, died Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in an Oklahoma City hospital after a time of declining health.
He was born Dec. 26, 1931 in Warwick, RI to Albert and Doris S. (Henry) Cambio. Jack grew up in Rocky Point, RI and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. He worked many years in refineries and on pipelines as a pipe insulator. He retired from Aamaco Oil Co. in 1997 at which time he moved to Mustang. He was an active member of Westgate Christian Assembly in Yukon and worked with Gideons International doing prison ministry at FCI in El Reno. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved horses. He was preceded in death by his parents, three infant daughters and four brothers.
Survivors include his wife Linda of the home; two sons, Steve Cambio and wife Ann Marie of Tewksbury, Mass. and Chris Cambio and wife Chandy of Yukon; four grandchildren, Gina, Vince, Nick and Zane; and one great grandson, Jordan. Also by two brothers Albert and Ronnie, one sister Doreen, all of Rhode Island.
Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 3 at Westgate Christian Assembly in Yukon. Entombment with military honors will be at Ft. Sill National Cemetery, Elgin. Arrangements are by McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service. Online condolences may be made at www.mcneilsmustangfs.com.
If Monday was a test of Oklahoma’s state mandated examination system, Superintendent of Education Janet Barresi and that system on that day received an “F.”
And their overall grade isn’t much better.
It’s a system that’s become overly dependent on regimented tests, an issue that has caused discord with educators across the state. It was also a system that was supposed to bring positive change, to make the debacle that was the federal “No Child Left Behind” simply a distant bad memory. That’s not the case.
On Monday, middle and high school students taking online exams were “kicked off” the program when it suddenly failed. For some that meant the loss of a test they had almost completed; for others, they never had a chance to take it in the first place. Both local districts and the state Department of Education scrambled to suspend testing while the company contracted with the state to perform the test – CTB/McGraw Hill – was tasked with determining the problem.
The issue wasn’t just one particular day or even the 6,000 students impacted on Monday. This was a problem that occurred almost to the day a year before. Barresi should have been aware of what she was facing when continuing with CTB/McGraw Hill. While no one knows why she chose to remain with the company after last year’s issues, everyone knows the result – a hardship on students and school districts alike.
Even parents aren’t always aware of the pressure today’s testing puts on these people. Some teachers say they can’t work with the curriculum they would like, being forced to “teach to the test.” Months are spent in preparation to get the best scores possible. It’s an embarrassment for a district to do badly – and it has financial consequences, administrators say.
“People look at these scores and it does have a determining factor on whether they’ll choose your district for their kids to attend,” El Reno School Superintendent Craig McVay said last year.
McVay took a leadership role in Monday’s debacle, openly expressing his frustration with a system that is more about numbers than it is about learning. Students should be evaluated and districts should be accountable, he says, but not for some random criteria that can’t even be implemented by the state correctly.
It is time for a good, hard look at education in Oklahoma. We are failing – and not because we have a lack of dedicated administrators, teachers and staff. On a local level, to a huge degree, we are blessed with teachers who do the best for our kids each and every day.
What is failing them is the political cartoon that is state testing. Things aren’t better since No Child Left Behind, they are worse, and that’s unacceptable. Oklahoma’s future is riding on these children, and they are being taught that learning is simply rote memorization, that they are the tool behind a district’s failure or success. That lesson is coming from the districts – it goes far beyond that.
It is time for us to allow our local administrators and teachers to do what they do best – teach. Let these children learn, and perhaps most important, learn to love school and everything it has to offer. School shouldn’t be something suffered through so a random grade (that even state administrators have a difficult time explaining) can hurt even the best of school districts.
Here in Mustang – and, truly, throughout Canadian County – we are blessed to have educators who are caring, dedicated and smart and who want the best for our kids. Their hands are tied by politicians on the state level who don’t know our children – to them, your daughter, my son, your grandkids are a number, plain and simple.
This system must be changed and the time is way past for that to be accomplished. Only we can do something and that begins with contacting our legislators and telling them how we feel about this broken system and what a disservice is being done not only to our children and those who educate them but also to our future.
It’s time to take action for them. Let’s not let another year go by with this kind of failure – not on their part but on the state officials who cannot seem to see the intelligence and talent that’s right in front of them.
By Traci Chapman
It was the kind of news that could bring anyone down, but for Kenny Reyes being told he had Multiple Sclerosis became just one more challenge.
It’s the way he’s lived his whole life, say his friends, co-workers and family – and in the process, he’s helping a lot of people who share a disease that can cripple the soul as much as it can the body.
Kenny Reyes has what many people would call a “dream” life – married to Allison for more than 12 years, the couple has two daughters, Haylee and Sydney. Kenny is a Nichols Hills firefighter and has been for 13 years; Allison is a teacher at Mustang Trails Elementary. The 36-year-old coaches both of his daughters’ soccer teams, plays soccer himself and is active in the family’s church, The Bridge in Mustang.
In July 2011, a lot of things changed, but yet, the changes were not as far-reaching as one might expect, Kenny said. It was on July 4 of that year he noticed some numbness in his legs. A trip to the doctor first garnered a diagnosis of a pinched nerve, but with the numbness spreading to the rest of his body, Kenny was referred to a neurologist. It was the beginning of a long series of tests and trials.
“In July and August of that year I had four MRIs and they found a legion on my spinal cord,” Kenny said. “It was on Sept. 1 I got the results – I learned a bunch of new words at that time.”
Those words were Multiple Sclerosis and all of the long words associated with it, the names of medications and treatments designed to keep him healthy. An unpredictable and often disabling disease of the central nervous system, MS interrupts the flow of information with the brain and between the brain and the body. Symptoms can range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.
For Kenny, the symptoms abated with a regimen of daily injections and frequent tests to monitor his condition. It was news to a man in his mid-30s that could cause depression, desperation – what it brought out in Kenny Reyes was determination, Allison said.
“He’s always been upbeat, a happy person, and this hasn’t changed that,” Allison said. “He’s been a rock, but more than that, he’s inspired people.”
It was early on Kenny received some inspiration of his own – from people involved in Walk MS, an annual event held across the country aimed at increasing awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and raising funds for research. In the metro area, the walk was historically held at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
For two years, Kenny and his family traveled to the zoo to be part of the MS Walk. It was a time to meet others battling MS, lend and gain support and help others understand what the disease was all about. Kenny said it was an eye-opening experience.
“These people, they are so brave and some of them are facing so much,” he said. “I’ve been so blessed and fortunate because I’ve had no reoccurrences since 2011, but not everyone has been that lucky.”
Luck wasn’t really the determining factor in Kenny’s success so far, his family said. His commitment to staying physically active, positive attitude and the fact he went to the doctor quickly and got a fast diagnosis were all factors working in his favor, they said.
“We were so blessed because I had great doctors who didn’t give up and followed through until they figured out what it was,” Kenny said.
Through their journey, the walk was an annual reminder of those blessings, Kenny said. This year, Kenny and Allison moved from participants to organizers, when the walk needed a new home. Suggesting Mustang, the couple was part of the team that visited the city and discovered it would be a “perfect” place for the event, set for May 3.
“We’ve had the largest team the last two years, but it’s especially exciting for the walk to be held here, in Mustang,” he said.
Check-in will begin at 9 a.m., with the walk starting at 10 a.m. May 3. There will be two routes, Kenny said – one 0.6 miles and the other 1.3 miles, both winding through the park. Walkers must be pre-registered to participate.
“Our number of walkers are a bit down from last year right now, but we’ve heard donations are slightly up,” Kenny said. “I think some of that is to be expected with a change of venue, but we’re excited about the donations.”
According to Kenny’s Walk MS page, his team has raised more than $1,400 this year, and he hopes to go much higher. He also hopes to let people know about the disease and how much their contribution can help through the walk, he said.
“I don’t see it as a handicap or anything bad like that – I see it as an adventure,” Kenny said. “God’s put me in this for a reason, and I intend to make the most of it and do the most I can do.”
How to help:
By Kyle Salomon,
When it comes to the NBA playoffs, many people wonder why lower-seeded teams are able to compete with the higher seeds.
The answer is relatively simple. It is all about matchups in the NBA.
For instance, you look at the Oklahoma City Thunder and their series with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder is the No.2 seed in the Western Conference and considered a favorite by many experts not only to win the West, but reign victorious as the NBA champions in late June.
However, Oklahoma City finds itself tied in the first-round series with the Grizz at one game apiece and has lost the home-court advantage for now.
The Thunder put a spanking on Memphis in the opening game of the series last Saturday night, but the Grizzlies bounced back and clawed and scratched their way to a road victory Monday night in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Oklahoma City is struggling with the No.7 seeded Grizzlies because Memphis plays a style of basketball that is not conducive for what the Thunder like and need to do to be successful and win basketball games.
The Grizz slow the game down to a pace that makes the tortoise look like a speeding bullet. The Thunder like to play at a pace that makes the hare look like it’s running in mud.
Memphis wants to pound the rock inside to their two big bruising post players, Marc Gasol and Zac Randolph, who each have the ability to score from any position in the paint. This type of offense gives the Thunder fits because OKC is not built to handle an inside heavy team.
Yes, Oklahoma City will prevail in the series and advance to the next round, but it won’t be a “normal” first-round series where the higher seed makes the lower seed look like a junior high basketball team. The Thunder will be bruised and battered coming out of the Memphis series, but hopefully their young bodies will heal quickly before the quarterfinal round begins.
Another example of a classic NBA matchup that favors the Thunder is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have been one of the best professional sports franchises in the last 16 years. It is no coincidence that Spurs forward Tim Duncan has been with the team for 16 years. Duncan is the cornerstone of the Spurs franchise, much like Kevin Durant is for OKC.
San Antonio had the best record in the entire NBA this regular season, winning 62 games and clinching home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, including the NBA Finals.
However, when it comes to playing the Thunder, the Spurs are 0-4 against their Western Conference nemesis this season. Oklahoma City brings an element of youth, athleticism and explosiveness that gives the elderly, savvy Spurs problems when they share a basketball court.
San Antonio plays a ball-movement style of offense that is predicated on the pick-and-roll screen action at the top of the key with 3-point shooters on the wings awaiting a Tony Parker kick-out for an open trey.
Several years ago, the Thunder struggled to stop this attack from the Spurs, but as Oklahoma City has matured, they have figured out how to slow down the SA offense using their length on the perimeter combined with their overall athleticism in the paint.
There is no doubt people in Oklahoma City would love to see a Spurs-Thunder matchup in the Western Conference Finals, but the folks down in San Antonio are hoping OKC gets called home from the playoffs earlier than expected.
So, if you find yourself sitting on the couch watching these NBA playoffs and wondering to yourself how Memphis can hang with the Thunder, just remember, it is all about matchups.
By Traci Chapman
Crews with Silver Star Construction on Tuesday were winding up the first phase of Mustang’s SW 89th Street improvement project.
What that means for drivers is the reopening of SW 89th Street between Mustang and Sara roads, hopefully on Friday, Silver Star officials said. Work began a few weeks ago and on Tuesday, crews laid asphalt following work by crews with Canadian County District 2, who helped grade the road surface and leveled the shoulder. Temporary striping and grass seeding the shoulder should be done, with the road open to traffic Friday, barring any weather issues, Silver Star President Steve Shawn said.
“We’ll do permanent striping next week, again weather permitting,” Shawn said.
Next, it’s on to round two, as crews prepare to begin Friday digging up the old asphalt in preparation for laying a new SW 89th Street between Sara and Morgan roads, Shawn said.
In between the two projects, crews would head to Wild Horse Park to work on parking areas for the city’s new baseball complex, Silver Star asphalt superintendent Jack Shannon said. Silver Star will use materials from the SW 89th Street project to complete that project, he said.
Residents and other drivers have generally been good about staying outside the barriers where roads were being worked on, Shawn and Shannon said. However, as they headed to their next section, the men warned drivers the next section could contain hidden hazards.
“It could really be a dangerous situation because we are going to be doing work on pipes and tinhorns so people need to stay off that section until we are finished,” Shawn said. “Someone could go into a ditch and have damage or worse – there’s going to be a lot there.”
The projects were made possible when Mustang City Council voted in March to pay for $450,000 of improvements from the city street improvement fund. Council approved the project on what several members called “some of the worst roads” in Mustang. The fund had about $650,000 before the project was approved, Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney said.
“Pavement conditions along 89th Street have really deteriorated rapidly over the last several months,” Rooney said at that time. “We did utilize our own contractor to perform some patches and repairs beginning in January to address the most serious surface conditions, but those were temporary and we knew they weren’t a long-term fix to the issues on SW 89th Street.”
That’s where Silver Star came in, Shawn said. The company, which does work for Mustang, Oklahoma City, Moore and other municipalities, is familiar with Mustang projects and were able to get started quickly on the two one-mile segments east and west of Sara Road.
Phase 1 of the project was a $280,000 road replacement. Crews first milled the stretch, performed base stabilization, replaced tinhorns and smoothed out the road shoulder. Their final “major” step – to add the 4-inch asphalt overlay – was done Tuesday, Shannon said.
The remaining section – from Sara Road east to Morgan Road – would also be milled, with a chip seal overlay. The expected cost of that portion was about $150,000. Council approved a $20,000 contingency to address any possible issues with the project.
Residents have been happy with the city’s decision to make the repairs, on stretches of road heavily traveled by those in Mustang’s 12-mile radius and beyond, Rooney and Silver Star officials said.
“We’ve had a lot of people stop and tell us how glad they are the city decided to do this – it was in rough shape,” Shannon said. “It’s been a good project and we’ve been relatively lucky with the weather.”
By Kyle Salomon,
Despite blowing an 8-0 lead early in the game, Mustang High School’s baseball team defeated Midwest City 11-10 last Saturday at Midwest City.
“We were lucky to come away with a win in that game,” Mustang head coach Scott Selby said. “We jumped on them early and then we just turned our intensity off. You can’t do that in 6A baseball. We started making errors in the field and let them back in the game.”
The Broncos offense was stout in the first four innings, putting 10 runs on the board against the Bombers.
Mustang led 10-3 after the fourth inning, but Midwest City took advantage of Bronco errors and got within one run before MHS was able to solidify the one-run victory.
Sophomore Skyler Fuller was on the mound for the first six innings of the ball game. Sophomore Brent Stephens came into the game in the seventh inning to close for Mustang. Senior Austin Harris caught all seven innings.
“Fuller pitched pretty well for us,” Selby said. “We just couldn’t make plays behind him. Thankfully, we were able to hold on for the win. It’s always good when you’re on the winning side of the scoreboard.”
The win improved Mustang’s overall regular season record to 15-13.
Earlier last week, the Broncos played a two-game district series against Choctaw. MHS hosted the Yellowjackets at home April 14 and traveled to Choctaw April 15.
Mustang split the season series with the Yellowjackets, taking the home game 10-7 and then falling on the road 8-0.
Sophomore right-hander Cade Fulton was on the mound for the Broncos in the home contest against Choctaw. Fulton got the win for MHS. Senior Austin Roberts was on the bump for Mustang in the road loss.
In the home win, the Broncos had to muster a comeback as they scored several runs in the late innings to secure the victory.
MHS was never in the eight-run defeat at Choctaw. The Broncos allowed four runs in the first inning and never got their offense going as the Yellowjackets evened the series.
“We played pretty well on Monday,” Selby said. “That was a good win for us in district play. We played horribly at Choctaw. We couldn’t do anything right in that game. We got down early and it took us out of our offensive game plan.”
By Traci Chapman/Ray Dyer
Some Mustang students were among about 6,000 across Oklahoma impacted by a glitch that brought state testing to a grinding halt Monday.
The exact number of Mustang students impacted was not known, but some reported issues with tests that caused the online exam to “short-out.” In the case of some students, that meant a test taken except for a few questions, “disappeared,” they said.
Sixth- through eighth-grade students, as well as high schoolers taking end of instruction exams were impacted by the problem, which affected online tests administered by the state through vendor DTB/McGraw Hill, said Tricia Pemberton, Oklahoma Department of Education assistant director of communications. State officials suspended online testing for the day, and on Tuesday, some districts had begun the process to restart those exams, although it was unknown what the status of testing in Mustang was.
Mustang district officials did not answer questions concerning the number of students in the district affected or when those individuals might retake the tests.
“We have suspended testing until we learn more about the issues,” Mustang Superintendent Sean McDaniel stated via email Monday.
Third-grade reading tests, also conducted Monday, were not affected because they were not computerized, Pemberton said. Online tests impacted were: grade 6 – reading and mathematics; grade 7 – reading, mathematics and geography; grade 8 – reading and mathematics; and End-of-Instruction assessments.
It is the second year in a row CTB’s online assessments caused issues for students taking exams. State officials declined to speculate why state Superintendent Janet Barresi chose to utilize the company again this year, after those issues. They said they did not believe the problem “would impact individual students’ scores.”
While Mustang officials did not have much to say about Monday’s issues, one area superintendent said he was “livid” about the repeat CTB issues, and he disagreed with state officials’ assertions the glitch wouldn’t impact test scores.
“It’s exactly what happened last year,” El Reno Superintendent Craig McVay said. “The very same thing.”
McVay said the district suspended testing after computers continuously “kicked” students off the test site. The problem apparently occurred with software used by the state Department of Education.
CTB/McGraw-Hill, the vendor contracted to supply the software, took responsibility for the failure. The state Department of Education reported the system was up and working properly by 11 a.m., but for McVay and other districts in the state, it was too late.
McVay was upset by the developments, saying the computer failures simply add more stress to students who are already in a stressful situation.
“This happened to our AP students,” McVay said. “They are our best students and they take these tests very seriously.” He said one student was sent home, the stress apparently causing her to become nauseous.
McVay has said he is not a fan of mandated testing. A few weeks ago, he told an El Reno Chamber of Commerce gathering the nation has had enormous accomplishments prior to the dawn of mandated tests that are more and more becoming an education hot button. In his earlier remarks, McVay pointed to two world wars won by the United States, as well as overcoming a great Depression, and putting a man on the moon as some of the notable achievements prior to mandated testing.
“I’m a huge fan of knowing, did our kids learn anything,” McVay said. He said he is not in favor of testing the younger children because of the anxiety it creates in them. Oklahoma now requires children to pass a third-grade reading test before they can be moved on to the fourth grade.
“We gather data like crazy on every child,” McVay said. “I want to know if they can read after the first grade.” He said the data helps to know where a child is progressing and where he isn’t. It also helps teachers have “an honest conversation with every parent.”
McVay called the emphasis being placed on “high stakes tests out of control.”
By Kyle Salomon,
Mustang’s boys tennis team fought its way to a fourth-place finish at the Metro Conference tournament last Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
“I am really pleased with where we are as a team right now,” Mustang head coach Will Allen said. “It is always a challenge when you are playing on back-to-back days, but it really gives the kids a feel of what the postseason is going to be like. We are down a starter right now, so we are having several players really step up for us and contribute.”
Colby Le competed in the No.1 singles position and took fifth place overall. Tony Nguyen at the No.2 singles slot placed fourth. Jason Tsai and Damon Truong competed in the No.1 doubles position for the Broncos and grabbed third place, while Tommy Ngo and Adam Nguyen at No.2 doubles placed third.
Le took on Choctaw in the first round of the tournament, falling 4-6, 1-6. He then defeated Putnam City North 6-0, 6-0 in round two, and beat Putnam City West in his final bout 6-1, 6-2.
Tony Nguyen beat Choctaw in first-round action 7-6, 6-2. He fell to Edmond North in round two 0-6, 1-6, and dropped his final match to Yukon 0-6, 2-6.
Tsai and Truong beat Putnam City North 6-0, 6-0 in round one. The duo fell to Edmond Santa Fe 1-6, 4-6 in round two and beat Yukon in round three 6-4, 6-2.
Ngo and Adam Nguyen took out Putnam City North 6-0, 6-0 in round one. The pair fell to Edmond Santa Fe 6-4, 2-6, 7-10 in the second match and beat Yukon 6-3, 6-2 in round three.
The Bronco boys won the Del City tournament last Friday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Truong took first in the No.1 singles position for Mustang, beating Christian Heritage 6-2, 6-0. He then beat Del City 6-2, 6-1 and took down Choctaw 6-1, 6-2 in the finals.
Tony Nguyen placed second overall in the No.2 singles slot for MHS. Nguyen took out Del City 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, beat Western Heights 7-5, 6-4 in round two and fell to Del City 3-6, 6-7 in the finals.
Ngo and Adam Nguyen placed first in the No.1 doubles position for Mustang. The duo took out Putnam City 6-0, 6-0 in round one, beat Choctaw 6-3, 6-3 in the second match and defeated Midwest City 6-1, 6-2 in the finals.
Tsai and Le won their bracket in the No.2 doubles slot for the Broncos. The pair beat Putnam City 6-0, 6-1 in round one, Del City 6-2, 6-1 in round two and took out Choctaw 6-3, 6-1 in the finals.
By Traci Chapman
It was anything but desolation in Mustang Elementary’s art room last week, as Smaug from the Hobbit book and film series came to life.
Led by teacher Kent Hathaway, the giant dragon and his treasure were made completely of milk cartons. It’s the fourth project completed by the school for the Made by Milk contest. Hathaway and his students have won the last three contests they entered with creations of a coral reef, Golden Gate Bridge and space shuttle.
On Friday, Hathaway introduced students to the Hobbits’ story. With full voice impersonations, props and a “Gollum” move or two, the Mustang Elementary “artist in residence” made the characters real to groups of elementary schoolchildren.
Pictured with Smaug:
Teacher Kent Hathaway
By Kyle Salomon,
Mustang’s girls tennis team took second place in the Metro Athletic Conference tournament last Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
The Lady Broncos had three second-place finishes and one third-place finish on the day. Defending state champion Edmond North stole the show, winning first place in every category.
“I was really proud of the girls for how they competed against some really tough competition in the conference tournament,” Mustang head coach Dave Rankin said. “Beating teams like Yukon and Choctaw is a really good accomplishment for our girls. Edmond North is always a really tough team, but I thought we competed hard against them and made them work.”
Stevie Josie competed in the No.1 singles slot for Mustang, placing second in her bracket. She took on Putnam City West in her first outing, winning 6-0, 6-0. Josey then took out Putnam City North 6-1, 6-0 in the second round before falling in the finals to Edmond North 0-6, 0-6.
Kyndal Heath grabbed second place in the No.2 singles position. Heath took down Putnam City 6-0, 6-0 in her first bout, then defeated Yukon 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 in her second match and fell to Edmond North in the finals 2-6, 0-6.
Jessica Garner and Sarah Atkins took second in the No.1 doubles slot for the Broncos. The duo had a bye in the first round, but then took down Edmond Santa Fe 6-3, 7-6 in round two. The pair fell to Edmond North in the finals 0-6, 2-6.
Heather Underwood and Taylor Sullivan competed in the No. 2 doubles position, finishing in third place. The duo had a bye in the first round, then fell to Yukon 2-6, 4-6 in round two. The pair won their consolation third-place game against Choctaw 6-0, 6-4.
The conference wasn’t the only tournament the Bronco girls played in last week, as Mustang was the winner of the Del City tournament. All four slots took first place in the tournament for MHS.