Dear Parents and Guardians:

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to a new year at Pershing Elementary.  My name is Karen Watkins, and I am so excited to be serving our school as principal.  My husband, Rafe, is the Muskogee Roughers head football coach, and our son, Hunter, is a senior at Muskogee High School.  We also have a daughter who is in nursing school at NWOSU in Alva who will be visiting from time to time.  We are all looking forward to a great year! 

It is my belief that parents are a child’s first and best teacher.  YOU play a key role in his/her academic success and I invite you to be an active part in the educational process.  I hope that we can partner together to assist your child in being the best he/she can be! 

Academics are of high priority, and we will all work to achieve our goals.  In trying to achieve those goals, Pershing Elementary will incorporate Project Based Learning into our traditional curriculum.  Project Based Learning motivates students to gain knowledge through engaging projects.  Research shows that this type of hands on learning helps students retain the information they have learned.   In addition, projects give students the chance to apply the skills they learn in school to personally relevant and real world situations.  Your child also learns skills in Project Based Learning, such as how to think critically, solve problems, work in teams and make presentations.  These skills will help students succeed in the future, both in school and in today’s work world.  You will be hearing more about Project Based Learning throughout the year.

While academics are our main focus, at Pershing Elementary character is of equal importance.  This year we will be focusing on being “bucket fillers”.  Ask your child about this philosophy and I am sure you will hear a lot!  I will be going into each classroom the first few days of school and sharing the book How Full is Your Bucket for Kids with our students.  It is all about building each other up instead of tearing each other down. 

I have an open-door policy for students, teachers and parents.  If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call me at the school.  I truly want this to be your child’s best year ever in school!

I am looking forward to partnering with you all!


Karen B. Watkins

Contact Karen Watkins at




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