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The Marlow Review

May
21
2015
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Farewell to syntax, Shakespeare and scholars


By Kaye Collier
The Marlow Review

For years, Sharon Bullard has


toyed with the idea of writing
the next great American novel.
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grand undertaking as a young
woman on the threshold of a
rewarding career; but with the
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children, she placed that dream
on the back burner and concentrated instead on two of the
things she loved mostteaching
and motherhood.
After 27 years as an English
instructor and mentor for high
school publications, the Marlow
High School teacher and MHS
Express adviser is retiring this
week.
Sharon and her husband
Chris will soon relocate to the
Belle Isle community in the
Oklahoma City area, where they
own a small home that they will
be renovating.
Since all four of their daughtersand both of their grandsonsreside in the OKC area,
one of the couples primary reasons for this choice of location
is the promise of countless opportunities to do a little (really,
more than a little) grandparental
spoiling.
Small-town girl
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over this land on Sharons birthday. She came off the heavenly
presses on Flag Day, June 14, in
the tiny community of WaKeeney, Kansas, and into the loving
arms of Al and Maxine Billinger.
Two weeks later, the family moved to Midwest City and
ultimately settled in Anadarko,
where they opened a feed store.
Maxine was also a nurse.
Sharon has an older sister,
Mary, and a younger brother,
John.
At Anadarko High, she was
active in the vocal music program and the pep club, but she
most enjoyed participating in
AHS chapter of DECA and
was named the chapters Student of the Year. Interestingly
enough, she was not involved
in the schools journalism program. Her sister, however, was
editor of the school newspaper;
and Sharon recalled attending an
Oklahoma Interscholastic Press
Association convention to nomiQDWH0DU\WROODVWDWHRIFHLQ
the organization.
Little did she realize at the
time that she would someday
become a longtime member of
the OIPA herself.
In fact, she noted, I never
intended to go to college. By
the time she graduated from
Anadarko High School in 1970,
she had received a tuition scholDUVKLSIRUKHUUVW\HDUDW2NOD
homa College of Liberal Arts in
nearby Chickasha. This assistance, combined with an H&R
Block scholarship obtained

English Literature, English IV, Sweepstakes title three times,


English Composition and jour- she indicated.
nalism technology. She has also
Parenting
spent the last 25 years as adviser
Sharon has never been one
for the MHS exPRESS and the to back down from a challenge.
past several as chairman of the In and of itself, Sharons tireless
devotion to her profession for alEnglish/journalism department.
Since 2010, she has also most three decades would have
served as an adjunct professor of tested the mettle of Ulysses, as
developmental writing at Cam- would the 25 years that husband
eron.
Chris served as city clerk for
ExPRESS-ly
Marlow. But the two of them
successful
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When I began teaching at during much of that time.
And judging by the measure
MHS in the fall of 1990, they no
longer had a newspaper staff, of success that each of their
Sharon recalled, adding that she children has attained, they did a
enlisted four students in one of splendid job of it.
Emily, a 1997 Marlow High
her classes to write and edit articles to be published in the Re- School grad, is a partner in Price
Lane Consulting, a public relaview.
The next year, she contin- WLRQV UP EDVHG LQ (GPRQG
ued, a class was added to the Several years ago, she was
curriculum, and those students tapped for 30 Under 30, an inisubmitted stories to be published tiative recognizing outstanding
young professionals. She and
every week in the Review.
Sharon applied for a grant; her husband, John Lang, live in
and the funds went toward pur- Edmond with their 7-year-old
chasing four Apple computers son Wyatt.
designed for journalistic desktop
Carrie, who graduated from
publishing. Nevertheless, the MHS in 1999, is executive distudents continued to perform rector of Rainbow Fleet, a nonlayout tasks on a light board for SURWRUJDQL]DWLRQLQ2NODKRPD
several more years before in- City. She and her husband, Brian
troducing computer-generated Williams, have one son, Noah, 3.
technology to serve this purpose.
A 2000 graduate of Marlow
A second grant in 2008 was High, daughter Sarah is an attorused to acquire InDesign and ney with Bullard & Associates
new Macs, Sharon said, and a in Oklahoma City. She is marPhoto Submitted
PASSING THE TORCH: With photo clippings from the MHS exPRESS in the background, three of this WKLUGRQHUHFHLYHGYH\HDUVODW ried to Jim Green.
Paul, the Bullards only son,
`LHYZZ[HTLTILYZ^VYRVUHUPZZ\LHZ[OLPYHK]PZLY:OHYVU)\SSHYKSVVRZVU7PJ[\YLKMYVTSLM[HYL er enabled the exPRESS staff to
expand their publishing program is a 2003 graduate of MHS. He
Q\UPVY9`SPL+LYY`ILYY`HUKZVWOVTVYLZ2HSSPL:SH[L3HUKY`*VVWLYHUK4LSPZZH=HSLUJPH
to include an online publication, is a partner in Bullard & Xethrough the efforts of her DECA Norman, where she enrolled in ninth-graders, as well as serv- Outlaw exPRESSions, which is nides Interior Designs in New
instructor, helped fund her initial OUs post-graduate program ing as adviser for The Pitchfork still ongoing.
York City.
trimesters at OCLA.
and worked as a graduate assis- and the high school yearbook,
Since its inception, the MHS
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She indicated that her parents tant while earning a masters in Smokerings.
exPRESS has received highest from the Bullard and MHS nests
insisted she use these offers to language arts in 1978 .
In 1990, Sharon joined the honors ratings, has achieved in 2008. She received her juris
further her education.
By this time, the young wom- teaching staff at Marlow High All-Oklahoman status nine doctorate from Oklahoma City
Degrees, Shakespeare
an who had never planned to School, where she has taught AP times, and has claimed the OIPA
(Continued on page 3B)
and student publications
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Through OCLAs trimester was knee-deep in her quest for
curriculum and a number of knowledge. She taught English
student loans, Sharon was able Composition I and II at OU for
to complete her BA in language approximately the next four
years while studying for her
3K' :KHQ KHU UVW FKLOG ZDV
born in 1979, she put her doctoral pursuit aside.
In the meantime, Chris had
been hired as manager of Godfathers Pizza in Norman. In 1980,
he was transferred to the franchises Duncan location; and the
Bullards moved to Marlow.
From 1981 to 85, Sharon
wore a number of different
hats while employed with The
Marlow Review, including news
editor, writer, photographer, layout/design manager and proofreader.
During this time, she also
Sharon Bullard
gave birth to three more chilarts in 3 years, graduating in dren.
Her job at the newspaper was
1973.
During this time, she met and followed by four years on the
NEW EXHIBIT 1700s Beadwork
fell in love with a nice-looking teaching staff at Duncan High
of Southeastern Tribes
young man pursuing the same School and a year as an adjunct
course of study, and the two professor of English Comp I at
were married on Oct. 26, 1978, Cameron University.
At DHS, she taught English
in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Sharon eventually moved to to college-bound seniors and

MEMORIAL WEEKEND
CELEBRATION!

MAY 23-24

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May 2015 Page


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The Marlow Review

+([WHQVLRQ(GXFDWRU

Bullard
(Continued from page 1B)
University this past Sunday.
She, too, is currently employed
with Bullard & Associates.
$IOLDWLRQV
DQGDZDUGV
6KDURQV SURIHVVLRQDO DIOLDtions include 27 years as part of
the Oklahoma Scholastic Media
and its predecessor, the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association. She was also active in the
National Education Association,
the Oklahoma Education Association and the Journalism Educators Association for a number
of years.
In 2004, she received the Lois
A. Thomas Award, an honor recognizing the State Newspaper
Adviser of the Year, and was a
nominee for the award again this
year. She has also been named
the Masonic Teacher of To-

day during her tenures at both


Marlow and Duncan.
The VFW honored Sharon
with their National Citizenship
Education Teacher Award for
Oklahoma District #14 in 2007.
She has attended the Oklahoma
Fall Arts Institute at Quartz
Mountain nine times, and Id
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0L[HGHPRWLRQV
Anyone who has been
around me for the past couple of
weeks knows I have mixed feelings about my decision to retire,
Sharon confessed. I tear up at
the drop of a hat, she added. I
love my job and my students and
the people I work with.
I will miss them a lot, but
, DP FRXQWLQJ RQ QGLQJ QHZ
ways to spend my timeI am
sure two little guys named Wyatt
and Noah will be high on my list

of priorities.
Now, Sharon is undoubtedly
a borderline workaholic, and retirement is certain to dish up a
bit of culture shock for her.
Im not one to stay at home.
I like to be on the move, she attested.
She indicated she may do
some adjunct teaching on the
college level, or perhaps teach a
high school course or two if the
opportunity presents itself. And
of course, she will now have
more time to pursue her favorite
pastimesgolf and reading.
Who knows? She may even
write that great American novel (coming soon to your local
bookshelves).
And when it does, go ahead.
. .feel free to tell all and sundry
that you knew the author back
when.

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.