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Lawton/Fort Sill Day at Oklahoma Capitol

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LAWTON Okla_ Lawton/Fort Sill got the chance to show all it has to offer at the state capitol Tuesday.

Local leaders, lawmakers, and representatives in areas from education and healthcare to defense and major manufacturing were there for Lawton/Fort Sill day. The program allowed them to show why the city is on the rise and to give other legislatures from around state the chance to hear our name.

Being in southwest Oklahoma, we are isolated geographically from the other larger cities. Lawmakers and community representatives say that shouldn't and doesn't mean we are far behind on what we have to offer.

Because of that, it's vital that we go out and tell our story. Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb isn't from Lawton, and doesn't call it home now, but he does say it significantly changed his life.

"My dad played football at Cameron University," Lt. Gov. Lamb said. "If it was not for Cameron, my dad probably would not have gone to college, and my life would have changed dramatically."

He said he probably wouldn't be in the position he's in today. It's a position that, personal reasons aside, makes him love Lawton-Fort Sill even more. He said our community has a significant economic impact on the state.

"Goodyear, Northrop Grummon, and the AT&T facility that we have in Lawton/Fort Sill are a huge economic driver and engine for our state," Lamb said. "It's a darn good place to be."

The latest example of this is in the area of education. Lawton Eisenhower High School was just named the National Math and Science Initiative's School of the Year.

EHS Principal Rod Elam was at the capitol for the announcement.

"It's a testament, as I see it, of the outstanding students we have in our building," Elam said.

Those students had over 100% increases both in qualifying scores and participation in the program, designed to encourage more students to take and pass advanced placement (AP) math and science classes. Their performance beat out nearly 500 other participating schools around the nation.

Lamb said Lawton has it all, because it does it all. This accomplishment is only one of many examples of why he knows that is true.

"It's a microcosm of the significance of Lawton/Fort Sill," Lamb said, "And it shows again the pride, the community spirit down to the high school level. It shows great promise and potential for the future."   

It's just one more reason he said Lawton/Fort Sill is a big deal. Lamb spoke Tuesday as part of the program. He said Lawton-Fort Sill companies were a vital part in Oklahoma's economical success last year. The state led the nation in net job growth. It also had the lowest state unemployment rate based on a population of 2 million or more.

Senators Don Barrington and Randy Bass and Representative Don Armes were a few of the local lawmakers in attendance Tuesday. House Speaker T.W. Shannon took the stage for a few words.

Mayor Fred Fitch also spoke along with Fort Sill's Commanding General Mark McDonald.

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