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From the Superintendent's Desk

I thought it was very appropriate that one of the first songs that played on my headphones during my run this morning started off, “Hold on. Is this really the life I’m living? ‘Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it.” Last night the WPS Board of Education renewed my contract for another three years as Superintendent of Schools. I still have those days where I look in the mirror and think to myself, “So this guy really is the superintendent?” I think it’s hard for me to believe because this job is a dream come true, but it’s also something I never dreamt I would be doing. I consider my job an incredible honor that comes with weighty responsibility. I am blessed beyond measure.

In June as a part of my quarterly evaluation, I presented my goals for the district to the Board. I didn’t have a “plan” to become superintendent, but I have always had plans, regardless of my position in the district, to make WPS better. As superintendent those plans have to be ambitious, realistic, and long term. Here are my goals:

District Goal 1: Academic Success : Achieve a 100% graduation rate by offering high-quality student programming so that graduates are college and career ready.

District Goal 2: Instruction and Leadership: Provide high-quality and effective teachers and administrators. 

District Goal 3: Environmental: Construct and maintain facilities conducive to an orderly and safe educational environment that are a point of pride in the community.

Goal 1 is my BHAG — Big Hairy Audacious Goal! Over time we have developed mission statements, visions, goals, agendas, lesson plans, interventions…you name it, and we have collectively and individually planned for success. At no time that I am aware of has anyone ever said, “Let’s just target some of our kids for success … we know some of them will never make it.” In fact, in recent years as we have worked to deliberately and consistently implement PLC (Professional Learning Communities) concepts and strategies in an effort to shift our culture, we frequently hear and repeat the mantra, “ALL MEANS ALL.”

That’s right, we’re here to educate every kid that walks through our doors, and that’s a challenge for every public school. You can put most kids into two categories: kids that love to come to school, and kids that come to school to be loved. Some of our students come to school hungry, scared, hurting or tired. They are not worried about dangling participles or Pythagorean’s Theory, they’re worried about surviving in one way or another.

So we see and interact these kids every day to ensure first and foremost that their immediate needs are met so that we can provide a long term education for them that will maximize the odds of their success after high school, whether they go straight into the workforce, seek trade certifications, or college degrees.

The future will certainly present both challenges and opportunities for us as we pursue our goals at WPS, but we have an excellent foundation. First of all, we have a great staff that takes pride in what they do, from the bus driver that is the first one to greet students in the early morning hours, to the coach who makes sure the last student athlete has a ride home at the end of the day.

We are also fortunate to be in the embrace of the loving arms of a community that values education. I have lived in Woodward most of my life and certainly have enjoyed stories that go back well before I was born about how this community has always placed a great deal of importance on their public schools. I know this to be true today because I talk to so many folks who tell me they love our schools; they tell me how proud they are of our kids, and then they step up and show it. Businesses bring financial support, volunteers come to work with and mentor kids, civic clubs have fundraisers, and voters come to the polls to say “Yes” when we have a bond election.

Our staff are busy every day preparing for the 2017-2018 school, and we are definitely excited about what lies ahead. We are excited about the new staff we have hired this summer. We are excited about new opportunities we will be able to provide for our students. We are excited about completing our construction projects and improvements to our buildings and grounds. 

And we are ready for the challenges ahead of us as we say, “ALL Woodward Boomers will be lifelong learners with a pioneer spirit: cooperative, productive, responsible, and ready for the future!”

It is an honor to be your superintendent, and as always I look forward to hearing from you.

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Woodward Public Schools1023 10th StreetWoodward, OK  73802

PH: 580-256-6063Fax: 580-256-4391

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