Brian Staples' leadership will be hard to replace

Oklahoman Published: October 29, 2012

Regarding “OKC principal resigns as scrutiny continues” (News, Oct. 25): I was disappointed to learn of the resignation of Brian Staples as Douglass Mid-High School principal. As a retired educator, I knew Staples on both a personal and professional level from working with him at the Classen School of Advanced Studies. From what I learned about him, the Oklahoma City school system has lost a very special leader.

While at Classen, Staples immersed himself in the International Baccalaureate Program to get it up and going. He set very high standards for himself and the students. Never have I known an educator so time- and task-focused. Every school he was placed in by the district had big problems. With his incredible work ethic, he accepted each challenge in a professional, businesslike manner. Even after being assaulted by a small-time criminal in the school parking lot, he quickly returned to work.

Broken schools are hard to fix. Staples is proof of that. People in the trenches who are leaders are often not popular — or valued. The Oklahoma City School administration, at significant cost, could start a national search to find another leader like Staples, but it would be difficult. The district had one of the best, the type of person who could turn any school district or system around. The real losers are the students in Oklahoma City.

Ron Thorson, Norman

Staples resigned in the wake of allegations over inflated grades and hidden absences at Douglass.


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