Dave Lopez could be the Oklahoma City school district's next chief operating officer

Dave Lopez, Oklahoma's former secretary of commerce, is serving as interim superintendent for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
by Tim Willert Modified: January 14, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: January 13, 2014
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Oklahoma City's interim superintendent of public schools could become the district's next chief operating officer when a permanent successor for Karl Springer is hired, The Oklahoman has learned.

Several school board members have indicated they would support a plan to have Dave Lopez oversee the district's $400 million operating budget in order to allow a new superintendent to focus solely on improving academics.

Board member Justin Ellis is among those who said they admire the work Lopez has done since he was picked in August to succeed Springer on a temporary basis.

“I think he is a tremendous asset to our organization,” Ellis said Monday. “If we could find a way to keep him in that role, I would be thrilled.”

The district is currently without a chief operation officer after the retirement of Jim Burkey.

Lopez, a former telephone company executive who served as state commerce secretary, has made a series of major moves since assuming control of the state's largest school district.

At last week's board meeting he announced a proposed six-month transition plan to improve academic performance, administrative accountability and community involvement.

Lopez said his first order of business would be to restructure district operations by terminating the employment of some high-ranking administrators and relocating dozens of other district office workers to individual school sites to better serve teachers and principals.

Lopez, 62, of Oklahoma City, has said he would consider serving the district in such a capacity.

“Right now my focus is limited to what we have to implement immediately,” he said Monday. “Then we'll learn more about what the circumstances are once the new superintendent is here.”

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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