The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools has chosen a newspaper publisher to be its next leader.
Mary Melon, president and publisher of The Journal Record, is leaving the newspaper to become president and chief executive officer of the foundation, the paper announced this week.
The foundation is a nonprofit that operates independently in support of the school district. It raises money to directly support students and teachers through programs and also supports district initiatives.
Melon has long been active in the community, serving on numerous nonprofit boards. Gov. Mary Fallin recently appointed her to the Oklahoma Humanities Council.
She will replace Lori Dickinson, who resigned from the foundation in March to become executive director for the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.
“I think Mary is a great hire for the foundation,” Dickinson said. “I think she’s an outstanding community leader and she’s very passionate about helping people.”
Melon’s last day with The Journal Record will be Aug. 30.
“I think it’s also important that Mary will have an instant rapport with people because of her standing (in the community),” Dickinson said.
Attempts to reach foundation board leaders for comment were unsuccessful Thursday and Friday.
Thousands have benefited from foundation programs that provide support and opportunities for students and teachers, including grants to attend academic and artistic competitions.
Since creating Teachers Warehouse in 2008, the foundation has distributed more than $1 million in supplies to teachers and students. So far in 2014, the foundation has awarded more than $300,000 in grants.
It is unclear if the foundation plans to replace three other staffers who also resigned: Interim President Lisa Reed, Chief Programs Officer Robyn Hilger and Communications Director Christy Watson. Reed and Watson left the foundation in May; Hilger left in June.
All three were credited with strengthening the foundation’s relationship with district teachers and administrators in recent years.