The next Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent must be an engaging community leader who can empower others while ultimately doing what's best for the district's children, a gathering of parents, teachers and administrators said Thursday night.
The group, which met in the cafeteria of Putnam Heights Elementary School, said Karl Springer's successor also must be accountable and possess a strong educational background.
“I've had kids in this district for 13 years who have gone to phenomenal schools,” Barbara Brockhaus said. “I would like for every kid in this district to be in a phenomenal school.”
Brockhaus said the district has settled for too long and believes the time has come to “demand the best” from a superintendent.
Springer's last day as superintendent is Aug. 30. Before Springer, who retired in July after five years, the district went through nine superintendents in 11 years.
The meeting was co-hosted by school board member Justin Ellis and The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
“I will take this information and fight for us,” Ellis said. “My goal is about longevity.”
Among the topics high on the list for the district's next leader is cultural diversity.
“We do need someone with experience in an urban district,” said Heather Meldrum, a fifth-grade teacher at Stanley Hupfeld Academy. “When you don't come from that experience … many times people will feel sorry for our students instead of empowering them and setting high standards for their success.”