The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs has named a new superintendent for its Tecumseh juvenile correctional center as part of a shake-up that followed recent violent disturbances at the institution.
Jerry Fry, of Bethel, will serve as the new superintendent of the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh, said Gene Christian, executive director of the state Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Fry has been serving as a co-director for White Fields, a Canadian County group home that provides care for abused or neglected boys ages 8 to 18 who are in the custody of the state Department of Human Services. Fry is expected to assume his new duties Oct. 24.
In another move, Dick Parish was named interim director of institutional programs, the agency said in a news release. Parish now serves as deputy division administrator for the Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Fry will fill the position previously held by Mike Moriarity, and Parish will replace Elizabeth Stewart on an interim basis.
Moriarity and Stewart were placed on forced leave following a series of violent incidents at the Tecumseh center that included a nighttime attack on a boy that resulted in a brain injury, and two fights involving multiple residents that required assistance from Tecumseh police to restore order.
Paula Christiansen, spokeswoman for the Office of Juvenile Affairs, said she could not provide an update on the employment status of Moriarity or Stewart.
Fry has 23 years of experience working with children and their families and was an administrator for both the Office of Juvenile Affairs and the Department of Human Services.
He worked at Tecumseh's Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center from 2001 to 2003, first as a deputy superintendent and later as administrator of programs, Christiansen said.
“I am pleased to bring Jerry Fry back to our agency,” Christian said in the news release. “Jerry has been a great asset to the agency in the past, and I look forward to working with him in his new role at COJC. He brings with him a great background working with troubled youth.”
Fry serves on several boards and commissions, including the Pottawatomie County Post Adjudication Review Board, the State Post Adjudication Review and Advisory Board, the State Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council, the Oklahoma Children's Agencies and Residential Enterprises board of directors, the Mission Tecumseh board of directors, and the Crossroads Youth and Family Services board of directors.
Jerry has been a great asset to the agency in the past, and I look forward to working with him in his new role at COJC. He brings with him a great background working with troubled youth.”