Oklahoma City Public School Board announces new superintendent

OKLAHOMA CITY – The state’s largest school district now has a new leader.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Public School Board announced that Dr. Sean McDaniel would become the next district superintendent.

Currently, he is the superintendent of Mustang Public Schools. He has held that position since 2012.

In all, he has spent 16 years serving as a superintendent.

“Sean McDaniel has a history of leadership and building strong relationships,” Mary Mélon, president and CEO of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, said. “The Foundation looks forward to working hand-in-hand with Superintendent McDaniel to provide continued support for our students, administrators and teachers.”

He released the following statement to Mustang Public School employees ahead of the announcement:

“When I accepted the job at Mustang, I never intended to write a letter such as this. It has been a joy to be your superintendent. The district is doing so well. We have successful students who have wonderful opportunities to learn, to compete, and to grow. Our financial health is strong and we have outstanding teachers, administrators, and support staff across the district. And we have community support that is unparalleled.

With all that said, I wanted you to hear from me that I have accepted the position as superintendent for Oklahoma City Public Schools. This was not a quick process, nor an easy decision. When asked, it was with great hesitation that I agreed to interview at all. I have been in a wonderful position with a forward-thinking and supportive board and an incredible administrative team for six years at Mustang.

I know the road ahead of me will be challenging but I am confident this is the right decision and direction for me. As a product of an urban school district in Denver, Colorado, I have an understanding born of experience of what large urban school districts are facing. There are many great people and more than 46,000 wonderful children in Oklahoma City and my hope is that I can help that team make a difference.

In a few minutes, the Oklahoma City Board of Education will announce that I have been chosen as the next superintendent. I wanted you to hear something from me as soon as I was able to share openly. Mustang Board President Chad Fulton has called a special meeting for Wednesday to begin the search for your next superintendent.

I leave you all with both a heavy heart and an excitement for what’s ahead. You are in incredibly capable hands. Please know that there is a part of me that will always be a Bronco. I have been blessed to be part of this district. Thank you for the kindness, grace and friendship you have shown me. It has been a honor to be your superintendent.”

He will become the district’s 14th superintendent in the last 18 years. McDaniel will start his new job on July 1.

“Oklahoma City schools are in crisis. Just one in five students is proficient in math and only one in four is proficient in English. This is not a ‘problem.’ It’s a disaster. Everybody in education has good intentions, but all that matters are results. It’s time for a superintendent who ignores trendy programs, expensive consultants, and other distractions. OKCPS spent $9,104 per student in 2017, but many education dollars never reach the classroom. Superintendent McDaniel can show the right priorities right away by asking the school board to spend less on overhead and more on students,” a statement from Trent England, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, read.

In January, the Oklahoma City Public School District announced that Superintendent Aurora Lora had submitted her resignation to the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education.

Lora was named the district superintendent in 2016 following the resignation of the previous superintendent, Rob Neu.

Following Lora’s resignation, the board began searching for a replacement.

The last superintendent to last more than a few years was Karl Springer, who also came from Mustang. He was the Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent form 2008 to 2013.