OKLAHOMA CITY - By a vote of 5 to 2, Dr. Sean McDaniel was voted in Tuesday afternoon as the newest superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools. And, he’s starting off his tenure with dissent already.
District 5 board member, Ruth Veales, voted no, expressing concern McDaniel has not led an urban school district or a district that is predominantly minority.
McDaniel comes to Oklahoma City from Mustang Public Schools, where’s he’s been superintendent since 2012. The Mustang School District is predominantly Caucasian.
"Did we do all that we could to get the best superintendent possible for this district, or did we pick something to meet a time deadline?” Veales said.
"I think, for me, it's acknowledging and affirming that what she said was fair and, then, I want to have further conversations with her and with community members to find out where are those gaps,” McDaniel said at a press conference after the meeting.
McDaniel was the superintendent of Deer Creek Public Schools before his time in Mustang.
He’s coming into an Oklahoma City position that has been a revolving door over the last 18 years.
He will be the 14th superintendent since the year 2000.
But, McDaniel said he is in this for the long haul, mentioning he planned to stay for possibly 10 years.
"I'm going to be here and I, honestly, believe that things are in place here that just need some connectivity now," he said. "Let's tighten some things up, and let's begin moving at an accelerated pace."
McDaniel said he knows the road ahead is challenging, but he is confident this is the right path and direction for him and he can turn things around at Oklahoma City Public Schools. He said he’ll begin with lots of assessments.
"I need to talk to our principals and other leaders and really find out where we are," he said. "Once I do that, I'll be able to kick back out - here are the top two or three things I think we need to get to work on right now."
McDaniel’s three-year contract begins July 1, but he has been hired on as a consultant in the meantime.
We do not have the full details of his contract, but district officials tell us his base salary will be $240,000.