Long-time OKC educator honored as “A Difference Maker” at Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame

OKLAHOMA CITY – Lee Roland, a longtime educator whose career spans across Oklahoma City, was inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators (OAAE) Hall of Fame September 27.

The OAAE Hall of Fame recognizes and honors African American educators or support personnel who have made a significant contribution in Oklahoma.

Honorees must have worked as an administrator or teacher in Oklahoma at the elementary, middle, secondary or college level, have contributed to and influenced the education and lives of the students, and have been a community worker or leader.

“Being inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame is both tremendously humbling and encouraging to me. Therefore, I would be remiss not to share my appreciation to any and everyone that has poured into me, directly or otherwise. My achievements are the results of a wonderful family, supportive colleagues and some of the absolute most amazing teachers on earth,” Roland said.

Of his 30 years in public education, Roland spent 12 of them as principal of Tulakes Elementary in the Putnam City Public School District.

According to Roland’s website, the once-failing Tulakes struggled with high suspension rates and teacher turnover as well as a 100 percent free and reduced lunch student population.

“Today, Tulakes Elementary’s test scores rival any school in the district.  Most notably, the school has the lowest suspension rate with only one suspension in the last two years of his leadership.”

Roland is currently director of Epic Charter Schools’ Principal Leadership Development program.

Roland says he comes from a family of educators and community leaders who devoted their lives to public education and community service and he wanted to do the same. His mother was a teacher and his father a pastor.

Roland currently sits on numerous boards, including The Spero Project, Stronger Together and Hope for Generations. He also is a commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission for Children and Youth.

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