Lopez named interim superintendent for OKC Public Schools

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Public School District has a new interim superintendent Dave Lopez, who is the current Oklahoma State Secretary of Commerce.

Lopez will take up the position after Superintendent Karl Springer retires August 30.

Lopez said, "The first thing I want to do is to listen."

He says he plans to listen to constituents, parents and educators to figure out the perfect move to get the district in the right direction.

Lopez will resign from his post as Oklahoma's Secretary of Commerce on Friday.

He said, "Part of the reason that this transition makes sense for me, it lets me continue public service from things I've learned from [Gov. Mary Fallin] and my colleagues at commerce."

According to the Oklahoma City Public Schools, Lopez, 62, will not be a candidate for the permanent job.

As superintendent, he will oversee 45,000 children for about a year.

“There are 45,000 reasons to accept this opportunity to serve,” Lopez said. “Neither of my parents graduated from high school, so I understand the value of education and what it means for our city’s children. Education can and should be life-changing.”

He will lead the district during a nationwide search for a new permanent superintendent.

He said, "I'm just eager to describe ways that people can assist, whether that’s parents, community members at large, whether they're alumni, in business because I think we're going to need everybody pulling together."

Lopez is a longtime civic and community leader and previously served as president of Oklahoma City-based American Fidelity Foundation, a charitable foundation that gives grants for economic development, education, human services and the arts.

Lopez will serve as the Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent beginning September 1 through the rest of the 2013-2014 school year.

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