Jenks names new school superintendent
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
1/15/13 at 7:12 AM
JENKS - Jenks Deputy Superintendent Stacey Butterfield will be the next superintendent of Jenks Public Schools, beginning July 1.
The school board selected Butterfield on Monday night from among four finalists. The others were Kathy Dodd, associate superintendent for teaching and learning at Union Public Schools; Gary Quinn, longtime superintendent at Bartlesville Public Schools; and Dan Stiffler, superintendent at Buhler Public Schools in Buhler, Kan.
The four were named finalists last month and were interviewed by the board last week.
The search for a superintendent was launched after Kirby Lehman announced last year that he would retire June 30 following 24 years as Jenks superintendent.
After the vote, Butterfield said she was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to succeed Lehman and that she recognizes that she has "big shoes to fill."
"There are going to be bumps in the road, no doubt. It is my hope that my 23 years of experience in the district will serve us well in making those bumps smoother."
She said Lehman was a mentor, a coach and a boss to her.
"I hate to see him go, but I am excited about the opportunity," she said.
Lehman has been an outspoken advocate for public schools, pushing for the Legislature to provide more funding for public education after years of declines in state aid.
"Observing governmental leaders making a conscious decision to minimize the funding of core services for Oklahoma has been incredibly frustrating," Lehman said when he announced his retirement. "Those core services are the very foundation of what attracts businesses from other states."
He has also argued against a number of recent state education changes, such as high-stakes testing and state-funded vouchers to send special-needs students to private schools.
Tulsa Superintendent Keith Ballard announced his retirement the same day as Lehman but has since agreed to stay at the helm of Tulsa Public Schools another year.
Union Superintendent Cathy Burden also announced last year that she will retire after this school year. She has been an educator for nearly 42 years and has led the Union district for nearly 20 years.
The Union school board has selected Deputy Superintendent Kirt Hartzler as Burden's successor. He started his Union career as a teacher and coach nearly 27 years ago.
Original Print Headline: New leader selected for schools in Jenks
Kim Archer 918-581-8315
Stacey Butterfield: She said she was humbled and honored to succeed the retiring Kirby Lehman.