Mendenhall honored at district school board meeting

MAKING IT OFFICIAL -- The announcement of Dr. Jarod Mendenhall's having been named the 2015 Man of Distinction was made some weeks ago, but it was made official Monday night when Editor Lesa Jones presented him with an award. JO-ANN JENNINGS/BA LEDGER

The highlight of the regular meeting of the Broken Arrow School Board Monday night, Jan. 11, was the presentation of the 2015 Man of Distinction Award to Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. The presentation was made by Tulsa Business Journal and Daily Legal News Editor Lesa Jones.

Jones reiterated what she had written recently written about Mendenhall. "Jarod Mendenhall became superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools in 2010. He has led the district through a comprehensive strategic planning process, overseen the district’s largest bond construction, opened four new early childhood centers, two new elementary schools and a new middle school. And Broken Arrow High School is starting to resemble a college campus."

Mendenhall but said much of the credit goes to the people. He took a quick look at a rainy February day when he headed toward his interview for the superintendent position. Wearing a new suit and carrying a briefcase, as he got out of his truck he was immediately soaking wet. Mendenhall went so far as to say he felt like a "drowned rat." He left hoping in spite of the weather that night he would have an opportunity to serve the Broken Arrow School District.

"There's not a day goes by that I don't think about this job," he told the teachers, administrators and guests in the room. "I wanted to make it a great place for kids, for the community, and I couldn't do it alone. Mendenhall said he works closely with a great board of education. "Like a family we have good days and bad days," he said, "but the focus is always on how we can make the district a better place for kids."

School Board President Cheryl Kelly said she was present during Mendenhall's interview. Many people in the district do there job well which has led to a number of success. "We cannot do it without each of you," she said to the audience. "And thank you, Dr. Mendenhall for all you do for the kids."