Two of Tulsa Public Schools’ newly created Cabinet posts are officially filled.
The Tulsa school board approved Superintendent Deborah Gist’s recommended hires — Errick Greene for the position of chief of schools and Devin Fletcher for chief learning officer — at its meeting Monday evening.
Both jobs, described as “key leadership positions,” were created as part of an ongoing administrative reorganization that officials have said will ultimately save the district nearly $4 million.
Greene’s annual salary will be $157,100. Fletcher will make $155,700.
Officials said the pay is in line with comparable positions in urban districts of similar size.
Greene, a former high school principal in Washington, D.C., served as an instructional superintendent there for three years, managing a group of principals, before his most recent role — a year as special assistant to the emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools.
According to Tulsa district officials, the chief of schools’ role will be to lead the school-based implementation of the district’s strategic plan, Destination Excellence, by supervising instructional leadership directors and principals with goals of improving school culture and academic performance.
Fletcher comes to Tulsa from Denver Public Schools, where he was the district’s executive director. He was the district lead on curriculum and instruction, academic strategic planning, and standards adoption and implementation.
The role of chief learning officer, Tulsa officials said, will be to manage district initiatives on curriculum and instruction, working with academic coordinators and teachers to carry out the district’s instructional vision and improve student achievement.
The reorganization — begun in response to next year’s state budget gap — started with the cutting of 175 central-office positions and the creation of 73 new ones. Two new jobs were added later, bringing the net reduction in administrators to 100 positions.
District leaders say the administrative reorganization will reduce the district’s budget by $2.7 million, plus free up an additional $1 million in federal funds for distribution to schools.
Free meals: In other news, Gist talked briefly about a new program announced last week that will allow all students in elementary grades at TPS to receive free breakfasts and lunches.
This will be the first year for the program, made possible through the Community Eligibility Provision at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It will be effective for all elementary students for the next five years.
Parents and guardians of elementary students will no longer need to complete applications for free and reduced-cost meals in order for their children to participate in the program.
Gist said, “When students are well fed, they are going to do better in school.”