Morning Bell: Mustang supt picked for OKC job
Good Wednesday morning. Oklahoma's largest school district has a new superintendent.
The Oklahoma City Public Schools board voted 5 to 2 to hire Sean McDaniel to become the district's 13th superintendent — full-time or interim — since 2000.
For six years, McDaniel, 55, has led Mustang Public Schools, an 11,400-student district located about 16 miles west of Oklahoma City.
McDaniel will succeed Aurora Lora, who resigned Jan. 30. His first official day on the job will be July 1. Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye will serve through June 30.
The contract: The board approved a 3-year contract that will pay McDaniel $240,000 annually, not including benefits, according to a district spokeswoman.
The vote: Board members Ruth Veales and Charles Henry voted against it. Veales, who is black, said the district continues to fail black students, particularly those she represents on the city's northeast side. She complained that the board didn't consider someone with experience leading and turning around an urban school district.
"This is why I cannot support the decision we will be making tonight," she said. "The candidates in our final interview have come from districts that do not have the same challenges that our students face daily."
The Oklahoman's Tim Willert has more on McDaniel and the board's decision.
Tulsa members regret Lee vote
Two Tulsa school board members who voted for Lee Elementary school to keep its Confederate surname said this week that they regret their votes, reports the Tulsa World.
The new name doesn’t go far enough in remedying the original name’s racist origins, said Cindy Decker, vice president of the school board. Suzanne Schreiber, the board president, said she regrets not changing the school naming process before the board ever got a chance to vote on the recommendation to rename the legacy Tulsa elementary Lee School.
The two, and Superintendent Deborah Gist, expressed regret about how the school naming process unfolded and said there were points where they should’ve stepped in to make sure minority voices were heard and there was a clear process for gathering public feedback.
Special needs students experience virtual reality
Students with special needs went on a virtual field trip Monday morning at Moore High School. Their destinations included the moon and the pyramids. They rode raptors and went snorkeling. All without leaving their classroom.
For the past three years, Advanced Placement students who take Victor Rook's computer science class at Moore High have been creating virtual reality content for the classroom.
On Monday they decided to share that content with special needs students, Rook said.
"The bell kind of rung with us, that we're already taking all these journeys to reality space and we can take our special needs kids on these same journeys," he said. "It's a great chance for the AP science kids to do some service learning."
Deer Creek break-in
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office is investigating the early Monday break-in at Deer Creek High School that left damage from eggs and broken glass, a sheriff's spokesman confirmed. Two high school students are responsible for the damage that resulted in an injury to an employee, a district statement reports.
That does it for today's Morning Bell. Got a question, comment or story idea? Sent me a note at email@example.com.