OKCPS board accepts superintendent’s resignation, begins search for replacement

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Public Schools board of education voted 5-3 Thursday night to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel and to hire a firm to search for a new superintendent.

The vote came at a special-called Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) board meeting on Thursday night.

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Board members voted 5-3 to accept McDaniel’s resignation. They voted 6-2 to accept a contract with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association to perform a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

The votes came after the board spent nearly two hours in executive session discussing McDaniel’s resignation.

McDaniel served as superintendent of OKCPS the past six years.

In that time, he spearheaded the district’s “pathway to greatness” project, led students and teachers through the uncertainty of the pandemic and helped pass a nearly $1 billion bond proposal.

The board extended his contract twice over those six years. The most extension came last year, when the board voted to keep McDaniel on as superintendent through 2027.

On Monday, McDaniel announced he would resign at the end on the current school year.

In his resignation letter to the board, McDaniel cited “irreconcilable differences” he had with one particular board member.

He did not mention the board member by name.

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As of Thursday evening, no board member had come forward to identify themself as the person McDaniel had the issue with.

The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) IS the union representing principals in OKCPS.

AFSA’s board called for the district do everything it could to keep McDaniel from resigning.

“We are asking for every effort to be made for there to be a resolution between the OKCPS BOE and Dr. McDaniel so that we can all continue the work that needs to be done for the students of OKCPS,” AFSA board members wrote in a statement.

Leaders with the Clara Luper Legacy Committee—a group working to teach kids about the civil rights icon’s impact on Oklahoma City Public Schools and the nation—also released a statement saying they were upset to see McDaniel had resigned.

“While public education has become a target for politicians, superintendent
McDaniel has ensured our classrooms and our children have not fallen victim to the chaos of politics today,” the statement said in part.

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Board members and McDaniel did not answer any questions following Thursday’s board meeting.

On Friday, McDaniel released a statement following Thursday night’s board meeting.

OKCPS is the greatest place I’ve ever worked. Our students are amazing, we have the best teachers on the planet and our school and district leaders display their dedication to our students daily.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work for the 33,000 students and 5,000 staff members of this very special place. Words can not describe how thankful I am for our families and community and the accomplishments we’ve made together over the past six years.

I am committed to giving our students, staff, families and community my all until my departure on June 30, 2024. As a school leader, you lead the best you can for as long as you can and I whole-heartedly believe I have done that.

I want everyone to remember that change can be good and exciting. I have no doubt that OKCPS is going to land an excellent superintendent to continue the phenomenal growth and momentum currently happening for OKCPS.

Dr. Sean McDaniel, former OKCPS superintendent

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