The Edmond Sun

February 13, 2013

Former Edmond principal to lead OKC charter school


Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — Downtown Oklahoma City’s John W. Rex Charter Elementary School board of directors has named Joseph M. Pierce as head of school for Oklahoma’s new downtown charter school.

“We are thrilled to bring on someone as talented as Joe to lead this school,” said board chairman and former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys. “We believe he has the skills and experience necessary to provide students with an exceptional education.”

As head of school, Pierce will work closely with the board of directors and serve as a leader to the staff and students. It will be his responsibility to provide a high-quality learning experience while promoting a fun and safe environment where students can strive to learn and grow.

“I am honored and excited to be selected for this opportunity to help unlock the potential in our students and vigorously pursue excellence,” Pierce said. “My vision for the school includes creating relevant learning experiences, establishing rigorous academic expectations and establishing positive relationships with the downtown community and its stakeholders so that our students become outstanding citizens who are college and career ready.”

Although the school isn’t expected to open until the start of the 2014 school year, Pierce was brought in a year early to allow time for participation in important decision-making opportunities such as staff hiring, building details and academic development.

Pierce has more than 30 years of experience in the education field. He previously was executive director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Putnam City Public Schools, and he also worked at Edmond Public Schools as principal at West Field Elementary School and Orvis Risner Elementary School.

He has a doctorate of education degree in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University, a master of education degree in school administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Olivet Nazarene University.

Pierce has received the National Distinguished Principal Award and Oklahoma Elementary Principal of the Year for 2007, along with a handful of other awards and recognitions throughout his career. He is highly involved in the Oklahoma City community with both professional and charitable organizations, including the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals, A Brother’s Love Adoption Assistance Grant Fund and Hearts and Hands International Inc.

John W. Rex Charter Elementary School will offer a one-of-a-kind, quality education to an economically and racially diverse group of students. The school is strategically placed in downtown Oklahoma City to provide students with easy access to governmental, legal and cultural buildings. Being within walking distance to buildings like the Civic Center Music Hall and City Hall will assist in providing a unique, hands-on learning experience to students, according to a school statement.