The Edmond Sun

October 9, 2012

Deer Creek's McDaniel resigns to take Mustang job

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Deer Creek Superintendent Sean McDaniel tendered his resignation at the Monday night School Board meeting and board members accepted it in a 5-0 vote effective Nov. 1.

McDaniel came to the district with now more than 5,600 students in the fall of 2010.

“I loved my Deer Creek experience,” McDaniel said. “I had wonderful co-workers, the best leadership team ever and a great community to work with. Our teachers are outstanding. What a place. I am grateful to the board for the opportunity.”

Under his guidance more than $100 million in construction was completed or is in varying stages of completion, said Deer Creek School Board President David Miller.

A new state-of-the-art middle school opened this fall and new buildings under construction include a fifth elementary school scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, a Performing Arts Center and Athletic Center.

They are part of the $139 million bond issue passed in 2010 scheduled to be completed by 2015.

Under his guidance Late Start Wednesdays was put into place this year as part of the Professional Learning Community, a group of collaborative teams that share a common purpose, multiple groups of teachers collaborating across the district meeting during that one-hour time slot.

“This was pretty much a surprise conversation, which started the end of last week,” Miller said. “The board did not request this. It was initiated by Sean.”

Miller said McDaniel’s contract was recently extended to the end of June 2014, adding, “It is our understanding he has already been approved as the superintendent of Mustang School District.

“Sean has done us a good job and has been in charge of a lot of building activity since he has been here,” Miller said. “He has directed our Professional Collaborative Learning process, the Common Core Curriculum, and the new Teacher Evaluation. Overall he has done a good job of keeping things going on top. He is moving on to a bigger, 6-A school district.”

Miller said they are looking for someone to step in as the interim superintendent, and he made a preliminary contact with the Oklahoma Secondary School Board Association Tuesday morning to help the district search for a superintendent.

“I think Sean got a lot of things moving and it will be our job to make sure things keep moving,” Miller said.

Mustang’s School Board President Chad Fulton said the board as of yet does not have a contract, salary or start date but the board will be voting Thursday night.

“Our intent is to hire him with a start date of Nov. 5,” Fulton said.

The Mustang superintendent’s job opened seven days after the start of the school year when Superintendent Bonnie Lightfoot turned her retirement papers to take effect Oct. 1. Mustang’s Deputy Superintendent Belinda Rogers turned her retirement request in at Monday night’s school board meeting to be effective Jan. 1, 2013.

“We will be looking for a deputy superintendent now, also,” Fulton said.

“Mr. McDaniel is a super gentleman and I look forward to working with him. I am extremely impressed with him. His focus is no different from my focus. When I vote on an issue I vote for the students, district and community. He will be coming to a school district of 9,600 employees with more than 1,000 employees. You need strong leadership and I believe Mr. McDaniel brings that.

 His educational career has spanned coaching and teaching in Mapleton Public Schools, Denver, Colo.; Oaks Indian School in Oaks, Okla.; and Coweta Public Schools. He began his administrative career at Bishop Kelly High School in Tulsa and served as assistant principal at Union Schools in Tulsa before being named Coweta’s superintendent in 2002.

“Students are at the center of everything I do as an educator,” McDaniel said. “Just as many teachers, coaches and administrators made a difference in my life, my objective is to be a difference-maker in the lives of others.”

McDaniel completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northeastern Oklahoma State University. He is completing his doctorate in educational leadership at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.