Dr. Keith Ballard is the superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. As superintendent, Dr. Ballard oversees the largest school district in Oklahoma with 88 campuses, 41,000 students, 7,000 employees and a $500 million budget. Focusing on college preparedness, Superintendent Ballard is committed to cultivating teacher talent in a performance-based culture and providing quality learning experiences for every student, every day, without exception.
During his tenure, Dr. Ballard worked to pass the largest bond in the history of the state totaling $354 million. He led the way for the district to work with the Gates Foundation on teacher and leader effectiveness, one of only 10 school districts selected in the US. And, he continues to successfully manage Project Schoolhouse, an ongoing efficiency program which addresses changing student populations and school building utilization.
Dr. Ballard began his career in education as a teacher in Coweta, Oklahoma in 1972. In 1974, he took a position as a teacher in Oologah, Oklahoma; and then became assistant high school principal in 1977, assistant superintendent in 1983 and superintendent in 1986. In 1992, he joined Claremore Public Schools as superintendent and also served as an adjunct professor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 2000, Dr. Ballard became the executive director of the Oklahoma State Schools Boards Association where he served for eight years. There he worked with two governors, established board member development programs, personally trained 125 Boards of Education, spent three weeks in the Republic of Georgia developing board of education policies as they entered into a democracy, and twice served as chair of the Oklahoma Education Coalition.
In 2008, Dr. Ballard joined Tulsa Public Schools as superintendent. The district serves an urban population with a diverse population of students providing a choice of magnet, community, charter and neighborhood schools including one high school that partners with Tulsa Community College providing college-level courses.
Dr. Ballard is devoted to the education of Tulsa students and has received many awards for his work. His honors include the 2012 University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Excellence in Education Leadership Award, 2012 State Superintendent of the Year, 2012 Tulsa People Tulsan of the Year, 2012 Vision in Education Leadership Award from the Tulsa Community College Foundation, Top 100 Administrators in North America, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Outstanding Alumni Award, the Don Newby/Ben Hill award from the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry for Compassion and Concern for all Human Beings, and is a member of the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame. He has spoken and written extensively on education and serves on numerous boards including the Oklahoma Superintendents Advisory Council and the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Commission. Dr. Ballard is also active with the Oklahoma State Legislature and consults regularly with state leaders to help shape policy. He was recently inducted into TPS 2015 Athletics Hall of Fame and named 2015 Oklahoma Music Educators Association Administrator of the Year.
Dr. Ballad earned his Doctorate in Educational Administration from Oklahoma State University, Administrative Certification from the University of Tulsa, Master of Education as a reading specialist from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Psychology and Speech from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.
Superintendent Ballard and his wife Christie have three children including: Matthew, an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma (wife Traci, an attorney who works with the Education Leadership Center at OU-Tulsa); Michelle, a fifth grade teacher at Westside in Claremore, Oklahoma (husband Michael Sagely, in the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas); and Michael, an assistant principal at Will Rogers Early College High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma (wife Fanny, school psychologist for Tulsa Public Schools); and six grandchildren including Allison Joan Sagely, Ashton Lewis Andrews, Astrid Birgitta Ballard, Keaton Castle Ballard, Kizer Isabella Ballard, Matthijs Weldon Ballard.