[Effective July 1, 2016]
Paula R. Shannon joined the TPS team in 2015 as Chief of Staff and was named Deputy Superintendent in 2016. Paula serves as key support to the Superintendent in directing and leading the district’s overall strategic direction to reach its ambitious objectives and goals. She is the staff lead on implementing Destination Excellence and positioning TPS to be the nation’s leading 21st century school district.
Paula’s career in public education spans 18 years and she started in the classroom as a bilingual Spanish fifth grade teacher through Teach for America. Paula spent a decade at Providence Public Schools as a teacher, literacy coach, executive director of curriculum, and chief academic officer. She served as Vice President of Teaching and Learning at Achievement First, a network of K-12 public charter schools serving communities in Brooklyn, Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford and Providence. Prior to moving to Tulsa, Paula held the role of Chief Academic Officer at the Syracuse City School District in New York.
Paula is a native Texan and loves cowboy boots, college football and time outdoors with her husband, Bill.
Talia R. Shaull has served as Chief Talent Officer at Tulsa Public Schools since 2012; leading the district’s efforts to attract and retain exceptional talent to advance student achievement and teacher and principal efficacy.
Talia’s work with Tulsa Public Schools started in 2006 with the Community Service Council’s Conexiones dropout prevention program for Hispanic students. Talia officially joined the team in 2010 as a TPS Fellow; coordinating ELL services and assisting with the development of performance management initiatives. Before assuming her role as Chief Talent Officer, Talia led the district’s teacher and leader effectiveness initiative.
Talia serves on the Board of Directors for Teach for America –Oklahoma Region and was recently named as a member of the 2016 cohort of Chiefs for Change’s Future Chiefs initiative. When her schedule allows, Talia loves opportunities to travel with her husband, Tom, and their son, Ethan.
Blaine Young joined the Tulsa Public Schools team in 2011 as the Director of Systems Architecture and soon took on the role of Executive Director of Informational Technology; leading a 65-member team in the delivery of IT services to every student, teacher, and staff member at TPS. In 2014, he assumed the role of Chief Information and Operations Officer; overseeing campus police and security, nutrition services, records and enrollment, plant operations and maintenance, and IT and transportation. Blaine’s team is charged with ensuring that IT strategy, planning, and operations are fully aligned to foster and advance academic achievement and prepare students for college and careers in the 21st century.
Blaine has more than 30 years of experience in information technology and operations. Prior to working for TPS, Blaine led the IT and operations team for the City of Tulsa. He has also served as associate department head of the Service Assurance Center at MITRE Corporation in Virginia and held IT leadership roles in the energy, health services, and financial sectors.
Blaine loves spending time with family and friends and enjoys both classic cars and classic rock and roll.
[Effective July 1, 2016]
Stephen Fedore (Hoch) started his education career in 2009 as an elementary teacher at Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut. In 2013, Stephen joined the team at Tulsa Public Schools as the Harvard Strategic Data Project Fellow, managing the implementation of value added, designing and developing an innovative system using multiple measures for educator evaluations, and spearheading district-wide efforts to increase rigor and efficiency in data analysis.
Stephen took on the role of Chief Analytics Officer in 2016, serving as the key strategist in shaping and driving the transformation of district data and analytics structures and leveraging data as an asset and a means to increase student achievement and organizational performance. As Chief Analytics Officer, Stephen was the chief designer of the district’s new Data Strategy and Analytics Office. This team will work with all TPS employees and stakeholders to implement a district-wide strategy for capturing, analyzing and leveraging data across the organization to drive student performance, increase efficiencies, and improve teacher and leader engagement and satisfaction.
Stephen lives in Tulsa with his wife, Maria, and their dogs, Hartley and Gage. Stephen is a diehard OSU fan and can be found tailgating at most OSU home games.
[Effective July 1, 2016]
Jana Burk joined the team at Tulsa Public Schools in 2011: first as a TPS Fellow, and later as Executive Director of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness and Interim Chief Accountability Officer. In 2016, Jana took on the role of General Counsel for the district, serving as a key advisor to the Superintendent and executive team, managing the district legal team, and overseeing the district’s work with charters and partnership schools.
In Jana’s 11-year career as a practicing attorney—first in Austin and then in Tulsa—she focused on education policy, civil rights matters, federal and state education reform initiatives, and project and funding development, including, including world language and magnet school assistance initiatives. Her aspiration to work in public service was confirmed in her first job out of college as a planner with the state agency in Texas overseeing child protective services. One of her most enjoyable career experiences are her years working as a middle school teacher.
Jana is a proud mother, avid traveler and maker of remarkably good blackberry jam.
The district has been working on a leadership sustainability plan that involves restructuring the organizational chart to improve support at the building level in order to drive high-quality instruction to increase student growth and achievement. These changes are based on recommendations and benchmarking that are included in a recent report.
Given our changing emphasis in principals as “instructional leaders,” the district is replacing the Associate Superintendent structure with eight Instructional Leadership Director (ILD) positions reporting to the Deputy Superintendent. Best practice suggests that there should be no more than 15 schools reporting to a single leader.
Phyllis Lovett has worked in public education for 34 years and joined the Tulsa Public Schools team in YEAR. She currently serves as lead instructional leadership director and works closely with eleven elementary school leaders and their teams. Phyllis had held a number of key roles in both district and school administration at Tulsa Public Schools, serving as associate superintendent for elementary schools and as executive assistant to the associate superintendent for elementary schools.
Phyllis served as principal of Gilcrease Middle School for two years, and as principal of Penn Elementary School for 15 years. During her tenure at Penn, she and her team transformed the school from one of the lowest performing elementary schools in the state to one of the highest performing and earned the Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award in 2008. Phyllis has also served as an adjunct professor for the School of Education for Northeastern State University`s Broken Arrow campus and Langston University`s Tulsa campus.
Phyllis enjoys traveling and working out at the gym.
Prior to becoming an Instructional Leadership Director in 2013, Jessica served as principal at Robertson Elementary, where she maintained the belief that all students can achieve at high levels. She conducted daily walk-throughs focused on teacher effectiveness, and has been recognized by the Oklahoma State Department of Education for three years of successful test scores. Jessica led Robertson through the process of becoming a community school, and knows what it takes to improve school culture and to move the needle on student achievement.
Kayla Robinson joined the team at Tulsa Public Schools in 1994 as principal of Marshall Elementary School. In her time at Marshall, she led the school toimproved student outcomes and recognition as a community school. She took on the role of instructional leadership director in 2013 and oversees a network of twelve elementary principals in schools across the district.
Kayla Robinson began her career in public education in 1978 as a third-grade teacher in Enid and the taught various grade levels in Enid and Edmond for twelve years. She also served as an elementary school principal in Oklahoma City Public Schools from 1990 to 1993.
Kayla lives in Tulsa and is a musician and collector of antiques and dishware. She enjoys home canning, especially for a family salsa recipe.
Jennifer Gripado has been a Tulsa Public Schools team member for 23 years and serves as an Instructional Leadership Director supporting ten elementary schools.
Jennifer started her career in the classroom as a third and fourth grade teacher at Kerr Elementary School. She moved into district administration in 2003 as an elementary science resource teacher in the Office of Professional Development. In 2006, she returned to the classroom serving as principal at Park and Grissom elementary schools. In 2012, Jennifer joined the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Office as a TLE Fellow, coaching principals and assistant principals. She also served as Director of Leadership Development from 2013-2015.
Jennifer is the district's project manager for the School Leader Program Grant and the Wallace Foundation Grant. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys gardening and travel.
Robert Schnornick has worked in public education for 23 years and joined the Tulsa Public Schools team as an instructional leadership director in 2014.
Robert entered the education field as a science teacher and football coach at Shawnee High School, and has taught at all secondary levels through junior college. From 2007 to 2014, he served as the high school principal for the Oologah-Talala School District and was named Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year in 2011. Robert is passionate about preparing students to enter the global workforce through the integration of technology, real-world applications, and student-directed learning.
Robert has supported his colleagues statewide as president for the Oklahoma Association of Secondary Schools Principals (2012-2014) and chairperson for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (2013-2015).
Robert lives in Claremore with his wife, Paula, and their two daughters Terran and Shayne. He enjoys spending time with his family, perfecting his grilling techniques, and watching high school and college football.
Stacey Vinson joined the Tulsa Public Schools family in 1992 as a Spanish teacher at Memorial High School. She served as principal at Edison Preparatory School from 2008 to 2010 and moved to the role of founding principal at the expanded Will Rogers College Junior and Senior High School in 2011. During her tenure at Will Rogers, Stacey was the recipient of the 2013 Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year Award.
Stacey moved into district administration in 2013 as Instructional Leadership Director for the district's Growing Together schools in the Kendall Whittier and Eugene Field neighborhoods. She currently serves as a Secondary Instructional Leadership Director serving six high schools and five junior high and middle schools. Stacey is committed to ensuring that all TPS graduates are prepared to the greatest personal, professional, and academic success.
Stacey enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and enjoying time with friends and family.
Estella Bitson joined Tulsa Public Schools team in 2011 as the principal of Hawthorne Elementary School. In 2016, she moved into the role of instructional leadership director serving a network of elementary sites.
Estella's 23-year long career in public education includes service as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Jefferson City (MO) public schools. Estella is committed to continued professional growth and development and is a participant in the Relay National Principal Academy Fellowship. She is excited to begin working with a group of elementary leaders and teachers to support them in their journey to ensure every student succeeds.
Estella is a fan of the Chicago Bears and enjoys traveling to Chicago with her husband and son to spend time with family. She also enjoys opportunities to give back to her community and believes that everything that we accomplish in our society influences the lives of those to come.
[More info coming soon.]