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Excellence and High Expectations with a Commitment To All
Excellence and High Expectations with a Commitment To All

ADMINISTRATION • EXECUTIVE STAFF



Executive Staff

 

Paula R. Shannon
- Deputy Superintendent

[Effective July 1, 2016]

Education:

  • University of Notre Dame (BA, 1997)
  • Lesley University (M.Ed., 2003)
  • University of Rhode Island (MA, 2006)

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.

 

TRISH WILLIAMS
- CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Trish Williams came to TPS in April of 2008. Before coming to the district she served as chief financial officer for Broken Arrow Public Schools for approximately 10 years. Prior to that appointment she served as vice president for finance and administration at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois.

Trish earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Master’s of business administration degree from Baylor University. In May 2014 she graduated from the Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision Ed.D. program at the University of Oklahoma Tulsa campus. In 2014, she was named the OASA District #5 Asst. Superintendent/Central Office Administrator of the Year.

As CFO, she supervises all district financial activities including budget, accounting, payroll, purchasing and treasury departments. She also supervises the federal programs and bond departments. Since joining TPS, she has led the financial services division to national recognition for financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International and the Government Finance Officers Association. Trish has made numerous presentations at state and national conferences, and teaaches graduate level strategic planning and school finance courses.

 

TALIA SHAULL
- Chief Talent Officer

Education:

  • Oral Roberts University (BA, 1997)
  • University of Oklahoma (MA, 2007)

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 E. Young, Chief Information and Operations Officer

Education:

  • American University (BS, 1988)
  • LeadFirst Leadership Development, MITRE Institute (2009)

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.

 

Stephen Fedore (Hoch)

- Chief Analytics Officer

[Effective July 1, 2016]

Education:

  • Oklahoma State University (BS, 2008)
  • MIT Sloan School of Management (MBA candidate 2013)

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.

 

Jana Burk
- General Counsel

[Effective July 1, 2016]

Education:

  • University of Texas at Austin (BA, 1992)
  • University of Texas School of Law (JD, 1997)

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.

 


Instructional Leadership Directors

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
- Lead Elementary ILD

Dr. Phyllis Lovett is the lead elementary instructional leadership director. Prior to this position, Lovett served as associate superintendent for elementary schools and previously and also as executive assistant to the associate superintendent for elementary schools. She spent two years as principal at Gilcrease Middle School and 15 years as principal at Penn Elementary School. At Penn, she transformed the school from one of the lowest performing elementary schools in the state to one of the highest and earned the Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award in 2008. Lovett has also served as an adjunct professor for the School of Education for Northeastern (Oklahoma) State University's Broken Arrow campus and Langston University's Tulsa campus. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from LaGrange College in Georgia and a doctorate in educational leadership from Oral Roberts University.

SERVING:

  • Academy Central
  • Columbus
  • Cooper
  • ECDC Porter
  • Lanier
  • Lee
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Mark Twain
  • Park
  • Patrick Henry
  • Peary
  • Project ACCEPT

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Jessica Haight
- Elementary ILD

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.

 

 

SERVING:

  • Dual Language Academy
  • Eisenhower
  • Eugene Field
  • Grimes
  • Hoover
  • Kendall-Whittier
  • Kerr
  • MacArthur
  • Mayo
  • Sequoyah
  • Zarrow

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Kayla Robinson
- Elementary ILD

Prior to becoming an Instructional Leadership Director in 2013, Kayla Robinson worked for 23 years as an elementary school principal with 19 of those years at Marshall Elementary, a community school. At Marshall, Kayla used research-based best practices to improve student achievement in a diverse urban setting. She has substantial experience collaborating with community partners, foundations, social service agencies and higher education institutions.

 

 

 

SERVING:

  • Carnegie
  • Chouteau
  • Eliot
  • Emerson
  • Grissom
  • Key
  • Marshall
  • Remington
  • Robertson
  • Skelly
  • Wright

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Jennifer Gripado
- Elementary ILD

Jennifer has worked for Tulsa Public Schools for 18 years. She began her career as a 3rd- and 4th-grade classroom teacher at Kerr Elementary. While teaching, Jennifer earned her National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She transitioned out of the classroom to the Office of Professional Development as the TPS Elementary Science Resource Teacher for two years. Jennifer spent two years as the assistant principal at Nimitz Middle School before becoming a principal at Park Elementary. She then transferred to Grissom Elementary where she spent five years. In 2012, Jennifer joined the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Office as a TLE Fellow, coaching first-year principals and leading professional learning cohorts for first- and second-year assistant principals and first- and second- year principals. Jennifer was the Director of Leadership Development from 2013-2015. She designed professional development and learning for nine diverse leadership cohorts ranging from Emerging Leaders to ILD Development. In addition to her current ILD duties, Jennifer is also the Project Manager for the School Leader Program Grant and the Wallace Foundation Grant.

SERVING:

  • Anderson
  • Burroughs
  • ECDC Bunche
  • Gilcrease
  • Hamilton
  • Hawthorne
  • Jackson
  • McClure
  • Penn
  • Whitman

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Robert Schornick
- Secondary ILD

Mr. Robert Schornick joined TPS in the summer of 2014. Mr. Schornick grew up in central Oklahoma and received his B.S.Ed. from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and his M.S. Ed. from East Central University in Ada. He has worked in the education field for over 20 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal. He comes to TPS from Oologah-Talala Public Schools where he served as high school principal for the last seven years. Under Mr. Schornick’s leadership, Oologah High School excelled in the educational arena by fostering strong teacher-student relationships, focusing on data literacy, promoting a positive school environment, and bridging the gap between school and home. Mr. Schornick has been acknowledged for his leadership skills, even earning the accolade of 2011 Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year, and for his contributions to the dramatic gains in student performance and students’ college and career readiness at the schools where he has worked.

Mr. Schornick has served as the president for the Oklahoma Association of Secondary Schools Principals and currently serves as the Chairperson for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. He is excited to be working alongside great educational leaders at TPS.

SERVING:

  • Booker T. Washington
  • Carver
  • Central Junior High & High
  • Hale Junior High
  • Memorial Junior High & High
  • Monroe Demonstration
  • Thoreau Demonstration
  • Tulsa Learning Academy
  • Tulsa MET Junior High & High

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Stacey Vinson
- Growing Together ILD

Before becoming an Instructional Leadership Director in 2013, Stacey Vinson was the principal of Will Rogers College Junior High and High School since its inception as an early college high school in 2011. She and her staff transformed Rogers’ culture into one of high expectations and success. Her passion for students and staff will work to make a meaningful change in the Kendall-Whittier and Eugene Field neighborhoods and to improve student achievement.

 

 

 

SERVING:

  • Clinton Middle
  • East Central Junior High & High
  • Edison Prep Junior High & High
  • Hale High
  • McLain 7th Grade Academy
  • McLain Junior High & High
  • Rogers College Junior High & HIgh
  • Webster

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Estella Bitson - ILD

[Bio coming soon]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVING:

  • Bell
  • Celia Clinton
  • Disney
  • Jones
  • Lindbergh
  • McKinley
  • Mitchell
  • Owen
  • Salk
  • Springdale

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Office of Student and Family Support Services

[More info coming soon.]

  • Hospital sites
  • Margaret Hudson
  • McKinley
  • Mitchell
  • Phoenix Rising
  • TRAICE Middle & High

 

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