Winner of the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Elementary/Secondary Administration
The winner of the Medal for Excellence in Elementary/Secondary Administration is Chuck McCauley, superintendent of Bartlesville Public Schools. When he assumed the post in 2016, the district was facing a dire budget situation and low morale. In just three years, McCauley has led the passage of two historic bond issues, engaged stakeholders to develop and execute a strategic plan, and expanded opportunities for students.
“McCauley earned his way to the district’s top post through a soft-spoken leadership style combining humility with intelligence and drive – a combination that naturally attracts others toward a shared vision of a better future for all children,” said Dan Droege, a founder of Bartlesville’s Public Education Advocates for Kids.
In his first 100 days as superintendent, McCauley engaged key stakeholders, from students and parents to district employees and community members, to help create a three-year strategic plan. Inspired by their input, the district has implemented several new programs, including a 1:1 Student Computing Initiative providing Chromebook computers for all students in grades 6-12; Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum for all K-5 classes; and a new agriculture program for secondary students. In addition, the district established an Alternative Therapeutic Learning Academic Setting (ATLAS) for elementary students who struggle in school due to trauma.
Many of those projects, as well as facility improvements, were made possible through the passage of a $19.4 million bond issue in 2016 and a $17.9 bond issue in 2019. The first bond issue was also critical in saving teaching positions and protecting class sizes.
McCauley has also sought to improve school culture by engaging more with teachers through school site visits and community events. He hosts informal Coffee-with-Chuck discussions and has instituted the BPS Wellness Challenge, where school sites compete against each other for the highest participation in the Wooloroc 8K race.
During the education funding crisis in 2018, McCauley encouraged many fellow superintendents across the state to suspend school so teachers and parents could make their case at the State Capitol. He and his school board even worked with local Rep. Earl Sears to develop a bipartisan funding plan that would eventually provide for $6,000 teacher pay raises and other critical needs. “Chuck McCauley’s commitment to public education has been etched in stone,” Sears said. “Chuck’s action for students and teachers has moved Oklahoma forward.”