Today is bittersweet for me. A few weeks ago, Jean Bostwick, our Chief Financial Officer, notified me that after nearly 20 years of service to OKCPS she had made the decision to retire effective September 3, 2021. While personally thrilled for Jean and for her family, the news was tough to hear.
Ms. Bostwickstarted her career with OKCPS in 2002 as the district Financial Controller. In 2015, Jean joined the Cabinet Leadership Team and was promoted to the Chief Financial Officer where she has led the Financial Services team for nearly 6 years.
When I arrived at OKCPS almost three years ago, one of the very first people to welcome me was Jean Bostwick. After nearly two decades with OKCPS, it quickly became clear that she knew our district inside and out, and I put her experience and expertise to use many times as I came into my new role. Her guidance both then and now is immeasurable and she will be greatly missed. But it’s not just her financial prowess that sets her apart. Equally important, Jean is a great teammate...always there with a listening ear and a word of encouragement and focused on students and solutions. Most importantly, she is a person of integrity and character without compromise. She does the right thing. Period. I’ve been in this business a long time, and my wish for everyone is to be so lucky as to have a teammate like her.
As you might imagine, hiring a CFO is among the most important decisions that any superintendent has to make. With an annual budget of nearly $686 million dollars, the role of the CFO in OKCPS and the responsibilities that come along with it are incredibly important and in some ways much different than the roles and responsibilities of other district leaders. School finance is, in fact, a speciality of its own.
After a lengthy search and a number of outstanding candidates, OKCPS is lucky to have one of the very best in the business coming onboard. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Shannon Meeks as our new Chief Financial Officer. After serving 13 years as the CFO at Putnam City Public Schools, Shannon believes there is no better time to be part of #TeamOKCPS, and I couldn’t agree more.
After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma and earning his license as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Mr. Meeks began what is now 34 years of service as a financial leader in public education. He also comes from a family of educators with his father having spent nearly 50 years in the business and his sister serving as high school counselor.
Shannon will be recommended to the OKCPS board during the February 16th special board meeting and will begin transitioning into his new role with #TeamOKCPS shortly thereafter. Please join me in thanking Ms. Jean Bostwick for her many years of incredible leadership and service to our district, as we also welcome Mr. Shannon Meeks to the OKCPS family.