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(Oklahoma City, OK) - Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) is celebrating our EmbraceOKC Champions. These leaders stood out for their dedication and contribution to the mental health needs of OKCPS families and students. 

EmbraceOKC is a comprehensive approach to providing a school-based system of support for OKCPS students and families that involves community partnerships, high-quality tiered academic, behavioral strategies, and mental health services that range from prevention to treatment.

The OKC Public Schools Compact is a collective impact model whose partners are the Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, the United Way of Central Oklahoma, and the City of Oklahoma City to support improvements identified by the Oklahoma City Public Schools. OKCPS worked with our partner at the state level, the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health, to administer the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) survey to more than 7,000 of our students in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades. 

“Thank you to our Compact partners for their role in making sure we can regularly assess the needs of our students using the OPNA survey,” said Jason Brown, OKCPS Deputy Superintendent. “The survey results gave us the data we needed to create a comprehensive, district-wide mental health action plan to address some of the unique challenges that OKCPS students and families experience. We are now better prepared to promote better mental health and we are excited to recognize leaders who helped implement and prioritize these findings in their schools.”

“The following individuals were nominated because they have embraced mental health as preventable and treatable, protected children’s mental health and helped ensure that their school is a sanctuary of safety and support,” said OKCPS Director of Mental Health, Armisha Harrison. “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to our Champions for embracing these tools to make OKCPS an emotionally safe community.”


Capitol Hill High School

Tasha McLellan - Counselor


Classen SAS at Northeast

Jocelyn Trager - Counselor


Douglass High School

Kevin Jones - Principal


Emerson North High School

Zachary Gleason - Teacher


Emerson South Mid-High School

Samantha Eggleston - Teacher


John Marshall Enterprise High School

Michelle Reece - Counselor


Northwest Classen High School

Claudia Rivas-Taylor - Counselor


Southeast High School

Maya Johnson - Band Director


Star Spencer Mid-High School

David Mosely - Teacher


US Grant High School

Stormy Griffith - Coach and Teacher



Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School  (Grades 5-6) 

Sally Berry - Principal


Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School  (Grades 7-8) 

Brandon Bennett - Teacher


Classen SAS Middle School

Sarah Moore - Teacher


Capitol Hill Middle School

Laniesa Williams - Counselor


Jefferson Middle School

Katie Brown - Assistant Principal


John Marshall Enterprise Middle School

Geri Hemphill - Assistant Principal


Mary Golda Ross Middle School

Sergio Arandas - Teacher


Roosevelt Middle School

Christine Hays - Teacher


Southeast Middle School

Katherine Brooks - Teacher


Taft Middle School

Kim Landers - Principal


Webster Middle School

Sara Oudsi - Counselor


Wheeler Middle School 

Deserae Jackson - Principal



Adams Elementary School 

Pam Miller - Counselor


Adelaide Lee Elementary School 

Amber Stephens - Counselor


Arthur Elementary School 

Candace Vaenedoe - Counselor


Bodine Elementary School 

Meondrial Lewis - Paraprofessional


Britton Elementary School 

Heather Reinschmeidt - Counselor


Cesar Chavez Elementary School 

Jackie Staggs - Assistant Principal Intern


Coolidge Elementary School 

Tracie Layman - Counselor


Esperanza Elementary School 

Theresa Blanchard - Counselor


Eugene Field Elementary School

John Roberts - Counselor


Fillmore Elementary School 

Nancy Ross - Counselor


Hayes Elementary School 

Ladonna Martin - Counselor


Heronville Elementary School 

Jill Carson - Counselor


Hillcrest Elementary School 

Aubrey Moyer - Reading Specialist


Martin Luther King Elementary School 

Jessica Johnson - Assistant Principal


Monroe Elementary School 

Malisa Hepner - Counselor


Nichols Hills Elementary School 

Angela Oliver - Counselor


Thelma Parks Elementary School 

Jonelle Polk - Assistant Principal


Prairie Queen Elementary School 

Kadessa Upchurch - Teacher


Quail Creek Elementary School 

Michelle Harrison - Family Advocate


Ridgeview Elementary School 

Sena Sweat - Counselor


Rockwood Elementary School 

Susan White - Counselor


Rogers Elementary School (Grades 4-6)

Martin Rivers - Counselor


Shidler Elementary School 

Armondo Ayala - Principal


Southern Hills Elementary School 

Erin Thompson - Teacher


Spencer Elementary School (Grades 2-3)

Antonie Gilliam - Paraprofessional


Van Buren Elementary School 

Cormiere Bishop - Counselor


Willow Brook Elementary School 

Nadiriah Burris - Counselor


Wilson Elementary School 

Lee Acres - Counselor