- Oklahoma City Public Schools
OKCPS Hosts All Staff Convocation and Reveals New Brand
For the first time in four years, all staff members from Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) came together under one
roof to kick-off a new school year. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Sean McDaniel, spent the morning inspiring more than
3,400 educators celebrating the accomplishments of the past year, including the Pathway To Greatness (P2G), and
encouraging them to “Believe” in a new future OKCPS.
Our Focus for 2019-20:
Although the changes that came as a result of the Pathway To Greatness are currently being implemented around the
district, Dr. McDaniel warned that 2019-20 will continue to be a busy year for OKCPS:
“Our first stop on the Pathway To Greatness was our district reinvention. That work from last year is coming to
life now. We are in implementation mode and we’ll continue to monitor, measure and adjust. But the work we
did to realign and restructure our buildings and our resources wasn’t alone the Pathway To Greatness. We’re
not finished with P2G. That phase was just the first stop along the way,” said McDaniel. “As we move into the
new year, we’ll be outlining more big things that we’ll need to do on our P2G journey – even more stops along
the path – as we move toward our district’s vision of what we believe equals “greatness.”
Those major initiatives will be aligned to our district vision to “provide equitable access to a world class education so
that every Oklahoma City Public Schools student will graduate ready to fulfill their unique purpose in a healthy, vibrant
community.” OKCPS will also be revisiting their 5-year strategic plan in the months ahead as “The Great Commitment”
was only created to serve the district from 2015-2020.
Special Guests / Performances:
Welcomed by the Capitol Hill High School Band and Flag Team, Mary Mélon, President & CEO of the Foundation for
Oklahoma City Public Schools, emceed the event along with Daniel Cervantes, a Senior at U.S. Grant High
School. Members of the OKCPS JROTC program from Southeast, Capitol Hill, Star Spencer and U.S. Grant High Schools
presented the colors while Ava Bruner, a vocal music teacher from Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, sang the national
Mary and Deisy Escalera, OKCPS Community Relations Manager, highlighted some of the impactful programs that are
powered by our incredible community partners, including DonorsChoose.org, Partners In Action, ReadOKC, Coat-A-Kid,
Kit-A-Kid, Driving Attendance, the Bilingual and Diverse Teacher Pipeline Programs thanking the staff and our partners
for the impact they continue to make in our schools.
Later in the program, members of the Northwest Classen Dance Team performed as OKCPS Capitol Hill graduate,
Margarita Davila, sang a beautiful rendition of “Rise Up.” The crowd also enjoyed a special Unity performance by Marcus
The crowd heard from newly-named Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Jason Brown, as he spoke about his return to
OKCPS and about the educators who had impacted him most:
“It’s important for us to know the students by name and by need. Ms. Steinkoneing identified my need. A
teacher recognized something that everyone else had missed. That’s the power of a teacher!”
Before Supt. McDaniel stood for the final keynote address, OKCPS 2019 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Christina Kirk, from Star
Spencer Mid-High took the stage to encourage her peers to embrace the opportunity that P2G and a new school year
“Pathway To Greatness is a giant step forward for our students, and us, as the OKCPS family. P2G is our
opportunity to come together. This is our moment to walk in our collective greatness, embrace change with
confidence, create new professional bonds, reinvent educational practices, and move along the path from good
A New Brand for OKCPS:
Along with kicking off a new school year, today Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) proudly launched our new brand.
While branding a school district may not seem very important to some, it actually is VERY important in defining who we
are - to ourselves and to our community. This hasn’t been done in nearly 25 years, so it was definitely time.
OKCPS partnered with Insight Creative Group (ICG), a local creative firm, to develop the new logo and brand for the
district. In addition to breathing new life into our organization, we believe this work is an integral part of our strategy to
increase employee and student engagement, encourage community pride and drive overall brand recognition for
In order for our new brand and logo to truly reflect our wonderfully diverse district, we believed it was vital to have a
variety of voices at the table to provide input. As part of the discovery phase, ICG and OKCPS met with numerous
stakeholders. We listened to focus groups with staff, students, our board and even met with Mayor Holt to better
understand everyone’s thoughts, hopes and expectations for OKCPS.
“Throughout this branding process we met with countless students, teachers, administrative staff, community
leaders and citizens. Each of them with their own story and perception of OKCPS. What rang true throughout
each of these conversations was a belief in a better future. Our teachers and students are among the best in the
state and they deserve an identity they can be proud of.” -Matt Farley, Insight Creative Group
With all of the visionary changes that OKCPS has experienced this past year - a new superintendent, new district
boundaries and feeder patterns, new district headquarters under construction, the creation of a student services center,
new leaders in our schools and much more - now is the right time to focus on our identity and help people understand,
experience and see the new OKCPS.
“To see the change we desire, we also have to think of ourselves differently and a new brand will help us do
that. It’s the mental pivot that we need and also part of what our community needs to truly believe that it’s a
new day for OKCPS”, said Chief of Communication and Community Relations, Beth Harrison.
Oklahoma City itself has gone through such a renaissance, and everyone believes that OKCPS is and should be part of
that renaissance as well.
“I believe deeply in OKCPS and today was the start of something special for us. Nothing great is achieved
without hard work and sometimes some setbacks. After all, even a bird does not soar without learning to fly first
- falling but relying on others for support and never giving up,” said Paula Lewis, OKCPS Board of Education
Chairperson. “As our new logo represents, OKCPS is ascending and we will continue to rise in the face of all
challenges by relying on what makes this district special — our diversity, our passion for education and for each
other, and our deep love of all kids! Today, OKCPS truly takes flight.”
The new logo for OKCPS features a scissor-tailed flycatcher with extended wings that double as the pages of an open
book. The color scheme of the logo mimics that of the infamous Oklahoma sunrise and sunset. The image also spells out
“Oklahoma City” to further reiterate the connection to our city and that we are the city’s school system.
Dr. Sean McDaniel explains, “It’s not just a bird that happens to be our state bird, but also ‘the bird’ that is so
closely tied to Oklahoma City’s renaissance as we look forward to the new park and as we continue to draw from
the light that radiates from the sculpture on the bridge downtown; all signs of a new time for Oklahoma City.”
McDaniel continues, “Its wings not only represent a book and the learning we know is happening in our
classrooms, but they also represent the many pages of our district’s story; honoring both our history and what’s
still to be written for OKCPS. It’s a bird that’s in motion, on the rise, in fact. Just like us. And its colorful feathers
represent our district’s beautiful diversity and, of course, our legendary Oklahoma sunsets.”
District staff received a t-shirt showcasing the new logo, provided by the generous sponsors of our 2019 Convocation.
OKPCS will continue to fully implement our new brand over the next year. We are excited to welcome our students to
the new OKCPS on Monday, August 12th.