Yesterday was the first day of school for 46,000 Oklahoma City Public Schools students as well as 19 new principals.
The district also hired 142 new teachers after the state approved nearly 900 emergency certifications so far this year, as compared to over 300 approved last year.
Pam Hibbs is the new principal at Thelma Parks Elementary in northeastern Oklahoma City. Hibbs has plenty experience working in the district but said happily this new title will add more to her plate.
On recently released state report cards, Thelma Parks received failings grades and landed itself, along with four other schools, on the chopping block last year. Luckily, the schools remained open, but administrators did not stay the same.
With a fresh take on leadership, Hibbs said Tuesday her goals for the year are simple.
“The goal for the school year,” Hibbs said, “is to really want work hard to make sure we meet the needs of every child in the school. We have a teacher in every classroom, that's a number one. (We’re) working with everyone to make sure they're getting everything they need.”
At Northwest Classen High School, new principal Jahree Herzer is excited she isn't the only new face. She added three emergency certified teachers. While she's facing some challenges, she says it's not stopping her high expectations for the school year.
"I'm really excited to lead this school from a good school to a great school," Herzer said.