Owensboro Public Schools has selected John David Sandefur, CPA to lead its financial department. Sandefur currently serves as the chief financial officer for Hausner Hard-Chrome Inc.
“I’m honored to serve as OPS’ new finance officer. It’s a position that holds great responsibility. I look forward to embracing and contributing to the district’s motto of tradition, innovation and excellence. It’s extremely fulfilling to know that the work I’ll do every day will ultimately benefit the students who I work for,” said John David Sandefur, OPS finance officer-elect.
OPS chief finance and operations officer Paula Roberts is retiring at the end of June.
Roberts has worked for OPS in a variety of ways as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent of instruction, finance officer and operations officer.
Sandefur holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Kentucky Wesleyan College. He’s also a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Prior to working for Hausner Hard-Chrome, Sandefur worked for Community Health Centers of Western Kentucky and before that was an audit manager for Riney Hancock CPAs. Sandefur will start training with Roberts on March 6.
“Mr. Sandefur has nearly 20 years of experience in finance in the public, non-profit and private sector. What really stood out to us is his experience with school audits and his overall collaborative leadership style. I’m confident he’ll continue to lead OPS to a successful financial future,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS superintendent.
The National School Public Relations Association has named OPS Superintendent Dr. Nick Brake a Superintendent to Watch for 2015-16. Dr. Brake is one of 25 superintendents in the entire country and the only one in Kentucky to receive this prestigious award.
“This honor is really the result of the work of so many highly competent professionals and a supportive board of education. It is truly a recognition of our collective work in an excellent school district,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.
NSPRA says superintendents who receive this recognition excel in the field of communication.
“Dr. Brake demonstrates dynamic leadership with a strong emphasis in communication,” said Rich Bagin, APR, NSPRA Executive Director.
Brake was nominated by OPS Public Information Officer Dave Kirk.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Dr. Brake. I nominated Dr. Brake because he has helped to implement multiple OPS social media accounts and emphasizes the need for transparency on a daily basis. He wants parents, students and staff to ‘be in the know’”, said Dave Kirk, OPS Public Information Officer.
“Dr. Nick Brake has inspired our district to make good use of technology as a way of sharing information and strengthening the OPS community. There are so many options that each of us can find the method that best suits us,” Melissa Decker, OPS parent.
NSPRA will feature a profile of Brake in the NSPRA newsletter along with the other honorees.
“I’m excited to be coming home to OHS. It’s an honor to coach my alma matter,” said Brad Schmied, OHS swim coach.
Schmied graduated from OHS in 1991. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from UL in 1996.
“Coach Schmied is a well-respected coach who comes to us with head coaching experience. As soon as the job became available he contacted us expressing interest and we are very excited to have him. Any time you can welcome back a former red devil, it’s a good day. We are excited about the future of our swim program,” said Todd Harper, OHS athletic director.
Schmied will coach both the girls and boys swim teams.
“My main goal in the first year is to get more swimmers out for the team. We will also build on what we have and try to get several swimmers qualified for state,” said Schmied.
Owensboro Public Schools Food Service Director Lisa McCarty has been chosen as the Kentucky School Nutrition Association’s Director of the Year. McCarty also serves as OPS’ chief operating officer for human resources and support services.
“I am honored by this selection. This award would not be possible without the support of OPS School Nutrition Team. We have a great team of managers, cook/bakers and central office staff. They are the reason we have such a successful nutrition program,” said Lisa McCarty, OPS chief operating officer for human resources and support services.
“Mrs. McCarty wears many hats for Owensboro Public Schools. She works tirelessly with our food service department to ensure our students receive healthy meals while at school. But, her service doesn’t stop there. Mrs. McCarty puts in countless hours when school is not in session with our summer feeding program,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.
McCarty will be recognized at the KSNA annual conference in June. The KSNA has submitted McCarty to the School Nutrition Association for the national contest. That winner will be announced on May 1.
Owensboro Public Schools is opening its new archive room to the public on Monday, June 13 at 9 a.m. Formerly the Kentucky Room at the old public library, “The OHS Class of 1955” archive room located in the OPS central office at 450 Griffith Avenue contains decades of Owensboro Public Schools history. It’s called “The OHS Class of 1955 Archive Room” because several members of that class generously donated money to help fund the project.
“The class of ’55 has a long history of philanthropic giving to students and projects connected to the Owensboro Public Schools—most have gone unrecognized because they strongly believe sincere giving remains anonymous,” said David Johnson, OPS chief operating officer.
Several years ago, while serving as OPS’s Public Relations Director, Julie Ellis began collecting, organizing and categorizing school system records dating back as far as 1871—the year Owensboro Public Schools came into existence. She and former superintendent Bill Chandler used those documents and many additional resources to create a 371-page book titled, A History of the Owensboro Public Schools. Over the past few years, a committee comprised of several current employees worked to organize the records and artifacts in a manner to make them accessible to the public.
“As an OPS alumnus, it’s incredible to see so many of OPS’ historical moments in one room. These artifacts contain the stories of OPS and are a representation of tradition, innovation and excellence,” said Dave Kirk, OPS public information officer.
Due to the historical value of some of the items in the archive room, the archive room will have limited hours when it’s open to the public. Those hours are on Monday from 9-11 a.m.
The Kentucky Association of School Administrators presented former Owensboro Public Schools’ Chief Operations Officer David Johnson with its Distinguished Service award. This prestigious honor goes to one Kentucky school administrator who has shown incredible service to his/her organization and to KASA. The honoree must be about to retire or have already retired from his/her career in order to be eligible for the award. Johnson retired from OPS in July.
“As an active KASA member and advocate for the work they do for education, I was humbled and honored beyond words to receive the nomination from my colleagues and friends. Winning the Distinguished Service award, well that possibility never crossed my mind,” said David Johnson, retired OPS COO.
“I can’t think of a more deserving person for this accolade than David Johnson. The value he brought to our school district is beyond measure,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.
A Red Devil his whole life, Johnson spent 27 years in multiple roles with OPS serving as a teacher, department chair, principal, director of pupil personnel, assistant superintendent and chief operating officer. He also attended Owensboro Public Schools.
“I sincerely want to thank KASA and especially Wayne Young for two decades of support and guidance. They do an exceptional job representing Kentucky administrators while at the same time ALWAYS putting kids first. One of the strongest, well-organized groups in the country—we are fortunate to have them,” added Johnson.
Johnson says he already misses OPS and is humbled by the recognition it helped him get.
“Being acknowledged by our state’s administration organization is something I’ll cherish and value forever, “said Johnson.
Thanks to some guideline changes in community eligibility provision, all Owensboro High School and Owensboro Innovation Academy students will receive a no cost breakfast and lunch this upcoming school year. OPS students preschool through eighth grade and Gateway Academy students already receive a no cost breakfast and lunch.
“I can’t describe how much this will benefit our high school students. For students who were paying the reduced amount before, hopefully this will allow them to fulfill other needs they have,” said Lisa McCarty, Chief Operating Officer for HR and Support Services.
The funding for providing the no cost breakfast and lunch comes from the United States Department of Agriculture. Owensboro Public Schools began offering no cost breakfast and lunch to Hager Preschool and all OPS elementary schools in 2011. OPS phased in offering no cost breakfast and lunch to middle school students in 2013.
“We are thankful to our partners at the federal level, including the Department of Agriculture and our delegation in Congress for their continued support of the community eligibility option making this possible for our students. Being able to provide a no cost breakfast and lunch to all of our students is a game changer for Owensboro Public Schools. At OPS, we have a responsibility to not only provide an innovative education to our students, but also meet their basic needs. Providing two quality meals a day will help do that,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent.