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School board acknowledges new org chart

A new administrative organizational chart implemented for Lawton Public Schools reflects the reality of a school district working around the departure of its three top administrators.

The Board of Education acknowledged the chart with minimal comments when it was presented this week by interim Superintendent Tom Thomas. Thomas is one of four retired educators in Shoemaker Education Center who are interim, meaning they are serving in their capacities only until permanent administrators are hired.

In addition to Thomas, Ken Baden is serving as chief operating officer, in effect filling the places formerly held by Barbara Ellis, assistant superintendent of business services, and Jamie Polk, assistant superintendent of educational services. Ellis retired at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, while Polk resigned to take a job with Oklahoma City Public Schools. Rick Owens also returned from retirement to become interim executive director of secondary education, after the resignation of Kelly Trinidad.

The interim designations also continue at the principal level, where retired educator Charlotte Oates is serving as interim principal at Lawton High School. Thomas said Oates was selected for the post to get the school year started and he expected to have a permanent principal in place within a month.

The Lawton Constitution

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