The Guthrie Board of Education unanimously voted to hire a chief financial officer and a special education director in a special meeting held on Thursday night. The hires come a month after two long-time administrators announced their upcoming retirement.
Last month, Asst. Superintendent Dennis Schulz, who overlooks the school district’s finances, and Director of Special Education Eldona Woodruff announced they would be retiring in June. Related article: Two Guthrie administrators among four to retire from school system
Following an executive session, the board announced Michelle Chapple as the new district’s Chief Finance Officer and Angie Smedley as Director of Special Education.
Both were appointed for the 2017-18 school year.
Chapple previously served as a Finance Director with Oklahoma City Public Schools for five years. There, she over-looked a $50 million budget in the Facility Division.
Chapple, who earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma and her Master’s Degree at Oklahoma City University, says she’s excited for the future with Guthrie schools.
“The opportunity to not only advance my career, but to assist with the vision and goals the district has to meet the needs of the students,” Chapple said moments after the meeting. “I’m excited about the challenges, opportunities and the new growth and development with Charter Oak (Elementary).”
Despite difficult financial times with education in Oklahoma, Chapple says they must work harder.
“All of the schools have been impacted with the state funding issues. We’re having to work harder with less resources and with that challenge you have to mentally streamline your processes and procedures and still try to get the quality of education.”
She added, “It’s unfortunate that we are working with less, but at the end of the day we still have to get the work and the job done.”
For Smedley, the transition should be smooth after serving as a classroom teacher for Guthrie Public Schools and currently serving as the district’s School Psychologist.
“I am excited to continue working with the teachers, staff and parents to help provide the best possible programs for our students with special needs,” Smedley said.
Smedley, who studied the University of Central Oklahoma, says it will be a team effort for the district’s success.
“I look forward to collaborating with the administrators and regular education staff to help provide support and work together as a team to help all students be successful at Guthrie Public Schools.”