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2014 OMLEA Middle School Principal of the Year

February 14, 2013

Douglas Stafford Named 2014 Oklahoma
Middle School Principal of the Year

Photo of Doug StaffordOklahoma City, OK - Enid Public Schools Principal Douglas Stafford, Emerson Middle School, has been selected as the 2014 MetLife/NASSP Oklahoma Middle School Principal of the Year by the Oklahoma Middle Level Educators Association (OMLEA).

“Doug Stafford is an outstanding spokesperson for middle school administrators from across the state. We congratulate him for being named Oklahoma Middle School Principal of the Year by a panel of distinguished colleagues” said Dr. Vickie Williams, Executive Director of OASSP.

Mr. Stafford has been an educator for 17 years. Stafford began his career in Hennessey as a special education teacher, then served as principal of Hennessey Middle School.  In 2006 he moved to Enid as High School Assistant Principal, and has been the Principal at Emerson Middle School since 2010.

When Stafford entered the position of Principal at Emerson he faced many challenges. The staff was mourning the loss of his predecessor to cancer, and the school had just been identified as a school improvement school. He had to balance policy changes to improve the schools status, while getting acquainted with a new staff that was still in mourning.  Mr. Stafford identified that the growth of the school would be a shared responsibility.

He said, “It is vital to communicate, listen, empathize, and show genuine concern for needs of students, teachers, and stakeholders.”  This understanding and teamwork helped them to quickly meet their lofty goals and not only improve their status, but also receive the highest A-F grade out of all three of Enid’s middle schools in 2012.

Enid Superintendent Shawn Hime described Doug as “instrumental in transitioning Emerson from a junior high to a middle school, implementing PLCs, and significantly improving the school’s Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test scores.”

This isn’t the first time Doug has received an educator of the year award. In 2002 Stafford was honored as Hennessey Public Schools Teacher of the Year, as well as the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Teacher of Today award. In 2012 he received the Global Health Inspiration Award.

Susan Shewey, parent of an Emerson Middle School student stated that “Doug Stafford is enthusiastic and joyful in his role as principal, but he isn’t just being a “pal” to his students. He is consistently and determinedly building relationships with his students, using whatever means are at his disposal to build bridges of communication.”

Distinguished finalists for the 2014 Oklahoma Middle School Principal of the Year include:

  • Patrick Dodson, Principal, Grove Middle School
  • Debbie Hoffman, Principal, Cache Middle School
  • Cathy Walker, Principal, Stillwater Middle School

As the Oklahoma Middle School Principal of the Year, Mr. Stafford is now eligible for the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Award.  State Principals of the Year participate in the NASSP Principals Institute and Awards Gala, to be held September 18-21 in Washington, D.C.

Stafford was selected by a committee of former recipients of the Oklahoma award and will be honored by colleagues from the Oklahoma Middle Level Educators Association at the CCOSA Summer Conference, June 6-7 at the Embassy Suites in Norman.  OAESP is under the umbrella of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration.  CCOSA is an incorporated, non-profit organization serving over 2800 Oklahoma superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, special education directors, and central office administrators.

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