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OKLAHOMA CITY (April 21, 2023) – The Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP) is pleased to announce Danielle Patterson, Principal at Ethel Reed Elementary School, Holdenville Public Schools, as the OAESP Oklahoma Principal of the Year. OAESP also named Darren Nelson, Principal at Westwood Elementary School, Stillwater Public Schools, as the OAESP Principal of Excellence. Jeff Gibe, Principal of Jay Upper Elementary School, Jay Public Schools, is the James Burnett Principal of Distinction. The award winners will be recognized during the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) Summer Leadership Conference this June.  

The OAESP Administrator of the Year Awards promote leadership in elementary education by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their schools through programs that exemplify the highest standards and promote student achievement. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to OAESP— they embody the core values of serving students and being committed to their school communities. 

“Research reflects that strong principals have mastered these domains of skills --instruction, people and the organization,” said Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA Executive Director. “On behalf of CCOSA, I want to congratulate these principal leaders who demonstrate these skills that effective principals rely on to impact student achievement. We are grateful for their dedication and commitment to the profession, their students, staff, and community.”

Holdenville Public Schools Superintendent Randy Davenport stated, “Mrs. Patterson is the most dedicated principal that I have had the privilege of working with during my tenure as Superintendent.  Danielle shows compassion for all students and is supportive of her staff, which fosters success for all students.  Her understanding and relentless drive for student accomplishment has been unwavering as she has served the district as elementary principal. Danielle is a champion for education with continuous self-motivation to be better for children. In my opinion, there is no one more deserving for this tremendous honor!”

Danielle Patterson is described as someone who is a team player and is a hands-on administrator. She leads by example and never asks anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself.  Reading Specialist Kristin Hall stated, “I not only have a seat at the table, but I also have a voice at the table.” 

Under Mrs. Patterson’s leadership, the school has developed a “Walk to Read” program ensuring all students regardless of backgrounds are successful. In addition, she has created clubs for students such as the Counting Club, Color Club, Shape Club, Addition Club, Subtraction Club, Multiplication Club, and Division Club. Students demonstrate mastery and become part of the club.   
“Mrs. Patterson is described as a leader that develops a school culture that is family,” states OAESP Executive Director Glen Abshere. “She develops relationships with all students and their families to make school a safe place. We are honored to have Danielle represent OAESP as the Oklahoma Principal of the Year.”

For more information about the OAESP Administrator of the Year Awards, please visit


The Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP) is a professional association organized for the purpose of improving elementary and middle-level education (PreK-8th grade) by providing information and leadership, encouraging research/service, and promoting high professional standards for Oklahoma administrators. OAESP is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and a constituent association of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA).