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Nicole Marler


OKLAHOMA CITY (April 28, 2022) – The Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP) is pleased to announce Nicole Marler, Principal at Ida Freeman Elementary School, Edmond Public Schools, as the OAESP Oklahoma Principal of the Year. OAESP also named Heather Holland, Principal at Thackerville Elementary School, Thackerville Public Schools, as the OAESP Principal of Excellence. Dr. Tamara Roberson, Principal of Barnes Elementary School, Mid-Del 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.”

Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Angela Grunewald stated, “Mrs. Marler is the perfect blend of heart and drive. She has a vision for her school and knows how she wants it to perform, but that vision is encompassed by her heart for students, teachers and families.  She sees leading Ida Freeman as a way to serve those that she cares so much about which is evident the minute you walk in the door at Ida Freeman Elementary School.”

Nicole Marler is described as someone who is full of peace and a hands-on administrator. She makes all of her staff regardless of their position feel they are part of the team. First grade teacher Sheree Serrano stated, “She’s a great leader because she creates great leaders.” 

Under Mrs. Marler’s leadership, the school has developed an on-call system that allows staff to request help in any area as needed using a coded system that protects the dignity and confidentiality of every student and every situation. She has also developed Huddle groups that help fifth graders navigate life and learn life skills.   

“Mrs. Marler is described as an encouraging leader that maintains a consistent, calm demeanor in all situations,” states OAESP Executive Director Glen Abshere. “She has developed relationships with neighboring churches and community partners that support the school and her vision for improvement. We are honored to have Nicole 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).