Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Superintendent
Dr. Jarod Mendenhall has served as the Superintendent of Schools for Muskogee Public Schools since July 1, 2018. He has been in the field of education for twenty-nine years, with experience as a classroom teacher, coach, principal and central office administrator and superintendent.
Prior to his service in Muskogee, he was the Chief of Governmental Affairs at Mesquite ISD in Mesquite, Texas where he was the district liaison for local, state, and federal government and helped lead public education legislation for the state of Texas. Dr. Mendenhall was also charged with assisting with strategic planning, policy development, and a new accrediting process.
Before his stint in Texas, Dr. Mendenhall served six and a half years as the Superintendent of Schools at Broken Arrow Public Schools where he led the district through a comprehensive strategic planning process, oversaw the district’s largest bond construction, opened four new early childhood centers, three new elementary schools and one middle school. Dr. Mendenhall raised test scores across the district with new and innovative programs and led the district through student growth.
Dr. Mendenhall received his high school diploma in 1986 from Enid High School in Enid, Oklahoma. He later earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1991 and a Master of Science Degree in Public School Administration in 1997 from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Dr. Mendenhall received his Doctorate Degree in Education Leadership in 2010 from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Dr. Mendenhall has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout his career. He received the National Superintendent Certification through AASA in 2017 and was named the Man of Distinction by the Tulsa Business & Legal News in 2015. Dr. Mendenhall was awarded the District 5 Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and named “Superintendent of the Year” for Rachel’s Challenge in 2012.
Dr. Mendenhall has been married for thirty years to Janna (Lancaster) Mendenhall, who is also a career educator and currently serves as an elementary special education teacher. Dr. and Mrs. Mendenhall have two daughters, Jessica (25) and Allie (20).
Dr. Kim Dyce, Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Kim J. Dyce believes that “every child deserves a champion” (Rita Pierson, 2013).
In 1990, Dr. Dyce began her teaching career in Rochester, New York. While teaching in the Rochester City School District, she had the opportunity to work in various school environments and where she taught grades 6th – 12th. During this time, she fell in love with education and chose to pursue an administrative position. Then in 1991, she graduated from the University of Rochester with a Master’s in Education. She later pursued her second Master’s in Educational Administration.
In 1996, Dr. Dyce began her administrative career as a House Administrator. Over a seven-year period, she moved up in her district to become the principal of Benjamin Franklin Educational Campus. During that time, she led the implementation of three small learning communities and a Montessori elementary school. In 1998, she returned to the University of Rochester to pursue her doctorate in education, completing it in 2005.
Over a 20-year period in the Rochester City School District, Dr. Dyce worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and Chief of Staff. During her tenure, she was viewed as a leadership and change agent that supported the academic success of every child. She always worked diligently to ensure that all students had equal access and opportunity to a quality educational experience.
In 2013, Dr. Dyce moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to serve as Deputy Superintendent of Schools in Tulsa Public Schools. There she and her team effectively developed a strategic plan to address the declining graduation rate and student suspensions which resulted in an 8% reduction in suspensions and a 17% decrease in missed school days in 2016.
Dr. Dyce served as Managing Director: Collective Leadership, Teach For America in Oklahoma City. In her role, Kim was charged with setting the direction for corps member placements, alumni affairs, and school leadership towards a cohesive, coherent, and impactful school turnaround initiative.
In 2017, Dr. Kim J. Dyce started her role in Muskogee Public Schools as the Executive Director for Teaching and Learning. She currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent.
Shannon Turner, Chief Academic Officer
Shannon Turner is the Chief Academic Officer overseeing all federal grants, district assessment, counseling services, district accreditation, the Reading Sufficiency Act, Indian Education, and Special Education.
Ms. Turner began her career as a special education teacher for Wagoner Public Schools. Working with children of all disabilities and challenges, she operated a resource room and managed their inclusion program. After earning her Master’s Degree in School Administration/Supervision, she became the Director of the Wagoner County STEP (Structured Educational Program) School. Adjudicated students were assigned to this “boot camp program” either in lieu of going to a state detention center or as a halfway house for teenage students being released from a facility. While this was a trial by fire experience, it prepared her for her next position as an administrator for Oliver Middle School of the Broken Arrow School District.
Before coming to Muskogee Public Schools in 2017, Ms. Turner spent seven years as the Executive Director of Federal Programs for Broken Arrow. Throughout these years, she wore many management hats as part of the instructional team, supervising everything from secondary special education to virtual school to the media specialists. Her mainstay programs were all of the federal programs, BA Alternative Academy, the Margaret Hudson Program, Indian Education, K-12 STEM, and Career Tech programs.
Ms. Turner is the proud mother of her son Alex and has been married for twenty-eight years. Her devotion to education and her family are her passions in life. She feels it is an honor to serve Muskogee Roughers students, staff and parents every day!
John Little, Chief Financial Officer
John Little has served as Chief Financial Officer at Muskogee Public Schools since 2000. He joined MPS as the Business Manager in 1986. He began his career in public accounting with Moffitt, Parker & Company as an auditor.
Little earned his bachelor’s degree with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. John is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
As CFO, Little leads the financial services division which is responsible for leading and coordinating the financial activities of the district. The services offered include purchasing and procurement, treasury, accounts payable, financial reporting, budget, activity funds, bond funds and risk management.
He also supervises and is responsible for the District maintenance, technology, transportation, security, and child nutrition services divisions.
Eric Wells, Chief Operating and Technology Officer
Mr. Wells serves as the Chief Information Officer for Muskogee Public Schools. He previously served four years as Director of Information Systems at MPS. Prior to joining Muskogee Public Schools, Eric was the Director of Technology and Systems Administrator at Hilldale Public Schools.
He graduated summa cum laude as he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems from Northeastern State University.
During his time outside of work, Eric volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and has served three years as Board President of RISE (Restoring Identities after Sexual Exploitation) Shelter. Eric is also an inaugural board member for the CoSN Chapter in Oklahoma, serving on the Oklahoma Council of Educational Technology Leaders (OCETL).
As CIO, Mr. Wells leads the technology division of MPS which includes 5 different divisions: Help Desk and Business Systems, Technical Support. Data Systems, Enrollment/SIS, and some instructional pieces such as the FabLab and 1:1 student laptop hardware and support.
Lance Crawley, Chief Administrative Officer
Lance Crawley joined Muskogee Public Schools and the Superintendent's Leadership Team in June 2019.
Crawley, most recently served as a building principal for Broken Arrow Public Schools.
Crawley is responsible for human resources, district transportation services and the district's security and safety department.
With 27 years of experience in Oklahoma Public Schools, Crawley has spent the last 16 years of his career as an administrator.
He began his career in education as a High School English Instructor in 1992 working in the Broken Arrow, Berryhill, and Fort Gibson school districts. In 2003, Crawley joined Coweta Public Schools as an Assistant High School Principal before being named Curriculum Director at Coweta.
He was named Building Principal of Woodall Elementary School in Tahlequah, Okla. in 2005 where he spent four years before joining Hilldale Public Schools as Building Principal at the Elementary School.
Crawley joined Deer Creek Public Schools in 2011 as the Chief Financial Officer directing all funds including a $152 million lease-purchased bond issue. He returned to Broken Arrow Public Schools in 2013 as the Executive Director of Secondary Education supervising and directing instruction and administrative staff.
Steve Braun, Director of Communications and Marketing
Braun joined Muskogee Public Schools in August 2019 from Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla. where he served as Assistant Athletic Director for Operations.
Braun has previous experience in public relations having served as the Assistant Athletic Director of Communications and Sports Information Director in two stints at RSU. In his time promoting Hillcat Athletics, Braun led the development of RSU Athletics’ social media including the implementation of Instagram, the launch of a new website design, and media coverage of the Hillcats’ 12 athletic programs. He was responsible for press releases, video production, broadcasting, publicity and information materials, and social media.
Braun oversees the district's website, social media outlets, publications, and media relations.
He previously served as Editor of VYPE Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Sports Director at iHeart Media’s KTBZ am1430 the Buzz, and has wrote for the Claremore Daily Progress and the Broken Arrow Ledger.
A native of Broken Arrow, Okla., he holds a master’s degree in secondary education from East Central University and a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Rogers State.
Carla Cooper, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
Carla Cooper is the Executive Administrative Assistant to Dr. Mendenhall, Superintendent. She also serves as the Board Minutes Clerk for the Muskogee Board of Education.
Before joining the district in 2004, Ms. Cooper served as Executive Administrative Assistant to Jerry Whitlock owner of Whitlock Packaging Corporation for 23 years. During her tenure at WPC, the corporation became the largest contract manufacturer of branded non-carbonated beverages in North America. The company achieved significant growth through acquisitions, expansion of production facilities, product innovation and increased volume from major clients such as PepsiCo, Coke, Nestle, Arizona Tea, Campbell Soup, Ocean Spray and many others.
In 2018, Ms. Cooper received the Diddy Pennington Award for Administrative Excellence from the Muskogee City-County Port Authority. In 2019 she was Support Employee of the Month for Muskogee Public Schools.
Ms. Cooper is a native of Muskogee, Oklahoma and graduated from Muskogee High School in 1977. She also attended Northeastern State University and Connors State College. She has been married to Steve Cooper for 15 years and they share a blended family of 8 daughters, 8 sons-in-law and 18 grandchildren.