Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Superintendent
Dr. Jarod Mendenhall has served as the Superintendent of Muskogee Public Schools since July 1, 2018. He has been in the field of education for over thirty years, with experience as a classroom teacher, coach, principal, central office administrator and superintendent.
In the three years at Muskogee, Dr. Mendenhall has led the district through a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, passed the largest bond referendum ($110 million) in the district’s history and had three different schools receive the National School of Character Award.
Prior to his service in Muskogee, he was the Chief of Governmental Affairs in Mesquite, Texas where he served as the district’s liaison for the local, state, and federal governments. He helped lead the district through a strategic planning process, assisted with policy development, and helped design a new accrediting process.
Before his time in Texas, Dr. Mendenhall served as the Superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools. During his tenure, he led the district through a five-year strategic planning process, oversaw the district’s largest bond referendum ($370 million), opened eight new schools, and managed student growth rate of four percent annually.
Dr. Mendenhall received his high school diploma from Enid High School in 1986. He later earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Northeastern State University in 1991 and a Master’s Degree in Public School Administration in 1997. Dr. Mendenhall later received his Doctorate Degree in 2010 from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he was named the Most Outstanding Doctoral Student in 2011.
Dr. Mendenhall has received awards and recognitions throughout his career. In 2017, he received the National Superintendent Certification through AASA and was named the Man of Distinction by the Tulsa Business & Legal News in 2015. Dr. Mendenhall has been awarded the District 5 Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and named “Superintendent of the Year” for Rachel’s Challenge in 2012.
Dr. Kim Dyce, Deputy 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 Deputy Superintendent.
Dr. Lance Crawley, Assistant Superintendent
In June of 2022, Lance Crawley will begin his fourth year working in Muskogee on the Superintendent’s leadership team.
With 30 years of experience in Oklahoma Public Schools, Crawley has spent the last 18 years of his career as an administrator.
He was a high school English teacher and basketball coach for the first 12 years of his career and moved into administration during the 2003-04 school year with Coweta public schools.
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 has a total of 10 years of experience as a building principal and an additional eight years working in a central office role.
Lance received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. He and his wife Andrea live in Muskogee, have been married for 30 years and have three children.
Dr. Jason Parker, Executive Director of Athletics
Dr. Jason Parker was promoted to Muskogee Public Schools Executive Director of Athletics in July 2021 after serving the previous two years as Director of Athletics.
Prior to joining MPS, Dr. Parker served Sapulpa Public Schools for four years as the Director of Athletics. In his short time at the helm, Sapulpa saw nine programs transformed from underperforming to competing for conference and/or district championships. Four consecutive Region Coach of the Year honors were bestowed upon Sapulpa coaches, each from a different program, during his time leading the department. Football, Baseball, Boys and Girls Soccer, and Boys Basketball saw a record number of single season wins in the respective programs history. More Sapulpa students qualified for State competition in Cross Country, Track, Tennis, and Golf in his four years than had in the previous decade combined. Over a three year period, six times OSSAA Academic recognition was earned by Sapulpa programs and the emphasis on academic excellence saw nearly 60 student-athletes sign collegiate scholarships.
In 2018, Dr. Parker earned his Certified Masters in Athletic Administration and currently serves on the Board for the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) as well as the Publications Committee for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). Parker was named OIAAA Oklahoma Newcomer of the Year in 2017.
A familiar name in Northeastern Oklahoma sports, Dr. Parker played collegiately at the University of Tulsa as a member of the men’s basketball team. He was twice named ESPN Academic All-American, helped the Golden Hurricane to a National Invitational Tournament Championship in 2001, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. He completed his undergraduate degree at Tulsa with Cum-Laude distinction.
Upon graduation, Dr. Parker spent five years playing professional basketball in Italy, Greece, and Russia. He then returned to the University of Tulsa as an athletic department Graduate Assistant for the Director of Athletics working for former athletic directors Bubba Cunningham, Ross Parmley, and Dr. Derrick Gragg.
Dr. Parker was inducted into the Tulsa Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame as a graduate of Tulsa Memorial High School. He concluded his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Chargers history and graduated third in his graduating class.
Prior to joining Sapulpa Public Schools, Dr. Parker served as Director of Athletics at Monte Cassino School in Tulsa, Okla. for two years where he established a comprehensive and cohesive education-based athletics program for the second largest private school in Oklahoma. During his time leading the athletic department, Monte Cassino saw participation increase 90-percent in-season and 45-percent during the offseason.
Mr. David Chester, CPA, Executive Director of Finance
David Chester serves Muskogee Public Schools as the Executive Director of Finance a role he has held since July 2021.
Since May 2019, Chester has served MPS as the Director of Accounting assisting the Chief Financial Officer in development of the district’s operating budget. He oversaw the finance team including treasury, accounts payable, payroll, and activity fund. Additionally, Chester prepared the Estimate of Needs and Annual Financial Report, reviewed monthly bank reconciliations, implemented procedures related to accounting and internal controls, and coordinated the annual financial audit.
Prior to joining Muskogee Schools, David was a Senior Auditor at Kerry John Patten, CPA since 1998. In his role as Senior Auditor he conducted audits of financial statements for 70 public school districts and technology centers around the state of Oklahoma. He conducted Single Audits in accordance with the Uniform Guidance of clients expending over $750,000 of Federal funds.
He presented annual financial reports to the Board of Education for audit clients, trained new employees on audit procedures utilized by the firm, and other firm policies and procedures. As Senior Auditor he compiled the Estimate of Needs, or legally adopted budget, for each of the firm’s public school district clients, several county governments, health departments, and Emergency Medical Service districts. Chester performed agreed-upon procedures for clients that led to the discovery of fraud and consulted with clients on implementing recommendations made during the audit.
David earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from East Central University in Ada, Okla. In August 1999 he received his Certified Public Accountant certificate and is a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPA’s, serving as a current committee member of the Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee.
Mr. Brandon Irby, Director of Communications and Marketing
Brandon Irby serves Muskogee Public Schools as the Director of Communications and Marketing a role he has held since June 2022.
Irby joins MPS from Rogers State University in Claremore where he has served as Director of Communications and Marketing since 2019. Under his guidance, RSU transitioned the Office of Public Relations to the Office of Communications and Marketing expanding services and growing the team to elevate and advance awareness of the university's impact throughout northeast Oklahoma. In that role, Irby was responsible for brand management, advertising, media relations, public relations, and crisis communications.
Prior to his time at RSU, Irby served as Associate Director of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority. At CIEDA, Irby was responsible for the direction and development of a comprehensive communications plan including award-winning marketing recognized by the Southern Economic Development Council.
Irby earned a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication at RSU and holds certificates in economic development through the University of Northern Iowa and new media strategy through the National Center for Economic Gardening. He is pursuing a Master of Science in Media Management with an emphasis in Public Administration through Arkansas State University. He has served on the board of directors for Oklahoma College Public Relations Association and as a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Communicators Council. He is a member of the Leadership Rogers County Class of 2013 and was named to the Rogers County 40 under 40 in 2017. He has served on the Claremore Main Street Board of Directors, on the RSU Alumni Association advisory board, and as the 2016 Chair of the young professionals association Claremore Collective.
Mr. Bradley Eddy, Director of Human Resources
Bradley Eddy joins Muskogee Public Schools Education Service Center as Director of Human Resources after spending the past year as a Life Coach at Muskogee High School.
Bradley holds more than 25 years of experience in the field of education in the Tulsa area.
He began his career as a high school English teacher, a position he held for three years. Eddy spent the next nine years as a middle school counselor before accepting the role of Principal at an elementary level.
Following five years leading as Principal, he moved into a director’s role in the central office of Tulsa Public Schools until 2020 when he joined MPS.
Eddy received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education, summa cum laude, from Northeastern State University.
Mrs. 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.