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 adult daughters, Jessica and Allie.
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.
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.
Eric Wells, Chief Operating and Technology Officer
Mr. Wells serves as the Chief Operating and Technology Officer for Muskogee Public Schools. He previously served as Chief Information Officer and for 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).
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. He additionally oversees the maintenance and facility departments of MPS.
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.
Kim Fleak, Executive Director of Human Resources
Kim Fleak is the Executive Director of Human Resources for Muskogee Public Schools.
She most recently served the district as Principal of Muskogee High School, a role she held since 2017. Prior to MHS, Mrs. Fleak was Principal of Irving Elementary, a Stephen Covey ‘Leader in Me’ school, for five years.
She spent 11 years at the Muskogee Alternative Program as a teacher, Dean of Students and in 2003 was named Principal before assuming the same position at Harris Jobe Elementary. In her five years at Harris Jobe, Fleak implemented Literacy First a literacy framework that has been adopted district-wide.
In her thirty-year career in education, she has taught grades fourth through twelfth. She began her career as a fourth-grade teacher in Sand Springs, Okla. Fleak came to Muskogee, Okla. in 1993 joining Saint Joseph’s Catholic School teaching sixth through eighth grade for four years. In 1997, Fleak joined Muskogee Public Schools.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in School Administration from Northeastern State University.
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 written 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.