Janet Dunlop

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A self-described country girl from Verdigris, Janet Dunlop is a product of Claremore Public Schools. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1989, Dunlop planned to be a flight attendant until a serious car accident shifted her plans. After student teaching, Dunlop earned a master’s degree in school administration and a Ph.D. in education. She’s been with Broken Arrow Public Schools since 2010 and became district superintendent in 2016. We caught up with Dunlop and got her thoughts on …

… her passion for public education.

My oldest sister is a teacher, and I have two aunts and three cousins who are teachers and school administrators, so it seems to run in the family. I also think that educators crave a profession that enables us to make a difference. There truly is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student find success and knowing that you may have had a role in changing his or her life in a positive way.

… her milestones.

After nine years of work, we have a fully functional literacy program that is aligned prekindergarten through 12th grade and is being followed with fidelity.

Early College High (available to ninth and 10th graders next year, and adding a grade each year following) [and] the 2+2 dual associate’s degree program with our partners at Tulsa Community College and Northeastern State University are sources of pride. These … allow high school students to earn as much as an associate’s degree upon high school graduation at little or no cost.

A part of the high school configuration is the creation of Beyond BA Pathways … a four-year-plus plan for every student that maps out the coursework, learning experiences and internships/apprenticeships in a comprehensive plan for high school and post-secondary education or training.

We have made a concerted effort to improve our math curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of STEM-related careers. Beginning seven years ago, we made the choice to start as early as elementary school identifying students who were ready to advance beyond their peers in math.

… her goals and projects.

“Redefining Ready” is a portrait of what our community wants in a Broken Arrow graduate. It is a measurement that defines whether we have been successful with each student. [With] the STEM Innovation Center, we plan to use our local industry, topography and unique qualities in Broken Arrow to provide a space for innovation and learning.

Other projects include individualized and relevant course plans for each student; systemic support and intervention that prevent students from falling behind; full participation in our prekindergarten to prevent gaps from happening; and involving the community in the schools so much that the lines between school and community are blurred.

… what makes her proud.

Our culture – we have created a space where we really do care about one another and the work we do. Our core values define how we treat one another and our patrons. The constant drive to be great – we are coming off two years of academic, fine arts and athletic success that are unprecedented. Finally, I’m proud of the way our local legislators are working with us closely to meet the needs in education in our state. We had many years where education was put on the backburner and funding was decimated. It is exciting to see the focus on education statewide, and I can’t wait to see what our great state can do with a properly funded education system.

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