LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The superintendent of Lawton Public Schools will soon make a move to Duncan. The Board of Education for Duncan Public Schools made the unanimous decision to hire Dr. Tom Deighan as the district’s new superintendent.
Before this position change is made official, it must face one more school board. Lawton Public Schools Board of Education will need to approve Dr. Deighan’s resignation as superintendent during their regular meeting Thursday evening.
In the meantime, I accessed the Oklahoma State Department of Education's website where I used public record documents to compare different aspects of the two school districts.
“It just seemed like an opportunity for the season of life I and my family are in. So, it’s exciting and it’s bittersweet,” said Dr. Tom Deighan, Lawton Public Schools Superintendent.
Based on student enrollment, Lawton is the tenth largest district in the state with 28 different campuses and nearly 14,000 students. This is according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Whereas, Duncan serves just under 3,500 students at eight separate sites.
“People ask why I would move to a smaller district from Lawton," said Dr. Deighan. "Everybody knows I came from a district of 400 students before I came here. So, to me it is not a small district.”
“A much larger district you’re way up top, you’re way up high and in a middle tiers district like this, he may be able to spend more time more hands on and I think that’s what he’s looking to do in this next phase of his career,” said Christopher Schreckengost, Duncan Public Schools Board of Education President.
“The opportunity for a smaller district only means to be in the schools on a more regular basis,” said Dr. Deighan.
As his time at Lawton comes to a close, Dr. Deighan looks back on some of the district's accomplishments during his six years as superintendent.
“I’ve been proud to see the community rally around our educators and our students in such a tangible way, $142-million of support in just over three years, two bond measures and a sales tax,” said Dr. Deighan.
“We looked at his performance, some good things going on in Lawton," said Schreckengost. "He’s experienced some things where we have some opportunity.”
But Dr. Deighan says the most satisfying thing has been to see the way supplies and materials are pouring into the classrooms.
“Text books for the first time in a decade," said said Dr. Deighan. "That has been amazing to watch, to watch our people accomplish that.”
As one chapter closes another one opens and it’s a bright future.
“I have just fallen in love with the staff students and people of Lawton but on the other hand I’m really excited,” said Dr. Deighan.
“The board did our due diligence and we feel this is a great move for us and we’re really excited,” said Schreckengost.
This year, the OSDE reported Lawton’s superintendent made a base salary of more than $179,000. Duncan’s superintendent made slightly less at nearly $129,500. But several aspects factor into the equation equaling that number, including experience.
Again, the Lawton school board still needs to officially approve Dr. Deighan’s resignation. This is expected to happen tomorrow evening at their monthly meeting. You can count on 7News to bring you live coverage from the Shoemaker Center Auditorium.