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Admin in the Spotlight: Sherry Durkee

If you ask Sherry Durkee about being the recipient of the 2020 OASA District 5 Superintendent of the Year award, she will immediately give credit to the teachers and staff in her school district.

“Our teachers and staff are innovative and collaborative team players,” Sherry said. “I’m honored to be nominated by my colleagues, but my team makes it happen.”

Sherry Durkee just completed her fourth year as the superintendent of Sand Springs Public Schools. In four short years, Sherry has navigated floods, gas leaks, construction, and a global pandemic, and in June, she was recognized by her colleagues for her commitment and diligence.

“I love a good challenge,” Sherry said. With the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, Sherry has her work cut out for her 𑁋 and she’s got a plan.

The 2020-2021 school year is expected to begin August 18th. “We will start as normal as we can, to the best of our abilities with parameters in place that follow the current recommendations.”

Sherry said she anticipates there will be intermittent disruptions as the school year progresses, like children who are unable to attend in-person because of exposure. “We’re prepared for that,” Sherry said, “and we will continue to offer instruction and engagement for everyone.”

“Whether the students are here in the traditional setting or have segments of distant learning, we’re going to continue serving our students and meeting the needs of the public,” Sherry said.

Sand Springs Public Schools began operating a virtual academy in 2011, which served some K-12 students in a virtual format. “So, we set the stage for [distance learning] several years ago,” Sherry said.

There may be opportunities, too, for students who are participating in the virtual format but require in-person tutoring. “We have space to create a socially-distant learning environment, [so kids can] come in and receive an individualized approach to learning.”

“We have unbreakable standards,” Sherry said, “and I’m proud of where we are and where we’re going.”

“I’m grateful to my regional colleagues for this honor,” Sherry said about the 2020 OASA District 5 Superintendent of the Year award. “And I couldn’t be more proud of our team.

The community of Sand Springs is blessed to have an award-winning superintendent dedicated to its students and their success. Whatever Sherry’s fifth year as superintendent holds, she and her team are prepared.