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Hofmeister names new interim superintendent at Western Heights


 
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Carrie Burkhart
Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371, c: (405) 760-7881
carrie.burkhart@sde.ok.gov

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-3375
erin.corbin@sde.ok.gov

Annette Price
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-6647
annette.price@sde.ok.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Hofmeister names new interim superintendent at Western Heights 

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 7, 2022) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has named a new interim superintendent at Western Heights Public Schools. Brayden Savage, a former Western Heights assistant superintendent and director of human resources, will lead the turn-around at the district starting next month. 

Monty Guthrie, who is the current, appointed superintendent, has agreed to serve in a position closer to his family in eastern Oklahoma. 

“Monty embraced the Western Heights community and the challenges. We are proud of the progress he has made within the district, but I certainly understand the draw of family. He will be missed,” Hofmeister said. 

Brayden Savage

Savage will take over the interim superintendent role Feb. 1. She spent 16 years at Western Heights in various roles including Pre-K and kindergarten teacher, reading instructional coach, assistant principal, director of human resources and assistant superintendent. She also served as executive director of alternative education in the Office of Student Support at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. 

“Brayden is a perfect fit for Western Heights because of her deep roots within the district,” Hofmeister said. “She is an experienced and compassionate leader who has supported this community and is dedicated to bringing them stability, hope and a vision for the future. I am thrilled to have Brayden take on this role.” 

Savage is currently the principal at Shawnee Early Childhood Center and has a total of 25 years of experience in education. She holds a superintendent certification and is working on her doctor of education in administration and leadership. 

“Being back at the district where I have spent most of my career is exciting,” Savage said. “I genuinely love this community – the teachers and staff, the students and their families. I believe that at the core of what we do is the partnership we have with parents and the local community. It is the only way to assure the best outcome for students.” 

Sharon Teague, president of the Western Heights Education Association, has taught in the district for more than 40 years. She and her children also graduated from Western Heights. 

“Western Heights is a major part of my life and to see the ups and downs has been hard. But we’ve started to see good progress, and we are hopeful that progress continues. Brayden has also seen the good days in the district, and we’re looking forward to continuing the positive momentum with her in charge,” Teague said. 

Laurie McCracken has worked at Western Heights for 39 years and is currently a librarian in the district. Her husband, Paul, is a retired teacher and coach from Western Heights who worked there more than 40 years, and their two children graduated from Western Heights. 

“Mr. Guthrie really gave us hope. He’s been a fantastic leader, and we wish him the best,” McCracken said. “We believe in this district, and Brayden coming back to Western Heights will be a joyous reunion. We will have people coming back to teach here because they will want to work for her.” 

Savage’s three children also attended Western Heights schools. Her daughter graduated in 2011, as the valedictorian of her class. 

“I am extremely proud of the education my children received at Western Heights. It speaks to the level of commitment and dedication that their teachers poured into them,” Savage said. “Taking care of the teachers at Western Heights is critical right now. They are the ones who are nurturing and guiding our kids every day. They need to be supported in order to pour the most into the students, just like the teachers did with my children.” 

The Western Heights district is under an intervention plan approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Education after years of non-compliance, mismanagement and community complaints. 

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Last updated on January 10, 2022