Congratulations to both Scott Beck and Peter Liesenfeld for their recent promotions within Norman Public Schools. Our beloved high school principals have demonstrated during their tenure that they care deeply about their students, they take their role as administrators seriously (even if they do have a lot of fun) and they have strong ideas about how best to educate and prepare students for their next step.
Now as student services director for secondary schools (Beck) and chief technology officer (Liesenfeld), the two former principals have opportunities to impact children across the district. That will make our school district better and our community stronger. They will certainly be missed at the high schools, but this kind of progression and internal growth are signs of a healthy organization.
While the state has committed more money to education over the past two legislative sessions, funding is always going to be an issue; and there are other challenges, from the increasing pace of technological improvements to shifting collegiate and workforce needs. Norman's growth requires a talented, well-educated group of students who are also able to develop emotionally and ethically. Having Beck and Liesenfeld in these two leadership roles will be key to our community's long-term success.
NPS has some serious work to do this summer replacing both of them. Those are big shoes to fill, and not just because they were excellent principals (although they were): they were also strong members of the community, building relationships with community members that allowed Normanites who don't have children in school to connect with their mission. We're confident NPS Superintendent Nick Migliorino and his team are up to the task. Norman is a great place to live, and NPS has a reputation as a great place to work. There will be a lot of qualified, talented people who will want those jobs. Now, it's all about finding the best person for each high school.