By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Updated infrastructure and facilities are critical components of learning and are major factors in student achievement.
So says Terry McCarty, who was hired by Stillwater Public Schools in March and took office June 3 as assistant superintendent in charge of operations.
McCarty joins the administration team during a building boom in the district. Stillwater Public Schools is involved in several major building projects, including the construction of two new elementary schools to replace the existing Will Rogers Elementary School and Highland Park Elementary School.
“One of my responsibilities is to create the very best climate and culture I can in a school building,” McCarty said. “The amount of pride and the sense of community and the sense of belonging that people will feel when they come into a new building will raise achievement even more. You will see kids walk into those buildings and there will be a wow factor. They will be proud of their school. They will have that pride factor of a personalized learning environment and feel like people care about them. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’m excited about.”
McCarty, 47, graduated from Concordia (Kan.) High School. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Fort Hays (Kan.) State.
He taught business in high school for three years before going into administration. He has been a high school principal for the last 20 years in Kansas, including the last 16 years at Manhattan (Kan.) High School.
“I understand about the complexity of school construction,” McCarty said. “We just finished a $98-million construction project in Manhattan. ... We had facilities that were in almost the same situation that Stillwater finds itself in, facilities that have been around for 50 or 60 years or longer.”
McCarty replaces Jim Ryan, a longtime school administrator who retired this summer.