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SPS names two new administrators
At a June 15 special meeting, the Stillwater Board of Education approved the hiring of Mack Butler as assistant athletics director for the district and Kristy Self as assistant principal of the Stillwater Pioneer Virtual Academy.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Stillwater,” Butler says. “This school district is known for outstanding academics and great athletics programs, and I’m happy to get back to education, where I originally started, and to help however I’m needed.”
Butler comes to the district following a career in college athletics, having served as an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa, director of operations for OSU Football from 2001-2004 and 2009-2021. From 2005-2008 he served as Louisiana State University’s assistant athletic director for football administration. Early in his career, Butler served as a high school coach in Stigler, McAlester, and Wilburton and, during that time, coached the 1985 all-state game.
A native of Fairfax, Oklahoma, Butler is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and holds a master’s degree in administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
“I’m so pleased with this hire,” says Brian Warwick, who will assume head athletic director duties on July 1. “Mack Butler brings a wealth of administrative experience and knowledge, specifically in operations, an area I feel we need to prioritize. His vast experience in athletic administration and level of expertise in athletic operations are the two things I’m most excited about. We’ll be able to better plan, prioritize, and budget with him on our team. Plus, everyone you talk to who has met him will tell you he’s a great human being.”
On the district’s academic front, Kristy Self will become assistant principal at Stillwater Pioneer Virtual Academy in the fall, replacing Joy Cawood, who departs to become principal at Richmond Elementary. Self will work directly with Cawood to ensure smooth operations and to tap into the extensive knowledge of virtual learning that Cawood has built during the inception and first year of the district's virtual academy.
“This year I was excited to have an opportunity to do tutoring at the academy and to work with the staff and kids there,’ says Self. “I saw the really great way we are providing an opportunity for all of our students in Stillwater to access education on their terms. Virtual is something that is needed as an option, a method of learning in which some students thrive, and I’m excited to be a part of that larger community moving forward.”
Self first joined SPS in the fall of 2007 as a language arts teacher at Stillwater Junior High, before moving to the high school in the fall of 2015. In addition to teaching language arts, she has served as a coach in some capacity for the duration of her time with the district. Self has coached junior high basketball and softball and high school girls golf.
She is a ‘97 SHS graduate, and former Skyline Cub. Self received her bachelors in English from OSU and a Master of Education degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining SPS, she taught at Mulhall-Orlando and Yale.
“I’m so excited to have Mrs. Self in this role,” says incoming Superintendent Uwe Gordon. “I hired her in Yale and at SHS and have been proud to see her grow professionally and continue to further her education. I can’t wait to see where she takes our virtual academy.”
In addition to the new assistant principal, other changes are in store for the virtual academy. The academy will be utilizing Canvas as a learning management system at the elementary level so the district can deliver curriculum and content fully created by Stillwater teachers. Following recent legislative changes, the virtual academy is now able to accept virtual students that live outside of the district.
“We have some of the best educators and professional development in the state and nation,” says Self, “It’s exciting to be able to deliver content that’s created by our teachers specifically for our students, empowering a virtual curriculum that’s second to none, and, now, to be able to offer that option to any student in the state.” Self says the district will be releasing additional info about the virtual academy in the coming weeks.
Butler and Self assume their new duties in July.