The Norman Board of Education has approved the district’s recommendation to hire Gayla Mears to serve as director of Special Services for the Norman Public School District.
In this role, Mears will be responsible for directing all special education, alternative education and residential programs for the district to minimize the impact of the disability and improve outcomes for all students. She has more than 22 years of experience in public education and has worked in the district for 18 years.
“During her time in the district, Gayla has consistently demonstrated tremendous compassion and steadfast support for students who face challenges,” said Dr. Nick Migliorino, superintendent of Norman Public Schools. “Her ability to collaborate with a variety of individuals to help students overcome barriers and focus on improving educational outcomes makes her a tremendous fit for this position.”
Mears began her career in 1991 as a teacher at Longfellow Middle School and has taught at three of the district’s four middle schools. Mears later joined the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma, where she developed and coordinated the delivery of hundreds of professional development sessions across the state. She came back to the district in 2010 as an assistant principal at Longfellow. She currently serves as the principal at Whittier Middle School, a position she has held since 2012.
At the district level, Mears has participated in a variety of leadership initiatives devoted to enhancing curriculum, staff development, school climate and culture, technology integration and more. Mears replaces Justin Milner, who recently was promoted to serve as the district’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Gayla is a proven leader who has been a strong advocate for students with disabilities,” Milner said. “She is a strategic thinker and her skills, passion and vision will contribute to her success as she facilitates a diverse group of stakeholders around a common goal of providing unmatched service to students with disabilities.”
Mears holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Curriculum Supervision from the University of Oklahoma.