October 10, 2008

New TPS Campus Police Officials Are Sworn In


The Tulsa Public Schools board on Monday swore in the first slate of officials in the district's new campus Police Department.

Police Chief Gary Rudick, one investigator and 13 officers took their oaths at a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Once the officers have completed training and certification by the National Association of School Resource Officers later this month, most will be assigned to high school campuses, Rudick said outside of the meeting.

In other business, the school board also marked the impending departure of Superintendent Michael Zolkoski by unanimously approving a resolution of appreciation.

The resolution noted a host of accomplishments, including the removal of the school district from Oklahoma's District Improvement List, the establishment of the Tulsa Learning Academy at the Tulsa Promenade mall, and securing a $12 million federal grant for magnet programs at four high schools.

Zolkoski thanked the district administrators who served in his Cabinet and then said: "What's amazing to me is that we only have 11 schools left (on the state School Improvement List) out of 89 I don't know if it can be duplicated, to be honest with you. Everything hit the right tone at the same time. It's kind of like playing golf and getting three holes in one on the same round."

Not all 89 schools in Tulsa were ever on the state's School Improvement List, however. In fact, 16 Tulsa schools were on the list in 2006, the year Zolkoski arrived.

There was no mention of the Tulsa Academic Center, another program Zolkoski established with little success in its first year.

The alternative school for students with discipline infractions was found to be the scene of serious crowding and frequent violence in 2007-08.

The state Department of Education recently found numerous violations of federal laws governing the treatment of special education students there, as well.

Controversy over the Tulsa Academic Center led the school board to enter into an early termination agreement with Zolkoski over his employment contract, which was to have run through 2010.

Zolkoski alluded to controversy about him only briefly Monday, saying, "The persons I will miss the most will be the students, because I really love the students of Tulsa.

"Sometimes I probably didn't pay enough attention to some of the adults, but my heart is really about children."

Friday is to be Zolkoski's last day on the job.

On Monday, Keith Ballard, former executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and a former superintendent at Claremore and Oologah-Talala schools, will become Tulsa's new superintendent.

Andrea Eger 581-8470

[email protected]

New campus police officers sworn in

TPS campus police employees hired to date:

Chief Gary Rudick

Officer Brian Beddow

Officer Marvin Blades

Officer Steven Hansen

Officer Doyle Heathcott

Officer Dwight Jackson

Officer Douglas May

Officer Scott McQuarters

Officer Tony Moore

Officer Scott Phillips

Investigator Victor Porter

Officer Lori Schnedler

Officer William Shriver

Officer Scott Streeter

Officer JamesWall

Previous TPS employees reassigned to campus police department to date:

Kim Brimer, office assistant

Samuel Troglin, private security and special events liaison

Originally published by ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer.

(c) 2008 Tulsa World. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.