Thursday December 7, 2023

OKCPS Foundation celebrates first-ever graduates of its Aspiring Administrators Pipeline Program

OKCPS Foundation celebrates first-ever graduates of its Aspiring Administrators Pipeline Program

Bilingual, diverse teachers to take on leadership roles within the District 


The fall 2023 OKCPS Foundation Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Program graduates, Teacher Pipeline Program graduates, and University of Central Oklahoma officials celebrate the graduation of these future educators and district leaders.


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OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 7, 2023) – This week the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, along with district leaders, community partners and other local/state leaders, celebrated the first ten graduates of its Aspiring Administrators Pipeline Program and the two newest graduates of its Bilingual & Diversity Teacher Pipeline Program. These Pipeline Programs are led by the OKCPS Foundation and are provided at absolutely no cost, ensuring that every participant can continue their journeys as teachers and leaders within OKCPS with no college debt.

“The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation opened an opportunity for a diverse group of teacher leaders to grow as professional educators. Without the financial support and the establishment of this cohort, I am uncertain whether any of our cohorts’ members would be celebrating the completion of a master’s degree today,” said Jennifer Reyes-Garcia, a Fall 2023 Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Program graduate. “I truly speak for each member of this cohort when I say we are extremely grateful to the Foundation for the opportunity to complete our masters’ degrees while continuing to serve our students and community.”

Established in 2016, the OKCPS Foundation’s Bilingual and Diversity Teacher Pipeline Programs aim to develop a diverse teacher workforce within OKCPS that mirrors the district’s student population and addresses the current nationwide teacher shortage. Thanks to the success of these programs, the Foundation was able to expand its curriculum to include an OKCPS High School to Teacher Pipeline Program and an Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Program.

The Aspiring Administrators Pipeline Program allows OKCPS educators to earn their Master’s in Educational Leadership while the Teacher Pipeline Program enables current paraprofessionals working in the district to earn their undergraduate degrees and become certified teachers.

“Recruiting, developing and retaining urban-ready, top-quality teachers and leaders is one of our core focus areas,” said Mary Mélon-Tully, President & CEO of the OKCPS Foundation. “These ‘Grow Your Own’ programs are a unique and effective way to help the District address teacher and leader shortages, increase educator diversity and further empower our educators to change their lives, their families’ lives and our students’ lives for the better.”

Research shows that students thrive more in the classroom when their teachers and school leaders come from similar cultural backgrounds.

“The Foundation’s innovative Pipeline Programs ensure the diversity of our teacher and leader workforce mirrors that of our student population,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “Having passionate educators and leaders who understand our district’s unique culture is critical for our students to be successful in the classroom and beyond. We are grateful for the leadership of the OKCPS Foundation and the generosity of community partners who champion these impactful programs. Congratulations to all of the graduates!”

The first cohort of graduates of the OKCPS Foundation’s Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Program are:

  • Paula Acevedo Martinez – Rockwood Elementary
  • Tanisha Castaneda – Quail Creek Elementary
  • Diana Esparza – Mark Twain Elementary
  • Arthur Kyle – FD Moon Middle School
  • Edna McCoy – US Grant High School
  • Marile Melean – Capitol Hill Middle School
  • Masoomeh Mohammadi – Capitol Hill Middle School
  • Chabeli Montoya – Mark Twain Elementary
  • Jennifer Reyes-Garcia – Mark Twain Elementary
  • Asenat Salas – Classen SAS High School at Northeast

The Fall 2023 Bilingual and Diversity Teacher Pipeline Program graduates are:

  • Lucila De Loera Esparza – Adelaide Lee Elementary
  • Jorge Guzman Moctezuma – Webster Middle School

The Foundation’s Teacher and Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Programs are made possible by the generosity and support of community partners. UCO, OCCC, OSU-OKC and Rose State College are all higher education institutions that help make these Pipeline Programs a reality, while the Kirkpatrick Foundation supported the inaugural Aspiring Administrators initiative.

“With the impact of the original Teacher Pipeline Programs, we were excited to support the first Aspiring Administrators cohort,” said Louisa McCune, executive director of the Kirkpatrick Foundation.  “Just as educators invest in our youth, we must invest in educators. Everyone has a role to play in supporting public education.”

Along with the 10 members graduating from the Aspiring Administrators cohort, the Foundation currently hosts 65 participants in the Bilingual & Diversity Teacher Pipeline Program, with 72 enrolled for Spring 2024. To date, 18 have successfully completed the program graduating with their teaching degrees, with the latest Fall graduates bringing the total to 20.

For more information about the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation’s Teacher Pipeline Programs and the Aspiring Administrator Pipeline Program and how to apply, visit

To donate and support the Foundation’s Pipeline Programs, visit




Created in 1984, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance excellence, advocate for equity, and build strong community support for lasting success in Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Foundation works closely with the district and business community to align strategies and priorities for sustained performance improvement. Please visit us online at for more information on our focus areas and volunteer and giving opportunities.



Beth Harrison | Gooden Group | 405-625-5258 |

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