A Letter From Our President


Dear Community Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

In September, 2014 I made a career transition that surprised a lot of people. I left a corporate job that many thought I’d retire from to lead the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. Many asked me why, but those who know me understood completely. I wanted to make a difference by serving a new purpose. I believed then and I believe now that there is no better purpose than serving the students of Oklahoma City Public Schools.

As I near my 10- year anniversary in the role of president/CEO of the OKCPS Foundation, it is time to announce another transition. I will be retiring at the end of this calendar year. The OKCPS Foundation Board of Directors is in the process of hiring a search firm and the formal posting and search for my successor will begin shortly. The plan is to have the new leader in place to work with me the last few months of the year to make a smooth, successful transition.

I look forward to this next chapter and the opportunity to spend a little more time with my amazing husband Bill, my wonderful granddaughter Willow, her parents and whatever else comes my way. I cannot help but reflect on the past decade and all the growth and transformation our organization has seen because of the support of our community. The work we’ve done together is making an impact. It is strategic, carefully aligned with our school district’s needs and it absolutely can’t happen without your support. Thank you does not begin to convey my appreciation for the many ways you’ve stepped up to support our mission to advance excellence, advocate for equity, and build strong community support for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

I’ve had the honor to work with a truly dedicated and passionate staff and a committed Board of Directors and Advisory Board. They will continue our important and impactful work, with your help. The relationships we’ve developed and nurtured with OKCPS leaders and staff are intentional and real, and that allows us to serve as true strategic partners for our district. Our strategic focus areas and the programs within each are critically important and we need your support now more than ever. If you haven’t already given this year for our 40th anniversary, I hope you’ll consider doing so now by visiting www.okckids.com/invest

Thank you for all the support you’ve provided to our organization and to me. Thank you for believing in our kids. Thank you for understanding that our schools can’t do it alone.


Mary Mélon-Tully

OKCPS Foundation President & CEO

Why Equity Matters.

The words diversity, equity and inclusion have been more widely used in the past few years than ever before, which is a very good thing. Each of these words has important meaning, but the action associated with them is what is most important. Equity is often mistaken for equality but has some key differences. Equity takes into account where a student starts (knowing that many students do not start with the same resources) and builds supports around every student to be sure they start from the same place.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools district is committed to equity and has a standing equity policy. It is the lens in which they make their decisions, always with students in mind. Equity and the associated action taken to provide all students with opportunities for success is also what drives Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and is part of everything we do.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation has a long history supporting our schools and advocating for equitable opportunities has been part of our work since the beginning. Our strategic alignment with the school district over the past years has created an even more targeted approach to equity.

Our focus areas each have developed programs and initiatives that build equity for our students:

  • Provide Innovative Teacher/Classroom/School Support;
  • Support Efforts to Recruit and Retain Urban Ready Teachers;
  • Build Advocates for Oklahoma City Public Schools

Details about each focus area and corresponding programming are within this website. We encourage you to learn more and to find ways to engage with us as a community partner through your time, talent and treasure.

We also hope you enjoy our new website and accompanying branding.  We’ve worked to stay true to our mission and core values and used them as the platform for developing a new look and feel. This more modern look still takes into account where we’ve come from and acknowledging the important work still to do.

Our schools can’t do it alone. Please help us with our mission to advance excellence, advocate for equity and build a culture of strong community support for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Donate to the 2024 Coat-a-Kid campaign today