By Conrad Dudderar
Shannon Dutton will become the newest head principal for Yukon Public Schools.
Dutton has been named the next principal at Myers Elementary School, where she will succeed the retiring Ron Brummett effective July 1. She’s already preparing to lead Myers for the 2023-24 school year.
Now assistant principal at Independence Intermediate School, Dutton has 18 years of education experience with 12 of those in Yukon.
“I am super-excited, overwhelmed and very honored about this opportunity at Myers,” Dutton said. “Yet, I have mixed emotions because I love my people here at Independence.
“Yukon Schools has amazing people all over. I am happy and blessed to be a part of a district that is doing the right thing and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Dutton previously taught kindergarten at Myers Elementary under Principal Brummett, who she called a great leader.
The incoming principal anticipates a seamless transition at Myers, which has students in pre-kindergarten through third grade.
“Myers has always held a special place in my heart because of the strong school culture and relationships Mr. Brummett has worked so hard to build,” Dutton wrote in a welcome letter to faculty and staff.
“I am honored to help carry on the great work he has done and continue to set and achieve big goals in the years to come.”
Dutton assured Myers’ faculty and staff that maintaining an “incredibly positive school culture” is her top priority during the upcoming transition.
“I believe that school can be more than just a place where a student comes to learn but a place where memories are made, and interests are sparked,” she added. “I want to bring new opportunities for our families to get involved and allow our students to shine.”
Dutton told Myers’ school personnel that she’s “filled with joy and anticipation” for their journey into the “best school year yet to begin.”
Independence Principal Amy Young called Dutton an exceptionally kind and down-to-earth person.
“Shannon is a bright ray of sunshine and will take wonderful care of the students and staff at Myers,” Young said. “She will bring her great communication skills and her ability to build great relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community.
“Independence will miss her so much, but we are so excited for this great opportunity for her. And I’m excited that Shannon will continue to be my colleague.”
As she prepares for her new role as Myers’ principal, Dutton plans to build relationships with current and newly hired staff, along with the school’s students and families.
“That’s very important to me,” she noted. “I believe a school has to partner with its parents because it takes a village to raise our children.
“We have to work together. That comes from relationships and good communication.”
Dutton joined the Yukon school district in 2012-13 after teaching kindergarten for six years in Western Heights.
Dutton’s time in Yukon includes the first 2-1/2 years as a kindergarten teacher at Myers, then 2-1/2 years as an instructional specialist at Shedeck Elementary, five years as assistant principal at Skyview Elementary, and the last two years as assistant principal at Independence.
“I had never worked with fourth, fifth and sixth graders, but I fell in love,” she said of her move to an intermediate school. “Mrs. Young took me under her wing. We clicked. We just became the dynamic duo.
“It’s been a learning experience. We’ve made school fun in a very difficult time. With COVID, it was a struggle.”
Dutton credited Skyview Principal Carla Smith and Young for giving her opportunities to grow as an administrator.
“Both of them were very conscious about making sure I had experience with every part of the job,” she pointed out. “So, whenever I did decide to try to move up, I would be prepared. I’m very, very blessed to have worked with both of those ladies.”
Myers’ next principal thanked husband Matthew and her family for their steadfast support throughout her education career. They call Yukon their home.
“They have always been wonderful at sharing my attention with my school family,” Dutton said.
Having grown up as a country girl in the small town of Lone Grove, Dutton earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.
She later obtained a Master’s in Administration from Southern Nazarene University.
In closing, Dutton said she really looks forward to leading Myers for the 2023-24 school year.
“We’ve had two years where we’ve had ‘normal’ school now, so I’m excited to see our children’s reading and math scores increase,” she said. “We’re getting back to some of those norms, so I’m excited to see the growth that we can have in their education as we bring back fun to school.”
OTHER PERSONNEL ITEMS APPROVED
The YPS Board of Education approved Dutton’s selection as Myers Elementary’s next principal at its March 6th meeting.
Among other noteworthy personnel items approved were:
- Hiring Natalie Haworth as assistant principal at Yukon High School (effective July 1).
- Changing Jason McDaniel’s title to chief information and technology officer.
- Retirement of Jim Fenrick as chief financial officer (effective June 30, 2024).
- Resignation of Clay McDonald as Yukon Middle School principal (effective June 29).
- Resignation of Christine Jeffries as Yukon Middle School assistant principal (effective May 31).
- Resignation of Dr. Jason Brunk as assistant superintendent for human resources (effective April 21). Brunk is leaving for an administrative post at another Oklahoma school district.
Replacing Brunk as assistant superintendent will be Diana Lebsack, YPS’ executive director of secondary education.