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Free Selected as 2022 OASA District 20 Superintendent of the Year

Posted Date: 06/01/2022

Free Selected as 2022 OASA District 20 Superintendent of the Year

WILBURTON, Okla. – The Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA) is pleased to announce Shelley Free of Kiamichi Tech as the 2022 OASA District 20 Superintendent of the Year. Free will be recognized at the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) Summer Leadership Conference on June 7-9, 2022.

OASA annually recognizes outstanding administrators who:

• demonstrate successful experience in top level educational administration
• have a sound, dynamic and realistic philosophy of education
• can inspire and motivate people and give support and recognition for the contributions of others
• have a record which evidences continued professional and personal growth through appropriate training and experiences including skills in human relations and the stamina to cope with the pressures of the job
• have the ability to speak for education on all levels with special emphasis on the district level
• have made contributions to educational administration

“Leadership is about building community, cultivating and empowering other leaders and focusing on student success,” said Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA/OASA Executive Director. “These school leaders have led through a pandemic along with many other challenges. They have worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for students to learn, grow and realize their full potential. Shelley is among the best of Oklahoma administrators. We are excited and proud to recognize these outstanding leaders who represent the next level in school leadership.”

As Superintendent and CEO of Kiamichi Tech, Free provides leadership and motivation that inspires 260 co-workers to prepare people for success by providing quality education and services to high school students in 88 comprehensive schools, as well as adults, businesses and industries.

“Ms. Free promotes a vision of educational excellence among staff, students and stakeholders,” said Ernie Taylor, Kiamichi Tech Board of Education President. “She is respected by her peers and educators across the state and her leadership has been transformative across the Kiamichi Tech District. On behalf of the Board of Education, we are honored to serve alongside such a dedicated educator and leader.”

Free has been an educator for over 36 years working at the elementary, middle school, high school, and adult levels. She began her career in 1985 as a business teacher and coach for Talihina Public Schools. In 1997, she became the Business and Information Technology Instructor for Kiamichi Technology Centers Talihina Campus and later served as campus director. In 2008, she began serving in the role of Deputy Superintendent for Kiamichi Tech and in 2014, the Board selected her to be the first female and fifth Superintendent. Free’s dedication to CareerTech is embodied in her philosophy – ‘A Tradition of Excellence, With a Vision for Tomorrow’.

OASA has 20 Districts that consist of multiple counties. Eligible OASA members are nominated and selected by their peers in their OASA District. Visit the CCOSA website to see past Administrator of the Year awardees. For more information about OASA and CCOSA, please visit

Kiamichi Technology Centers has played an integral role in southeastern Oklahoma communities since 1968, serving ten full and three partial counties. Kiamichi Tech is one of 29 districts in the Oklahoma CareerTech system with more than 30 career programs. Kiamichi Tech also offers a wide variety of evening and weekend short-term courses as well as certifications in many diverse career fields. Kiamichi Tech has over 20,000 full time and short-term enrollments each year and serves area companies through our Workforce and Economic Development Centers that works with over 400 businesses annually.

OASA supports adequate funding for Oklahoma public schools, supports accountability measures, rigorous and relevant academics, fair treatment of education employees, and seeks to reduce state intrusion in local board of education matters.

The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration is an incorporated, not for profit organization which establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of the schools. The Council is the umbrella organization for the following professional associations: the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA), the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP), the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP), the Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association (OMLEA), and the Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS).