BREAKING NEWS: OPS Hires Mark Evans as New Superintendent

BREAKING NEWS: OPS Hires Mark Evans as New Superintendent

By Ashlee Pitzl. CREATED Dec 17, 2012

OMAHA - The Omaha Public Schools Board of Education chose Mark Evans Monday night as the new Superintendent of Schools.

Evans was the third of three candidates to interview with the board last week and meet the public.  He said Omaha has great things happening and he's ready to take the OPS district to the next level.

He dove right in as the public asked questions. First and foremost Evans said in order to have a successful district, ownership of its students is a must.

"I think that's just a key component before we can even deal with some of the student achievement issues, some of the achievement gap issues. First we've got to take ownership and treat every one of our students all 50,000 like they were our own son and daughter," he said.

Evans has more than three decades experience in education. He's held positions in the Wichita Public School district and is currently superintendent for Andover Public.

He says his experience in Kansas would make him a good fit for Omaha.

"Demographics are similar with about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 of ethnic makeup, so I saw a whole lot of similarity and very similar to a lot of work I did there to make a difference."

By studying different types of data as a starting point and creating goals with the school board community, he says will help make a plan for improvement.
"Specific, measurable, attainable, reliable and timely; and you create bench marking along the way, and then you create a system that is accountable that looks to see if you're making progress on whatever strategy you've identified."

Evans said if he got the job, he wouldn't start making changes right away. He'd start by listening.

At a public meeting Monday night, OPS board members said the decision was a tough one. They said all three candidates were great.