Hofmeister preparing to enter the fray as next state superintendent
By ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Related story: Outgoing Oklahoma schools superintendent Janet Barresi goes on 11th-hour hiring spreeExpectations for a political newcomer are rarely as high as they are for Joy Hofmeister, who on Monday is set to succeed one of the most unpopular politicians in recent Oklahoma history.
Can the new state superintendent from Tulsa salvage the controversial reform efforts put forth by her predecessor Janet Barresi, particularly amid financial uncertainty and a worsening teacher shortage?
Hofmeister says she is optimistic enough to have taken on the myriad challenges in the first place, but also realistic enough to know workable solutions will require time, hard work and overcoming great political dysfunction and outright opposition.
Here are her answers to some pressing questions on the minds of educators, parents and other political watchers.
How will you differentiate yourself from your predecessor and fellow Republican, Janet Barresi, in terms of governance and policy advocacy?
“It’s really a difference in leadership style. I want to be more inclusive and great things happen when we’re more collaborative. In order to determine what’s working for Oklahoma students and what needs to be changed or modified, we need to be listening. I want to focus on results for students.