Union Superintendent Kirt Hartzler Announces Retirement

Kirt Hartzler was named the Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year last spring. Dr. Hartzler said he and the school board have been talking about his retirement for the last couple of years.

Monday, February 26th 2024, 12:10 pm



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After more than three decades with Union Public Schools, the district's superintendent is retiring at the end of this school year.

Kirt Hartzler was named the Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year last spring. Dr. Hartzler said he and the school board have been talking about his retirement for the last couple of years.

As for what's next, he said he wants to take some time to decompress but said he wants to continue to be a "servant leader" and be part of a team somewhere.

In a news release, Dr. Hartzler’s retirement was announced for June 30, 2024.

To look back at the beginning of his time with the district, we turn to the 1986-87 yearbook.

“That's a blast from the past right there. That's going back a long time!” Hartzler said while looking at the yearbook.

He started as a social science teacher and coach, then climbed the ranks and picked up several awards along the way. Hartzler has been the superintendent since 2013 and now has his eyes on what's next.

"For me, it's more about getting ready to start, maybe, a new chapter in life. I don't know what the good Lord has planned for me right now, but I'm not worried about that. Wherever I land or wherever I end up, like at Union, I want to make a positive difference,” he said.

A question he's considered before: Does he see politics in his future?

"You know I've been asked that a few times. Right now, no,” he said.

As he enters his final months at Union, Dr. Hartzler's message to parents, students, and teachers isn't about him or the things that the district has accomplished during his tenure but about the future.

"If we care about our students and we care about our future as a state, we have to continue to invest heavily in this institution called public education."

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said on X, formerly Twitter, "Dr. Hartzler has been a tremendous leader..." and "With Dr. Hartzler, creating opportunity for his students always comes first."

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