New Broken Arrow Superintendent: Things Will Get Better

Friday, July 2nd 2010, 4:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Broken Arrow Public School's new superintendent is on the job.

Jarod Mendenhall takes over as the school district is bracing for the results of an investigation by the state auditor.

Mendenhall is Broken Arrow's third superintendent in the last two years. He becomes the top Tiger at a rough time in school history.

Jarod Mendenhall is winding down his second official day as Broken Arrow School's superintendent.

"I have had such a great reception since I have come on board," he said.

Mendenhall spent the last 6 years as assistant superintendent for Union Schools. He takes over in Broken Arrow as the district is moving through difficult times.

"I think what you got to do is you really got to try to do your very best to calm the waters and move people forward," Mendenhall said.

The troubles began in the fall of 2008 when Dr. Jim Sisney was fired as superintendent.

Dr. Sisney claimed he was fired because he questioned the districts relationship with Air Assurance. He said the company was paid for work school officials didn't want and the district's agreement with Air Assurance violated competitive bidding laws.

Air Assurance has denied the allegations. A report from the state auditor's office is expected to be made public by the end of the summer. As the new superintendent, Mendenhall says one of his first goals is go over the districts policies with a fine tooth comb.

"I think one of things that we will do early, in fact we started talking about this yesterday with staff, is that the internal controls and checks and balances that we need to have inside the district," he said.

Mendenhall is confident the district has a bright future and wants parents to know he's proud to serve in Broken Arrow.

"Things are going to get better, it's going to be okay," he said. "We've got to really work hard to heal."

Another problem the district faces is the declining amount of money it gets from the state. Broken Arrow schools has already made hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts but Mr. Mendenhall says he's trying to keep the cuts out of the classroom.

2/8/2010 Related Story: Broken Arrow Public Schools Has New Superintendent