Pioneer Public Schools has a new man in charge.
Mike Sparks has joined the ranks as the new superintendent. Sparks brings plenty of education experience to the position. Sparks, from Laverne, Oklahoma, has 22 years in the field. He has spent the past 14 years at Anadarko, where he was the assistant principal and the high school principal for the latter half of that time.
Sparks originally went to college at Southwestern, where he played baseball. He said that he got into the education field in hopes of having the same impact that his college coach had on him.
“My college baseball coach at Southwestern was the one that really made sure that I finished school. It was important to him so I credit him for that quite a bit. I started out coaching baseball and teaching because I kind of wanted to have a similar impact,” Sparks said.
As a coach, Sparks has spent time in the Tulsa area. He also coached 10 seasons at Anadarko before going into administration.
There were plenty of reasons why Sparks decided to take the job at Pioneer. He had heard too many good things about the school that the decision to apply for the job was a pretty easy one, he said.
“I have known people who worked here in the past and who always spoke so highly of the people here. So I have a mutual friend who kind of told me a few years ago what a special place it was so that kind helped lead to that.”
By taking the job at Pioneer, Sparks will also be able to work close to his two children, something that also played a part in him applying for the job and taking it once offered.
“The opportunity for my two kids to come here and me to be at school with them every day, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said.
As for future plans for the school, Sparks said that he wants to focus on the growth of the students. He talked about being a part of a partnership with the University of Virginia. One area of that partnership focused on the growth of students academically. Sparks credited the job that school was already doing.
“They’re already doing a great job. Anything that I can do to just add to the wonderful things that they have going, I’m looking forward to that.”