At its Wednesday, Feb. 22 meeting, the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education announced plans to select Deputy Superintendent Mr. Matthew Ray as interim superintendent. The official appointment is pending negotiations and Board approval of a contract with Mr. Ray, anticipated in March 2023.
In December 2022, Superintendent Cheryl Logan, Ed.D., announced that the 2022-23 school year would be her last in Omaha. In her letter to staff and families, Dr. Logan committed to a strong finish through June 2023.
“We are grateful for Dr. Logan’s service and her support for a strong transition,” said Board of Education President Spencer Head. “We are very happy to work with Mr. Ray in this new role. He has devoted his entire career to the students, staff and families of Omaha Public Schools. Mr. Ray is uniquely qualified to lead through this time, following the roadmap in our Strategic Plan of Action.”
In a letter to staff and families, President Head and Vice President Ricky Smith outlined Board considerations for interim leadership during a comprehensive superintendent search. Omaha Public Schools is Nebraska’s largest school district and one of the largest employers in our state. “We owe it our 52,000 students, 9,000 full and part-time staff and the greater Omaha community to lead a comprehensive superintendent search and get it right,” they wrote. Members determined that work cannot be paused for a transition during such a critical time for Omaha Public Schools. It is essential to keep moving forward for the success of our students and staff.
“Omaha Public Schools offers unmatched opportunities for students. I’ve seen it as a career-long staff member and parent of three district graduates,” said Mr. Ray. “I’m honored and humbled to carry forward our daily service and Strategic Plan of Action. We know the work ahead of us and we’re ready.”
Mr. Ray began teaching at Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary. From there, he served in Student Community Services and oversaw districtwide implementation of a new student information system. Today, Mr. Ray leads our district as Deputy Superintendent and the Board of Education Secretary. Recently, Mr. Ray served as the interim chief officer for district Curriculum and School Improvement divisions. Both drive key strategic goals for students and staff.
Also at the meeting, the Board of Education Accountability Committee announced that six superintendent search firms submitted proposals to assist Omaha Public Schools in its comprehensive search for a permanent superintendent. Accountability Committee members are currently reviewing proposals and plan to select one firm in March 2023. Details of the search timeline and community engagement will be developed with the search firm.
The Board of Education plans to allow all qualified individuals to apply for the permanent superintendent position. Because of that, the Interim Superintendent will not be part of the working group that manages the superintendent search.
It is Omaha Public Schools’ priority to keep community members informed through the search process. We value the voices of our students, staff and families. As our Board of Education and its search firm partners plan the search timeline, look for regular updates and opportunities to engage. The latest news and information will always be posted to ops.org/superintendentsearch. Omaha Public Schools will also share updates in direct emails, Inside OPS, staff newsletters, social media and news media.