Buffalo School Superintendent Dale Spradlin has been named the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA) 2019 District Superintendent of the Year.
“My peers voted for me,” Spradlin said, genuinely surprised. “I didn't know any of these guys up here when I moved here.”
Spradlin moved to Buffalo only three years ago. He said he only knew one person at the first superintendent’s meeting he attended.
“I became a superintendent three years ago,” Spradlin shared. “I've been in education since 1977. That's when I started teaching but I was a principal for like 28 years.”
Spradlin said the people he works with at the Buffalo School make his job enjoyable every day.
“I've had a ball doing it, to be honest with you. I have really enjoyed my school, my community. I've got a great staff. I've got good people in my office.”
OASA District 2 encompasses seven counties Alfalfa, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Major, Woods and Woodward. The Superintendent of the Year is voted by administrators throughout the district.
Spradlin, who is also the Harper County Emergency Management Director, said he never really gave the award much thought. He hadn’t even shared the possibility with his wife.
“I’d been out storm chasing to be honest with you. Just got back home,” Spradlin explained. “And I sat down and I'm looking at my emails on my iPad and hollered at Renee (his wife) and I said, Oh, my gosh, I won.”
The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) will have a banquet in June at the Summer Leadership Conference in Norman where Spradlin will be recognized. He is also now in the running for State Superintendent of the Year.
“There's kind of a little application process, you go through,” said Spradlin. “I've got to do some paperwork and submit some reports. And it's almost like an interview.”
Spradlin said the Buffalo School Board has given him the tools and trust he has needed.
“All of my ideas that I've tried to implement in my school have been met with optimism and acceptance,” Spradlin said. “My number one thing that I wanted to do when I came to Buffalo… is try to re-instill some school spirit.”
Wanting the children and staff to be proud of their school has been his goal, according to Spradlin.
“If you can get that accomplished in a couple of years, you've done something right,” Spradline said. “I had to get these kids, particularly in athletics and academics, excited about the fact that they are a Buffalo Bison.”
The traditional values of the area have made it a place Spradlin said he wants to stay.
“We’re a well kept secret,” Spradlin said. “It’s a great place to raise a family. It's a good place, that if you can find a job, to work. You don't worry about a lot of the nonsense that you worry about if you're in a larger populated area.”
He and his wife have decided to make their permanent home and hope to eventually retire in Buffalo. They have built a new home not far from the school.
“I'm not going anywhere. If they'll have me, I'm gonna stay here. Let's build a house. And we did,” Spradlin had told his wife.