Hello Teachers- Introduction from Ryan Walters

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

EngageOK Teachers
Ryan video still

Message from State Superintendent Ryan Walters

Dear Teachers, 

I’m excited to formally introduce myself to you all as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction here in Oklahoma. It’s been a great first few months, and I’m looking forward to working with you all in the years ahead. Just to give a brief overview of my background, I began my teaching career at McAlester Public Schools where I taught history and coached basketball and tennis. In 2020, I joined Governor Stitt’s administration as the Secretary of Education, while continuing to teach at Millwood Public Schools, and in November of 2022 was elected to be the next State Superintendent, a position I was sworn into in January of this year.   

As someone who began their career as a teacher, I understand the life-changing effect you can have on children inside and outside of the classroom. Children spend a significant amount of their formative years in the classroom, and I want to make sure that our schools have the best resources and the best teachers our state can provide.  I want every teacher in the state to know that they are valued and supported, and in these first few months, I have already begun to take concrete steps to demonstrate my commitment to teachers through the Comprehensive Teacher Pay Reform Initiative. 

One of the aspects of this program I’m really excited about is our Teacher Empowerment Program. With this program, districts will be able to designate their top-performing teachers with advanced certifications that will automatically provide a pay raise to teachers of those designations.  I believe that you should feel that you can still advance in your career while remaining in the classroom, and this program goes a long way to ensuring that staying in the classroom remains a competitive option as you progress in your careers. 

Additionally, I’m happy to announce that the State Legislature recently passed across-the-board teacher pay raises. It’s been an important priority of mine that teachers are properly rewarded for the effort that they put in daily, and I hope this marks just the beginning of our attempt to demonstrate our commitment to all of you. Below are the specifics of the new teacher pay raises. 

  • $3,000 for 0-4 years of experience 
  • $4,000 for 5-9 years of experience 
  • $5,000 for 10-14 years of experience 
  • $6,000 for 15+ years of experience 

 You can also access the SDE page for the Comprehensive Teacher Pay Reform Initiative here. 

Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers someone can do, and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the countless hours you put in and the love you show to our students. I look forward to hearing from you all as we work together to improve educational outcomes for Oklahoma’s students.   




Ryan Walters

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Subscriber information