The Omaha Public Schools District started a new era Monday evening as Dr. Cheryl Logan attended her first board meeting as superintendent.
Dr. Logan's official first day on the job was July 1 and replaced Mark Evans who retired. She's the first black superintendent in the state's largest school district's history that has about 50,000 students.
Dr. Logan has was hired in January of this year. She's attended several meetings since then while she shadowed Evans.
"When I decided that I wanted to become a superintendent, I knew I wanted to be successful," said Dr. Logan after the meeting. "I did a lot of reading and studying about good entries and poor entries into work. What I learned is that however your entry goes is how your tenure is going to go."
Dr. Logan emphasized at the meeting her need to have been involved during the transitional period in the spring. She's visited almost all of the schools in the district already and has met with many teachers and principals as well as community stakeholders.
"I've met with the OPD Chief twice now," said Dr. Logan. While addressing plans she for the district, she emphasized school safety.
At the meeting, she spoke about her top priorities, which include developing a positive relationship with the school board, understanding the district's future plans when it comes to spending bond money, review the district's budget, and conduct listening sessions with students, parents, and staff.
On her time in Omaha thus far, Dr. Logan says she's learned a lot and has met many people. "I've felt people are really open." She said she's happy with the move.
She kicked off the short meeting by recognizing Gwen Breakfield, a paraprofessional at Howard Kennedy Elementary School. "She was waiting in line to meet me when I was interviewing and she was in tears, saying she never thought this day would come," said Dr. Logan. "I told her I would make sure she was here at my first board meeting."
Breakfield's been with the district for 40 years and says she waited a long time to see an African-American become OPS superintendent.
"I've been waiting for this chance. When she came in through the district and she came to our school, we met her and just truly enjoyed it," said Breakfield.
Several board members, including president Marque Snow welcomed Dr. Logan and thanked her for choosing OPS.