Katherine Curry, an education professor at Oklahoma State University, has been chosen to take over for Ryan Walters.
Ryan Walters is leaving his job as director of public education in Oklahoma. He was Secretary of Education under Governor Kevin Stitt.
In a news release on Tuesday, Stitt said that he had chosen Katherine Curry, a professor of education at Oklahoma State University, to take Walters’s place. Walters has been in the job since 2020.
Walters was re-elected as Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public education in November. He is a Republican, and he will continue to run the state’s public schools from kindergarten through high school.
Carly Atchison, who works for the governor, said that he was “thrilled” with Ryan’s work in the cabinet. Stitt wants to keep Ryan as a close advisor on matters related to education.
Atchison said, “We’re just adding another player to our team to help move forward the governor’s education freedom plan.”
Many lawmakers, especially Republicans, are upset by Walters’ strong accusations that teachers teach their students leftist ideas and give them access to “pornographic material.” It is not clear if the 48-person Oklahoma Senate gave Walters the support she needed to be accepted as the state’s secretary of education.
Curry has been a teacher at Oklahoma State University since 2011. She is a professor and the program leader for the Educational Leadership/School Administration Program at the College of Education and Human Sciences. She has also taught graduate-level classes at the master’s and doctoral levels.