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Oklahoma Secretary of Education resigns, citing 'political environment' of role

Dr. Katherine Curry
Oklahoma State University
Dr. Katherine Curry

After just three months in office, Oklahoma Secretary of Education Katherine Curry is resigning from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cabinet and returning to her professor position at Oklahoma State University.

In a press release, Curry said, “the complexity and political environment have led me to the conclusion that I can better serve Oklahoma’s students and future teachers by dedicating my time and energy to the classroom.”

Curry was appointed in April to the position, which oversees 41 boards, agencies and commissions. Most recently, she served as a professor and program coordinator for the Educational Leadership and School Administration Program at OSU.

She succeeded now-State Superintendent Ryan Walters, who resigned his position in April as she was appointed.

Walters faced an unlikely confirmation as Secretary during this spring’s legislative session, leading Stitt to appoint Curry instead.

"There was no issue with Ryan Walters’s performance as Secretary of Education," then-Stitt spokeswoman Carly Atchison wrote in an email about Walters' exit. "The governor was thrilled with Ryan’s service on the cabinet for four years and the Superintendent remains a close advisor to the governor on education and will always have a seat at the table."

Stitt praised Curry for her brief stint in his cabinet.

“The insight she brought as an educator was invaluable," he said in the announcement of her departure. "I wish her all the best as she departs this position and returns to the classroom at Oklahoma State University.”

It's unknown who will replace her. Governor's cabinet appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.

Beth reports on education topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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