Citing an opportunity to take on new challenges, longtime Kingfisher Superintendent Jason Sternberger’s next career move takes him to the north end of the county.
In a special meeting Wednesday evening, the Hennessey Board of Education voted unamimously to hire Sternberger as its next superintendent. The move is effective July 1 when current Hennessey Superintendent Dr. Mike Woods’ retirement takes effect. Sternberger will finish out his 10th year at Kingfisher Public Schools through the end of June.
“It’s been 10 wonderful years in Kingfisher,” Sternberger said. “This is the longest I’ve lived and worked anywhere and have come to a point in my career that I am just ready for new situations, new challenges and new opportunities to make a difference.
“Dr. Woods has done a tremendous job at Hennessey and I look forward to working with the community and board to continue these improvements.”
Prior to coming to Kingfisher, Sternberger was superintendent at Clinton for four years and Medford two years before that.
He said he relishes his time not only with KPS, but the Kingfisher community.
“Kingfisher teachers, parents and students take tremendous pride in working hard and making the best of any situation, to this has been a wonderful experience,” he said. “I have nothing but gratitude to anyone I’ve worked with over the years for making Kingfisher such a great place to work and raise a family.”
Sternberger and his wife, Jackie, have had two sons - Jace and Jett - graduate from KHS
Jace is a tight end for the Green Bay Packers and Jett is in his sophomore year of basketball at Rogers State University in Claremore. Their youngest son, Jax, is a sophomore at KHS and will remain there, said Sternberger.
“If he were younger or not tied to the high school arleady, it would be different,” Sternberger said. “But he’s been at Kingfisher for 10 years and this is where his classmates, teammates and best friends are. And he’s worked hard to put himself into position to possibly be a valedictorian and we want him to continue on that trek.
“As parents, we just don’t want to disrupt his high school career.”
Jackie is a teacher and coach at Kingfisher Middle School. Sternberger said the plan is for her to remain at KPS and, for now, for the family to still live in Kingfisher.
“Hennessey would prefer I live there and I understand that completely,” he said. “But I told them I’d prefer me to make that drive daily than for Jax to be making it.”
But Sternberger said he’s eager to begin the next phase of his career in Hennessey.
“After visiting with their board of education and seeing their vision of the school and community, I just felt the timing was right and this was something I wanted to be a part of.”
While moving from a larger school to a smaller one isn’t the career arc a lot of administrators take, it’s something Sternberger said is an appealing part of his move.
“I feel being at a smaller school will allow me to have a more direct role in working with the students and staff, which is the main reason I got into administration in the first place.”