The position changes were officially approved for the 2018/2019 academic year by the Miami Public Schools Board of Education at a special meeting on Wednesday.

MIAMI – With the new school year this fall, changes are coming with Nick Highsmith named as the new Miami High School Principal and Keni Iverson as Miami Public Schools Assistant Superintendent.

The position changes were officially approved for the 2018/2019 academic year by the Miami Public Schools Board of Education at a special meeting on Wednesday.

“I am excited to work alongside Mrs. Iverson. Her ability to effectively communicate with others, along with being an innovative and strategic school leader are some of her biggest strengths," said MPS Superintendent Jeremy Hogan. "She is well respected at all levels as she has developed a strong rapport within our community and region. MPS is lucky to have an educational leader in the quality of Mrs. Iverson.”

“I am extremely excited for Mr. Highsmith and am confident his leadership will make a positive impact at MHS. His ability to build relationships, communication skills and his drive and determination are the reasons he was chosen for this position. I look forward to working with him and to what the future holds for MHS under his leadership,” Hogan said.

Subsequently, other district personnel changes approved were the promotion of Will Rogers Middle School Assistant Principal Jeff Harlan to WRMS Principal and Academy Principal Clara Ervin to WRMS Assistant Principal.

Harlan replaces the current WRMS Principal Justin Chase.

“Mr. Chase and the Board of Education entered into an agreement of contract expiration,” Hogan said. “Mr. Harlan was approved as principal for the remainder of this school year and 2018/2019.”

Iverson’s move to MPS assistant superintendent and Highsmith’s move to MHS principal leaves the positions of principal and Dean of Students open there.

“Currently, Nichols Upper Elementary School is open and we are in the search process,” Hogan said.

With Ervin’s move from the Academy to WRMS, the district is reviewing the issue.

“We’re still working through that, but there are several options. The program will continue, as it provides a great and needed service for our students. However, the leadership structure of the program will change,” Hogan said.

Keni Iverson

“I am excited for this new adventure,” Iverson said. “I was blessed today with being named the Assistant Superintendent of Miami Public Schools. I have never worked in a more positive environment and been around a more dynamic team or leader.”

Iverson is a 25-year educator with 11 of those years being as a Miami Wardog. She graduated with an associate’s degree from NEO A&M College, a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University, and a master’s degree from the University of Texas Arlington in Leadership and Policy Studies.

Iverson was the Director of Grove Alternative Academy and Director of Virtual Learning for Grove Public Schools before attaining the principalship of Nichols Upper Elementary.

“I have so enjoyed my time with my Nichols family. Every person in my building contributes daily to our students and each other. I have never been more proud to be a part of something,” Iverson said. “I will miss my Nichols family but look forward to embracing our district, and I am passionate about assisting with making Miami Schools the best in Oklahoma. Go WARDOGS!!”

Iverson’s husband Eric is a coach at NEO A&M College. Her daughter Lauren is a teacher at Miami High School and her daughter Emilee is a senior at Pittsburg State University. She also has two grandchildren, Cooper and Colton.

Nick Highsmith

Highsmith will replace Lisa Munson starting the 2018/2019 school year.

“Thank you MPS, and especially Miami High School, for a great 13 years! I have an outstanding staff who are extremely special and I can’t thank them enough for all they do for me and our students. I will miss you all!” Munson said.

Highsmith currently serves MPS at Nichols Upper Elementary as the Dean of Students.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the school that I once attended,” Highsmith said. “I look forward to working with the outstanding faculty and staff, as well as working beside another proud Wardog alumnus, Mr. Kyle Baldridge, in our goal to make Miami High School a top-notch educational institution in our region.”

Highsmith has a remarkable career in education. He is a 2008 graduate of Miami High School, then earning a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Administration at the University of Oklahoma and is currently a Ph.D. student at OU studying educational leadership.

Highsmith was named Miami Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2016.

He credits his wife, Madeline, Bright Futures Coordinator for Miami Public Schools, and a focus on family on being the foundation of his success, and mentors for support on his path. The couple has two children, Harper and Hollis and is expecting their third child in November.

“I would like to thank my wife, Madeline, for her encouragement and dedication to making our marriage and family work. There is no other person I can imagine going through life's journey with as a partner. She has made a lot of self-less sacrifices so that I could chase my dreams,” Highsmith said. “ I would also like to thank Mr. Hogan, for his belief in me and encouragement. He is a great leader and example for us all in his dedication to our school system. Finally, I would like to thank Keni Iverson and my Nichols family. Over the last year, I have loved going to work every single day. Your commitment and talent are unparalleled. You all are the best people that I have ever worked with in any job. Keni, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you. Your leadership and friendship mean so much. You are going to make a fantastic Assistant Superintendent.”

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.