Oklahoma School for the Blind Superintendent Rita Echelle has been chosen District 10 Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators.
Echelle, OSB superintendent since 2016, said she was "pleasantly surprised, humbled and honored to be selected."
"I was selected by my peers, and that makes it extra special to me," she said.
Echelle will be recognized at the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration's Summer Leadership Conference June 8-10. District 10 makes up Muskogee, McIntosh, Okmulgee and Wagoner counties.
OASA Assistant Executive Director Derald Glover said Echelle is very deserving of the honor. Glover recalled working with her when he was Fort Gibson School superintendent.
"She wants to serve her students, her staff and her community," Glover said. "The School for the Blind obviously has unique situations that require a caring and loving administrator, and that's what Rita is."
Echelle said she wants each of her students to reach their fullest potential.
"And the staff as well," she said. "I have such a great staff here. I feel they equip students with all the tools necessary for them to be successful in their careers and later in life."
She said OSB educators want to help students become successful adults.
Executive Director Melinda Fruendt of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services praised the superintendent's hard work, dedication and commitment.
“Her inspiration to students and teachers is recognized in receiving this outstanding honor and award,” Fruendt said.
Before coming to OSB in 2016, Echelle was superintendent at Keota Public Schools. She served as president of the Muskogee Area Education Consortium in 2020.
Echelle earned a master's degree in school counseling, with a school psychology certification from Northeastern State University. She graduated summa cum laude from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.