December 1, 2020
By News Director Jared Atha
Elk City Public School Superintendent Rick Garrison has announced he will close out a 32-year career in education with his upcoming retirement effective June 30, 2021.
Garrison, who started his career in education in 1989 at Garden City, Kansas, has seen stops in Alva, and Perkins-Tryon before receiving his first administrative role as the Assistant High School Principal at his alma mater, Elk City in 1998. His first superintendent position came in 2002 at Burns Flat-Dill City. In 2008 Garrison would accept the same position at Cheyenne Public Schools before returning to Elk City to take the superintendent position in 2016.
Garrison said initially he envisioned retiring after three or four years at Elk City, but said the job was just to good to walk away from.
During his five years as Elk City Schools’ Superintendent, Garrison has seen multiple capitol improvement projects that include re-purposing the old junior high building and relocating the Central Board office to that location, improvements to Big Elk Stadium, improvements to the Elk City Agriculture Farm, and due to recent hail damage, Garrison and the board are currently overseeing the re-roofing of The Pioneer Center and all school sites in the district including the Board Office.
But out of all of he improvement projects during his tenure – Garrison said there’s one that stands out over the rest.
Throughout the course of Garrison’s career, he has been involved with several organizations supporting public education both locally and statewide. In 2017, Garrison was elected to serve as President of the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. Before that, he served as OASA President-Elect, OASA Vice President, OASA District Director for six years, Chairman of the OASA Ethics Committee since 2013, President and Treasurer of the Southwest Oklahoma School Officials Association, and is a member of State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister Advisory Board.
Garrison has been awarded the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators, District Superintendent of the Year Award four times in his career; twice while he was at Cheyenne Public Schools and twice during his tenure at Elk City Public Schools. Garrison has also been recognized by the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association as District Coach of the Year and the Stillwater Newspress as Coach of the Year.