Michelle D. Sumner

Michelle Sumner has provided consistent leadership at Jenks West Intermediate School for fifteen years. According to the Jenks Superintendent, “From her days as a classroom teacher to her current position as site principal, Michelle has earned a reputation for being a courageous leader with a relentless commitment to best practice instruction.” She develops personal and professional relationships that foster trust and dependability by working alongside teachers, selling new ideas with contagious enthusiasm, and support through modeling, coaching, collaboration sessions, book studies, weekly newsletters, and professional development. Sumner remains strategic and focused on goal development, knowing that there is no quick fix when achieving great results. She describes her staff using the extra degree metaphor: “At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils.” It is the extra degree of heat, she believes, that makes an ordinary staff extraordinary. Sumner sees Jenks as a school of big ideas, centering learning and achievement in a culture in which students think and act as historians, mathematicians, scientists, and authors. She also values learning outside of the classroom, as seen in Jenks Wild, a three-day learning retreat for sixth graders, and an ambassador program to practice leadership. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Applied Behavior Studies/Gifted & Talented, both from Oklahoma State University, and a degree in Elementary Administration from Northeastern State University.