Strong Schools = Strong Futures!
A few issues Dan is working on
As a father, as our representative on the school board since 1997, as the husband of an educator, and a retired OU history professor, Dan Snell knows the importance of a good education from early childhood to graduation and beyond.
Dan has served in public education in Norman at all levels and for our state on the State School Boards Association Board, and as its president in 2012. He has the broadest possible understanding of the needs of all Oklahoma schools.
Dan's Commitment to Education
Beyond his years of commitment to the Norman School Board, Dan volunteers at Lincoln Elementary as a Watchdog, reading with children at all levels.
A bicycling advocate, he served on the city’s and the university’s bike committees and is board president of Parents Helping Parents, an addiction information group. He has faced addiction and tragedy in his own family and
knows how to work through it.
Professional Development for our Teachers
The new Professional Development Center is a promise kept to Norman voters in 2019. This center is a symbol for Dan’s commitment to making sure every teacher and every aid has access to the information and training they need when they need it. He wants all Norman schools to be “professional learning communities,” where everyone is striving to learn more, together. As a leader on the Board of Education, and in his own life, Dan is committed to the model of lifelong learning and wants that for every teacher, employee, and student in Norman Public Schools.
Norman Public Schools are the best in the state, and Dan is driven to build on the successes of the past years. “We face hard challenges: through COVID and beyond, but the Board has developed a shared vision of what we want for the future, and the 2019 bond issue, supported by our taxpayers, has physically improved every school in the district. Our kids thrive on these improvements.”
Keeping the Best Teachers in Norman
Dan has fought for better teacher pay so they don’t need to be out seeking second or third jobs. NPS has enhanced teacher pay consistently over the years and not just during times of federal windfalls. Unlike other districts, Norman did not offer a one-time stipend with federal stimulus funds but rather made the pay tables more rational and more just— forever. He has also insisted on a two-year mentorship for new teachers. This is twice what the state requires because the research indicates that two years are needed to hone their skills and ensure that those skills align with Norman’s high standards and priorities.
Alternative School Success
Dimensions Academy is thriving, thanks to Dan’s innovative support. By identifying and renovating a new home for our alternative school, we now have a state of the art facility. This effort is near and dear to Dan’s heart and he has supported this school through thick and thin. That work has paid off over the years as the academy has had great success in getting kids facing challenging situations to the finish line of a high school diploma.
Safe Healthy and Learning
SCHOOL NURSES: Dan knows that having a nurse in every school is vital. With the cooperation of Norman Regional Hospital, we have achieved just that. School nurses can educate students and families on numerous health issues, detect underlying problems early, and communicate between families and health care providers.
COVID: An ongoing challenge for all of us. Dan has championed flexibility in Norman’s response of balancing Centers for Disease Control guidelines while obeying Oklahoma law. Norman Public Schools has strived to give parents and students in-person and online options to keep our students learning during these difficult times.
TRAUMA: Dan also advanced the first traumainformed school program in Oklahoma. This means resources to help teachers and counselors intervene in timely ways with students experiencing trauma and the after-effects of trauma. We will not fully understand the trauma associated with the global pandemic for some time, but it is good to know that our schools are well ahead of the curve in addressing it.
Keeping our Brightest and Best Students in Norman
Norman is an education city! With the best public schools, a world-class career technology center, and a comprehensive university, we offer the highest quality education anywhere in the state. But Norman struggles at keeping our brightest and best students here when other cites cast the lure of high-paying jobs their way.
Dan believes that schools can’t be silos. We must partner with our university, with our career technology center, with chambers of commerce, with small businesses, and economic development professionals to make sure we can retain the talent we produce here in Norman. Safe, Healthy and Learning Keep our brightest and best in Norman