A veteran teacher, principal and superintendent who led Byng Public Schools for seven years received one of the state’s highest honors for educators earlier this month.
Steven P. Crawford was inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame along with fellow educators Nancy O’Donnell and Lloyd Snow. The three were honored during an induction ceremony Aug. 2 at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City.
The event gave Crawford a chance to thank the people who supported him during his education career, he said in an interview Thursday.
“It’s a great evening, and it’s a great opportunity to thank the people who have helped you along the way,” he said.
Crawford is a 40-year veteran of public education, starting with a stint as a student teacher in the Stuart Public Schools District. He has served as a teacher and principal and was the top school leader in Roff, Shattuck and Moss.
Crawford was the superintendent of Byng Public Schools from 2001 until 2008, when he became the executive director of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. The Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization brings educators, taxpayers and lawmakers together to improve the performance of school administrators and discuss schools’ needs.
Crawford has played a major role in changing the pension benefits system and the formula to providing state aid to public schools, the Educators Hall of Fame said in a news release. He has also led training programs for the Teacher Leader Effectiveness Evaluation and A-F Accountability System.
Even with fewer resources, educators are providing increasingly complex services for students, Crawford said during his induction speech.
“Remember, we take all children as we find them,” he said. “This is what we do well: Accepting all, rejecting none, fighting to ensure that children have access to opportunities that lead to a productive and fulfilled life.”
Nominees to the Hall of Fame are evaluated in seven areas: professional experience, recognition and awards, professional model, research, educational service, community service and leadership. The finalists are selected by the statewide Hall of Fame board of directors.
Crawford said the CCOSA staff nominated him for the honor, and he learned in June that he had been accepted into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” he said. “I never thought of being a Hall of Famer of any kind, so for me it was just a very humbling opportunity to be recognized by my peers.”