Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

Our mission is to graduate 100 percent of our students, college and career ready.

Board Report - March 11, 2024

Pictured are members of the Union Public Schools Board of Education, from left to right, President Heather McAdams, Superinte

Board Reports

Dr. John Federline Named New Superintendent of Union Public Schools


Dr. John Federline has been named superintendent of Union Public Schools by the Board of Education. He replaces Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler, who is retiring in June after 37 years of service in education, 11 as Union’s superintendent. 

The Board made the decision after closed session. 

Federline will assume his new role beginning July 1. He has served as deputy superintendent since August 2023, working alongside the superintendent to ensure the overall success and growth of the district. In November 2021, he was named assistant superintendent, leading secondary education and guiding the district in the development of Union’s new five-year strategic plan for 2023-2028.


“Dr. John Federline is an extremely capable individual who has the leadership skills and familiarity with our culture necessary to drive Union Public Schools into the future,” Hartzler said. “As a Union lifer, he has personally experienced the growth, challenges and changes that have shaped the trajectory of Union Public Schools. He is an ethical and outstanding educator who is respectful of teachers and the profession and will continue to lead the district in its mission of ‘100 percent graduation, college and career-ready,’ I can think of no person better equipped to elevate Union’s performance in service to our students.”      

A lifelong student at Union, Federline graduated from Union High School and obtained a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Oklahoma State University. He earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and his Doctor of Education in school administration from Oklahoma State University.

“This is such a meaningful moment for me, as so much of my life has taken place at Union Public Schools, as a student, an educator and also as a parent,” said Federline. “It is a distinct privilege and an honor to be named the superintendent of Union Public Schools. I look forward to working with our staff, community, and the Board as we continue to expand the college and career pathways and opportunities available to all our students. It is an exciting time to be a Union Redhawk!”  

Federline’s career in education began at Bixby High School where he spent 12 years as a teacher and a coach. He came to Union as an assistant principal at the Intermediate High School in 2005 and moved to the High School in 2007. In 2011, he was named as the principal of the 9th Grade Center (now called the Union High School Freshman Academy), a position he held through spring 2018. 

Federline is a member of AASA, The School Superintendents Association; the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); and the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA). In 2007, he was named CCOSA Assistant Principal of the Year runner-up. In 2019, Federline was inducted into Bixby Public Schools’ Athletic Hall of Fame, having led the golf team to two 5A state championships as the golf coach in 2003 and 2004. He and his wife, Christina, have three children, Julia, Katie, and Jack. 

Hartzler announced his retirement in February. Union has been Hartzler’s home for 34 years, having served as superintendent since 2013. His other roles have included deputy superintendent (2011-2013); associate superintendent (2009-2011); assistant superintendent (2003-2009); and director of secondary education (2000-2003). He got his start as a social science instructor and coach at Union in 1986. Outside of a three-year stint at Bixby Public Schools, most of his education career has been at Union. Hartzler has also taught future educators, having served as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma’s College of Education.  See related story

Board Approves 2024-2025 School Calendar with Early Release Fridays

After considering weeks of public input, the Board of Education approved the 2024-2025 school calendar and the implementation of Early Release Fridays, in which school will be dismissed 40 minutes early on Fridays to allow teachers to meet for professional development meetings. View calendar.

The Board had considered two calendar options – starting school later or ending earlier on Fridays – to allow for professional development. For many years, Union had conducted Late Start Fridays, ending the practice a few years ago due to the pandemic, but administrators want to bring the activity back as a necessary professional development time for teachers.

“We were pleased with the feedback received, with around 75 percent of those who responded to our survey indicating they would prefer an ‘early release’ Friday calendar,” Hartzler said. About 1,700 responses were received from parents and teachers. 

The new calendar mirrors the current school calendar with the first day of school starting August 15, and the last day tentatively set for May 28, with five snow days built into the calendar. Two virtual learning days – one in October and another in April – have also been scheduled when students will complete assignments at home while teachers are involved in collaboration and training. If no snow days are used, the last day of school would be May 20. 

In other action, the Board:

  • Approved the purchase of the Math Learning Center curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade for $131,868. The curriculum, which includes classroom sets, materials and assessments, focuses on essential mathematics skills and concepts.
  • Approved a resolution to seek bids for the purchase of $33 million in general obligation bonds and issuance of those bonds as part of the 5-year bond package approved by voters in February 2023. According to CFO Trish Williams, 11 bids were received this morning, “which is probably a record for the district,” which can be attributed to the district’s “AA+” bond rating by Standard & Poor’s. Bank of Oklahoma was approved as the underwriter with the lowest bid.