Sonny Bates is still looking for the perfect two-story house in Ardmore, but he now has a job in what he called, “a very, very beautiful city.”

Sonny Bates is still looking for the perfect two-story house in Ardmore, but he now has a job in what he called, “a very, very beautiful city.”


In a 4-0 vote Tuesday, the Ardmore City Schools Board of Education hired Bates as the new superintendent.


“He’s going to be a very visible superintendent for both the community and schools,” said board president Lucinda Hull. “I think he will help bring this community together and be good for the children and the district.”


After the board made its decision, Bates spoke a few words to a crowd of administrators, teachers and community members.


“I thank the board for this opportunity. I bring to the table ideas for progression and a deep love of education,” he said. “I want students to be successful in higher education, industry and whatever else they pursue.”


Bates, who replaces Dr. Ruth Ann Carr, has been the Wagoner superintendent for three years and will begin work Friday.


“I want to be as transparent as possible and inform the public of the on-goings of the school district and ask the public for feedback because it will take all of us to accomplish these goals,” he said.


He plans to conduct a socio-economic survey that will study the demographics, educational level and number of professionals in Ardmore, as well as find out what the community wants out of the school.


It will include written surveys and town hall meetings to gather feedback from the community.
“From that, I will develop goals and objectives to obtain those high expectations this community wants,” Bates said.


Board members were excited to have completed the search and are confident of Bates’ abilities.
“He has a warm approachable personality and will be a great team builder,” said board vice president Willie Tiller. “I think the system will benefit immediately from his presence.”


Bates earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., was a graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma and earned his master’s in administration from Northeastern Oklahoma State University.


He spent 23 years in Muskogee, over time serving as a high school math and science teacher, track and football coach and principal. He was on the coaching staff of the 1986 state championship team.


Bates also worked for the Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center, which evaluates alternative education programs and writes grants.


Before he was superintendent in Wagoner, he served as the district’s director of federal programs, curriculum and instruction.


“He acts like he wants to be here for the right reason, which is for the kids. He has a good reputation, and I look forward to working with him,” said James Meece, Take Two Academy director.


After about 10 minutes in executive session, Hull, Tiller, Lori Capshaw and Alan Vernon voted to hire Bates. Board member Heather Cajina did not attend the meeting.


Anyone with questions for the new superintendent is encouraged to send them to and we’ll be your voice.