Longtime Verdigris principal Jim Anderson to retire
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
After nearly 40 years in the public school system, Verdigris Elementary Principal Jim Anderson will retire at the end of the school year.
With a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tulsa, Anderson spent a year as art teacher with Tulsa Public schools before transferring to Verdigris in 1975. During his position as teaching principal, he received his Masters in Education Administration and eventually became principal in 1984.
“In my opinion, Verdigris Elementary is the best school to be associated with anywhere. The community of parents and staff are wonderful.”
Anderson said he believes old-fashioned education is the most successful method of teaching and is what has kept him in the district.
“I don’t think it’s rocket science, but a matter of application of the golden rule with a mixture of reading, writing and arithmetic. This community is all about God, country and apple pie, and so am I.”
Throughout his years as principal, Anderson interacted with the students in a positive way. Whether it was reading to them, serving food in the cafeteria or working to provide a successful education, Anderson said he will miss every aspect.
“Not working with the faculty that I have put together is going to be a real change for me.”
He said hanging up the title of principal is exciting but also frightening.
“I look forward to beginning a new chapter of my life and continuing to work with children in whatever aspect that I can. Retiring to do nothing is not on my agenda.”
Anderson plans to bicycle and paint more, while spending time with his daughter in Kansas City.
“I have really enjoyed watching my daughter grow up as a Verdigris student. The fact that I trusted Verdigris schools to educate and take care of my child’s needs, I think, is an endorsement to the type of district we have,” he said. “It was a quality place to attend school then and so it remains.”
In 2003, Anderson was named one of the top three elementary principals in Oklahoma for outstanding performance. To this day, he credits his faculty and parental support for the principals’ top honor.
Anderson has earned Past District 6B Administrator of the Year a total of six times. He has served as past VP and secretary of Rogers County Administrators Association as well the Rogers County Multidisciplinary Task Force for Child Abuse (RCMTF). Developed in conjunction with Herb McSpadden, RCMTF sought and gained District Senate and House approval for connecting elementary school principals with county support agencies.
A reception in honor of Jim Anderson’s retirement will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Verdigris Elementary School, 26505 S. 4110 Road.