Ebony Johnson replaced former superintendent Deborah Gist in September.

It was a chaotic start – TPS, the state’s largest school district with more than 30,000 students, was under the threat of takeover by the state board of education, as state Superintendent Ryan Walters targeted Gist and TPS with criticism and ultimatums.

Gist eventually stepped down, Johnson was appointed, and tensions cooled slightly.

“I feel like right now, leadership is needed in a way that it’s never been needed before, and I’m honored to do that,” Johnson told The Frontier.

On this episode of Listen Frontier, Johnson speaks with us about her first few months on the job, her background in education, the threats facing TPS, as well as her plans for the district’s future.

This is Listen Frontier, a podcast exploring the investigative journalism of the Frontier and featuring conversations with those on the frontlines of Oklahoma’s most important stories. Listen to us Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher. 

To donate to The Frontier and help support our efforts to grow investigative journalism in Oklahoma, click here.