It takes a unique skill set and special person to succeed as a classroom teacher, coach, and administrator, but Bill Beierschmitt did it all over his forty-nine years in education. During his career, he spent thirty-two years in common education, six years in career education, and eleven years in higher education. Every step of the way, he gained valuable insight that he applied to his next role. His success in a variety of roles over his esteemed career resulted in his selection as one of three former BPS educators to be inducted into the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame.
Raised in Alva, Beierschmitt was the oldest of five children. From a young age, he had a talent for athletics that ultimately took him to Oklahoma State University (OSU) on a basketball scholarship. He started his college career studying accounting, but soon realized he wanted to put his developing skills to use in education. He transferred his business credits to the College of Education to obtain his Bachelors of Science in Business Education. He went on to receive his Master of Science in Business Education and Public School Administration from OSU.
In 1967, he was drafted to serve in Vietnam, but he served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard for twenty-one years instead, which allowed him to pursue his career as an educator. His first experience in a classroom was teaching typing in Ripley, while also serving as a drama instructor, yearbook advisor, and basketball coach. From Ripley, Bill and his wife, Vicki, moved to Dewey, where Vicki taught physical education and science while Bill taught bookkeeping and general business classes. He also coached basketball and baseball for the Bulldoggers.
After a short stint in Dewey, Beierschmitt joined Bartlesville Public Schools to begin a twenty-nine year career with the District. He spent six years at Sooner High School teaching business courses and coaching basketball, baseball, and tennis before transitioning into administration as the Assistant Principal of Madison Junior High. From there, Beierschmitt returned to Sooner for five years to serve as the assistant principal and later as principal.
When Sooner and College Highs merged to form Bartlesville High School, Beierschmitt became the principal of Bartlesville Mid-High before being appointed Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in 1984. He served in that role and in a related capacity as Associate Superintendent of Schools for seven years before being appointed Acting Superintendent of Schools and, with a brief interlude as the Madison Middle School Principal, ultimately being appointed Superintendent of Schools in 1996. He led the District in that role for three years before transitioning to a position as the Regional Administrator and Policy Analyst for Oklahoma CareerTech and continuing on as Chief Financial Officer for Oklahoma CareerTech, finding a new use for his OSU accounting skills. Beierschmitt completed his prestigious career in education with Rogers State University, serving as the Provost and Chief Operating Officer for the Bartlesville campus for eleven years.
Having such a long and diverse career in education gave Bill a unique perspective. He realized what a significant and long-lasting impact teachers and coaches can have on their students. Over the years, he became convinced that education is the cornerstone of our society and that public education is key to the success of any community. He took the lessons he learned in the classroom and applied them as an administrator. As an administrator, he loyally supported his teachers and consistently advocated for what he felt was in the best interests of the students. He kept the interests of his students and staff in the forefront of policy decisions.
Mr. Beierschmitt was told from a young age that he should always leave something a little better than when he found it. That advice guided him throughout his career. Many of his colleagues, his students, and Bartlesville community members remember and respect Mr. Beierschmitt for his leadership skills and his personal touch in making people feel valued and respected.
Since retiring in 2016, Bill has focused his time and energy on his family, continuing to serve his community, and developing his hobbies. He passionately follows the activities of his twelve grandchildren, who are spread out all over Oklahoma and into Kansas. He serves on several local boards, including the Bartlesville Community Foundation, the Bartlesville Lincoln Elementary School Scholarship, Daybreak Rotary, and Lowe Family Young Scholars. When he has time to himself, he enjoys quail hunting with his dogs and his school friends from Alva and pursues beekeeping.
The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation has been investing in students and staff members within the district since 1985. A $1,000 grant in Mr. Beierschmitt’s name will go to the Bartlesville High School Choir. The money generated by the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on March 31, 2022, will help fund the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s programs. Tickets are available on the Foundation’s website.