David Boone Named to Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame

Spending most of his career as an elementary school principal, David Boone strove to create learning environments where every teacher and student could reach his or her full potential.  He believed that all students were capable of learning and deserved respect. The individualized support he provided to his teachers and students is why Boone will be one of four retired Bartlesville Public Schools educators inducted into the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame this spring.

Boone was born and raised in the nearby community of Vera. He attributes a great deal of his teaching philosophy to the role models he had as a student of the Vera schools. After graduating from Vera High School in 1958, Boone attended Miami Junior College for two years and Northeastern State in Tahlequah, earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education. He later earned his Administrative Certificate at the University of Oklahoma. 

With his teaching certificate, Boone started his career at Bartlesville Public Schools as a sixth grade classroom teacher at Ranch Heights Elementary. After three years in the classroom, and having always had aspirations of becoming a principal, Boone transitioned to the administrative role. He was a principal for twenty-six years before retiring in 1993. During his career as an elementary principal, he led several different elementary schools. He spent five years at Lincoln Elementary, five at Wayside Elementary, one at Washington Elementary (right before the school closed as part of a district-wide consolidation effort), four at Oak Park, three at Hoover, returned to Wayside for five more years, and finished out his career with three years back at Oak Park.  

Boone acknowledged that he moved between schools more than most administrators, but he loved the challenge and believed that his teachers needed new perspectives and changes in leadership styles. Boone sought out the moves and embraced the opportunities that came with the new beginnings. He says that experiencing the different schools within the district made him a better leader. Of course, there were challenging transitions as he adjusted to different school cultures and dynamics, and as his teachers and students adjusted to him. But regardless of where he was serving as a principal, he stayed true to his belief that every student had the potential to do amazing things, and he focused on creating a learning environment with his team where everyone would succeed. 

Boone was known for empowering his staff. He made sure his teachers knew that he supported them and their efforts. He knew all students by name and had a gift for making each person feel seen and being able to meet a person where they were. 

Reflecting on his time as an educator, his most treasured memories were when he watched students as they really understood a concept — those “lightbulb moments.” He is incredibly appreciative of the students who took the time to reach back out, years later, to share the impact he had on them. He held a special place in his heart for the special education students at Oak Park Elementary. Due to available space at Oak Park, the school housed many of the students who needed special services. 

In his retirement, Boone explored a career in real estate, but quickly realized he missed his students. He became a bus driver in 1996 and made several trips with special needs students to attend the Special Olympics at Oklahoma State University. He served as a bus driver for ten years before retiring (officially) in 2006. As a retiree, Boone enjoyed playing softball. He and his wife, Anita, traveled regularly with the tournament team: David playing and Anita keeping score.  In 2008, Boone was inducted in the Oklahoma Softball Hall of Fame. Recently, he has become an avid pickleball player and is “almost ready to give up his softball career for pickleball.”  When speaking of his wife, and the fact that they have been married for over fifty-six years, Boone is quick to distinguish that, despite constantly seeking out new challenges in new schools during his career, he did not follow that mindset in his marriage and hung on to the quality partner he found in Anita.

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation has been investing in students and staff members within the district since 1985. Over the decades, the non-profit organization has funded more than $3.8 million in creative projects outside of the traditional state, local and federal sources to support state-of-the-art instruction. The money generated by the Educator Hall of Fame event on April 4, 2024, will help fund the organization’s programs. Courtesy of the BPS Foundation and ConocoPhillips, a $1,000 grant in Mr. Boone’s name will go to the Bartlesville Public Schools Department of Special Services.

This event is open to the public and tickets are available for $35.

Buy Tickets