Beverly L. Ouderkirk
Beverly L. Ouderkirk was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents on March 10, 2015 for a five-year term effective April 1, 2015. She proudly represents the students, educators, parents, and communities within the eleven counties comprising the major geographic portion of the North Country. Regent Ouderkirk brings to her appointment over fifty years of experience in public education in New York State.
Regent Ouderkirk began her professional career as a kindergarten teacher. She continued teaching for seventeen years in various elementary and special education classrooms in the Jordan-Elbridge and Weedsport Central School Districts as well as for the Onondaga-Cayuga BOCES. She served as Elementary Principal, Director of Elementary Education, COH Chair (Committee on the Handicapped) and Deputy Superintendent in the Gouverneur CSD. Regent Ouderkirk was Superintendent of Schools at Morristown CSD, Tioga CSD, and Valley CSD before becoming a BOCES District Superintendent at Genesee Valley in Western New York.
Following her first retirement, Regent Ouderkirk served four additional districts as an Interim Superintendent over a ten-year period. The culminating activity of her long career was as a Shared Superintendent for the St. Regis Falls and Brushton-Moira Central School Districts, a first in New York State. She was also on the faculty of the Western New York Superintendent Development Program and Mater Dei College. She participated in an International Coaching Program in the Washington, D.C. area, and led Strategic Planning processes through Transformation Systems, LLC in three school systems, including Genesee Valley BOCES. Regent Ouderkirk also served as a consultant to Boards of Education in Sodus, St. Regis Falls, Brushton-Moira, and Clifton-Fine and as a mentor to new superintendents.
As the parent of three successful adult sons, foster mother to a child with disabilities, host parent to two AFS foreign exchange students, grandmother to six unique grandchildren, one of whom is hearing impaired, and now as a School Board Member, Regent Ouderkirk has viewed public education through numerous lenses. She has also received awards such as: Women of the Year from Leadership Orange in Orange County, Friend of the Council from NYSCOSS (New York State Council of School Superintendents), a Leadership Award from the Western New York Educational Services Council, and a Lifetime PTA Award from the Valley Central PTA Council. Regent Ouderkirk served as a regional rep for St. Lawrence-Lewis County Superintendents on the Executive Committee of NYSCOSS, on the Board of the Western New York Educational Services Council, and on the National Board of the American Society for Deaf Children as well as being a Rotarian in three Rotary Clubs (Ogdensburg, Owego, and Walden).
Regent Ouderkirk graduated from Pulaski Academy and Central School District. She earned her B.S in Elementary Education and her M.S. and CAS in Educational Administration from SUNY Oswego. She was also awarded a certificate extension for Special Education from Syracuse University. She trained with two long-term mediators (one currently active in NYS and the other a retired federal mediator) with plans to be appointed to the PERB Mediation Panel, but instead she accepted another interim position in public education.
While at Tioga Central, Regent Ouderkirk helped build a strong partnership with the various County Mental Health Services to better coordinate the services available and to develop improved crisis plans. At Valley Central, Regent Ouderkirk sought and received Board support to create an Alternative Middle School off the main campus for students failing to experience success, students with high absenteeism, and students who had dropped out. With the assistance of the Director of Guidance, these students were identified and placed in real world work opportunities in the surrounding communities. They completed their academic assignments at the alternative school site and worked in law offices, with ARC clients, and at a local auto dealership. Through these placements, “failures” were turned into “successes” because someone believed in them and created an opportunity. Various versions of Distance Learning were implemented and expanded in several of the school districts with which Regent Ouderkirk collaborated. She also arranged a Cultural Education Exchange with a sister school in Russia for Morristown Central School, first hosting Russian students and then accompanying Morristown students for a two-week visit to Russian schools and cultural events in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Novgorod, including a stopover in Helsinki, Finland.
Regent Ouderkirk has also been involved in community activities including membership on the Morristown Village Board, the Morristown Chamber of Commerce, the Morristown Public Library Board, and the Morristown Plein Air Festival Planning Committee. She was also part owner of the Morrisania, a tour boat that traveled the St. Lawrence River. She enjoys boating, reading, dancing, gardening, designing home improvements, family activities, and traveling. Regent Ouderkirk’s continuing goal is to make a difference in public education for children.