Ryan Walters fires OSDE events director following Teacher of the Year ceremony…
10:20 AM EST on March 8, 2023
Say what you want about Ryan Walters. He’s quickly mastering the political art of blaming others for his own failures.
We have learned via The Ogle Mole Network that Stormie Honeysuckle – the events director for the Oklahoma Department of Education – was suddenly fired this past Friday, just two days after Ryan Walters stumbled and bumbled his way through the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony.
Remember that blooper reel-worthy debacle?
Stormie – a mom with two kids – was a 15-year veteran of the OSDE, and is part of a growing group of management-level employees to either quit or be terminated as Ryan and his right-wing team of puppet masters and foot soldiers continue to purge the agency of smart, experienced people who actually know what they’re doing.
The timing of Stormie’s prompt termination – occurring just days after the Teacher of the Year awards ceremony – isn’t a coincidence, and seems especially cruel and heinous when you consider it was Ryan’s flippant lack of preparation and planning that caused the embarrassing gaffes.
As we reported last week, Ryan failed to attend the ceremony rehearsal and, only a day before the event, informed staff he would be arriving late. This led to several last-minute changes to the script and production, which as any smart person knows, increases the chances of mishaps and errors.
In addition to that, Ryan and his right-wing adviser / public education co-saboteur, Matt Langston – an Austinite who works remotely and, according to multiple Moles, is running the agency as Walters’s personal Grima Wormtongue – made a series of decisions that makes it seem like the duo went out of their way to intentionally wreck the high-profile event that honors our state’s best and brightest teachers.
Or as Ryan would call them – woke Joe Biden Democrat indoctrinators who want porn in schools.
Since our article from last week. I’ve checked around the Ogle Mole Network and have learned more details about last week’s Teacher of the Year ceremony failures. Here are some notes:
• Budget Cuts
About three weeks before the awards ceremony, OSDE staff was informed the budget was being slashed by 33%, down from approximately $15,000 to $10,000. They weren’t provided any explanation why.
With audio and video taking up almost $9,000 of the budget, that meant OSDE staff had to make hurried budget cuts and beg for donations for things like tablecloths, floral decorations, and even bottled water.
• Staff Layoffs
Walters fired the agency’s creative services staff back in February. They were the ones who designed the Teacher of the Year invites and PowerPoint slides, which meant those tasks trickled down to Stormie – someone with no professional design experience.
• Zero PR
On the day of the event, the content-starved local media seemed caught off guard that the Teacher of the Year Ceremony was even taking place, with some openly complaining on Twitter that they were not provided any advance notice.
As a result, the media gallery in the back of the room – one that in years past was usually filled with TV cameras and reporters – sat virtually empty.
According to the Ogle Mole Network, the responsibility to notify the media was supposed to be handled by the agency’s new PR director Justin Holcomb. You know, the PR genius who cc’s everyone in his mass emails. I guess he dropped the ball, and when Stormie was let go, they blamed her for not working with Walter’s Wormtongue buddy – Matt Langston – to get the word out, even though they probably didn't want to get the word out.
• Walters’s lack of preparation
As we reported earlier, Ryan skipped out on rehearsals and gave staff less than a 24-hour notice that he would miss the first half or so of the event. That decision is what led to the first big gaffe of the ceremony – Ryan calling for some guys named Tony and Tim to come to the stage and help him greet the District Teachers of the Year.
Apparently, Ryan didn’t know that plan was for him to shake the hands of each winner as they were announced to the stage, and then direct them to a table off-stage where Tony and Tim would be waiting to give the teachers a collectible “Teacher of the Year” coffee mug.
That explains why Tony and Tim never arrived on stage and broke out into an improvised tap dance, and why a confused Ryan was awkwardly standing out of place as the winners were announced to the stage, seemingly clueless as to what was taking place.
It also explains why pro-public education advocates are selling the following t-shirt:
• OHP Escort
This has nothing to do with Ryan screwing up the event, but he apparently had three OHP security escorts with him, because you know, nothing is more dangerous than an accomplished group of teachers!
Here’s a pic of one of the security guards hiding behind the curtains, laying in wait for a rogue educator to rush the stage and attack Ryan with a ruler and freshly sharpened pencil.
Putting out the Storm…
Knowing all the stuff Stormie had to deal with, you’d think she would have gotten a raise and promotion for pulling off a successful event. But, alas, that’s not what Ryan wanted.
Thanks to her hard work, experience, and the fact she cared about her job, her 15 loyal years with the Department of Education came to a sudden end when Ryan and Co. fired her.
That, on its own, is pretty shitty and sad, but to make matters worse, Moles tell me Ryan and Co. went out of their way to make it look like her dismissal was strictly performance related, and not simply driven by his desire to sabotage the agency and settle petty political scores. In a scathing termination letter, they allegedly even claimed she was unable to perform her basic job functions.
You know, kind of like Ryan Walters.
Anyway, our heart goes out to Stormie. She was a loyal and talented state employee who worked hard for Oklahoma schools, teachers, and students, and as a result, is now unemployed. We wish her the best of luck in the job hunt.
Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.
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