Principal's Message

Darla Payne

Greetings Parents and Families of Ockerman Middle School (OMS):

My name is Darla Payne and I’m extremely happy to begin my new assignment at OMS as the new Principal. I’m very passionate about education and I look forward to partnering with you to provide our students with a rigorous, engaging, and high-quality middle school experience. As the parent of two sons ages 30 and 25, I recognize the importance of a strong home to school connection. Parents are every child’s first teacher and I believe that by working together, we can make sure your child’s social, emotional, and academic needs are met.

Before joining OMS, I served in a variety of teaching and educational leadership roles over the past 14 years. Some of the roles I have held include classroom 8th grade math and algebra I teacher, math instructional coach/staff developer, national curriculum trainer, college professor at Thomas More College and K-12 assistant/vice principal. My academic background includes a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education (focus on Math and Social Studies), and a Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and Administration.

I believe that great schools are the results of great teachers, so my primary objective will be to ensure that every student is receiving high-quality instruction from every teacher at OMS. In order to do this, I will be providing teachers with feedback on their instruction, access to professional development, and reaching out to parents for support with academic and behavioral concerns to ensure our students are prepared for college and 21st century careers.

I will be working closely with our Assistant Principal, Mr. Ryan and Vice Principal, Mr. Ritchie, to guarantee that all of our scholars are intellectually challenged and have access to the social and emotional support critical to students during the middle school years. Please get involved with the Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) to ensure that your voices are heard or send me an email directly at

Thank you for the opportunity to serve your families in this role! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.


Darla Payne

Principal, Ockerman Middle School


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