Kristi Hayes has been hired as the new Public Information Coordinator for Ponca City Public Schools. She will assume duties on May 26, 2021.
Hayes first moved to Ponca City in 1996 when she was named Education Editor for The Ponca City News. During her time as Education Editor, she earned five consecutive Marshall Gregory Awards from the Oklahoma Education Association for Year-Round Excellence in Educating Reporting. She served in that role until she was promoted to Managing Editor of The Ponca City News in 2006.
During her time as Managing Editor, The News received countless honors from the Oklahoma Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists. In January of 2020, she was asked to participate in a workshop offered through the Poynter Institute on prison reform. She was one of only 35 journalists from across the United States invited to participate in the workshop. In June she will be named to the Quarter Century Club from the Oklahoma Press Association, an honor bestowed upon journalists that spend 25 years of service to the industry.
In September 2020, she left The News after 24 years and was hired as an editor for KOTV News on 6 in Tulsa.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to Ponca City and serving the Ponca City Public School district as its Public Information Coordinator. I enjoyed my time in Tulsa at KOTV, but I am eager to move back home to my family and a community I love.”
Hayes is a graduate of Guymon High School and majored in English at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, OK. She is married to Ponca City native Scott Hayes. They have one son, Scotty, who graduated from Ponca City High School in 2017.
“We are very excited about our new Team PCPS member, Public Information Coordinator Kristi Hayes,” said Superintendent Shelley Arrott. “Due to family health issues, Mary Ladd retired after 36 years of service to Ponca City Public Schools, and she represented us so well. However, we had a close and positive working relationship with Kristi when she was with The Ponca City News. I know the transition into her new role with PCPS will be a seamless transition!”