By Phil Klutts
January 5, 2021

The business of Edmond Public Schools

Service delivery and managing expenses can take on a whole new level when you are looking at more than 25,000 customers.

When you think about local businesses, public schools don’t typically come to mind. Education is often considered by many as being in its own category, apart from corporations, small businesses, and even nonprofits. Yet, there are many aspects of schools that overlap with more traditional companies.

That includes:

  • Customer satisfaction (both parents and students)
  • People management
  • Facilities management
  • Culture
  • Revenue
  • Expenses

All those apply to educational institutions as much as they do to a traditional business. Service delivery and managing expenses can take on a whole new level when you are looking at more than 25,000 “customers.”

At last count, Edmond Public Schools—EPS—serves 25,106 students. In addition to educating students, EPS provides meals, activities, transportation, counseling, and many other ancillary services.

Consider just the meals. Edmond Public Schools serves 2.4 million meals each year. That’s a pretty full workload when compared to a typical restaurant that may serve closer to 200,000 meals in a year. EPS has multiple kitchens and dining rooms to serve these meals to students, which also adds to the facilities management aspect of running such a large business.

Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Bret Towne with Top Workplace banner (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Managing employees and having an engaged culture is a core tenant of any successful business. As the largest employer in Edmond, EPS employs nearly 3,000 employees in the district. The second-largest employer is the University of Central Oklahoma, with about half the number of employees. Managing employees at that scale takes systems, culture, and leadership.

So much so that EPW has won another Top Workplaces award. The Annual Top Workplaces awards were announced in December, and 2020 is the sixth consecutive year for EPS has received the honor.

“The district owes this honor to its employees,” Superintendent Bret Towne said. “They worked tirelessly this year to serve students and their families, often sacrificing their own needs to do so. They exhibit professionalism, integrity, and dedication daily. The Edmond School District is successful in large part due to their individual and collective efforts.”

The employees of EPS appear to agree. Top Workplaces uses quantitative employee feedback and information from a Workplace Survey to benchmark and rank participating companies.

The Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Bret Towne (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.