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PRESS RELEASE (WITH PHOTO): Sidney Ellington Named to Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs



Sidney Ellington Named to Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs

The Oklahoma City resident will begin his duties Jan. 1



Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat has appointed Sidney Ellington to the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs.

Ellington, of Oklahoma City, will replace Warren A. “Tony” Caldwell, who is stepping down from the board effective Dec. 31. Caldwell, of Oklahoma City, serves as the board’s chairman. The nine-member board is scheduled to elect a new chairman in January.

The board is the rulemaking body for the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). Its other duties include approving OJA’s annual budget request, assisting staff with priorities and policies of the agency and establishing procedures and payment rates for contracting agencies.

“I appreciate Senate Pro Tem Treat’s trust in me and I’m honored to serve our state,” said Ellington, whose appointment begins Jan. 1. “I look forward to working with staff to ensure the young people in OJA custody are receiving the education and training in order to make better decisions, as well as psychiatric, psychological, and addiction therapy as needed.”

Ellington, a retired Navy SEAL officer, is executive director of the American Red Cross of Central/Southwest Oklahoma and is responsible for 13 Oklahoma counties. Before that, he served as executive director of the Warrior-Scholar Project, which helps enlisted service members transition from the military to higher education; director of the Military Veterans Outreach and Support Initiative: Teach for America (TFA); program manager of the Truancy Center Improvement Initiative of the Recovery School District, which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Education; and a member of the TFA Corps in the greater New Orleans region.

Ellington earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with minors in history and English, a Master of Arts in political science, and a doctorate degree in political science all from the University of Oklahoma. In 2016, he was named the recipient of the American Legion National Education Award, which honors the person who has best promoted either the educational programs of the American Legion, any educational programs that correspond to the legion’s, or education goals at the national level.

He is a member of the Archdiocesan School Advisory Council (ASAC), which advises the archbishop and superintendent of schools in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese on ensuring educational and formational goals of archdiocesan schools are being met. He previously served as a mentor for Youth Run NOLA, an after-school sports program in New Orleans, and for the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

“Mr. Ellington’s distinguished career includes emphasis in education and involvement with at-risk youth and selfless service to our country,” said OJA Executive Director Steven Buck. “He has valuable experience helping teens and is aware of what they need to be successful.”

“The Office of Juvenile Affairs is on the frontlines of helping youth and families involved in the justice system,” Treat said. “Sid Ellington is a successful leader and has demonstrated the desire and ability, whether as a member of Teach for America or as a Navy SEAL, to help others succeed. We need people to partner with the leadership and staff at OJA to help change the future of youth involved in the justice system and I know Sid Ellington will do just that. I appreciate his willingness to step up and serve the state of Oklahoma.”

Caldwell has been a member of the OJA board since 2015.

“It has been an honor to work with my fellow board members and the OJA leadership the last four years,” Caldwell said. “We have met the challenges of the state’s fiscal distress with a greatly reduced overhead, reform in the way we contract with providers, and will soon open a new secure facility which will save the state of Oklahoma tens of millions of dollars over its life.

“But saving money is but one thing I am proud of. We have also bettered the treatment of the children in our care, increasing the likelihood that they may become productive citizens, by instituting a charter school to improve education, eliminating the use of ‘pepper spray,’ improving clinical relationships, realigning our Juvenile Service Unit field team to provide more and better services, and evolved the culture of treatment rather than punishment with a new professional leadership team. I think we have accomplished what we set out to do when I was originally appointed, and with great confidence in the professional leadership of the agency and the board I am ready for a new challenge.”

“It has been an honor to work with Tony for the past four years and I am grateful for his leadership, encouragement and guidance,” Buck said. “Over the last four years, our agency has covered much ground as he and his colleagues on the governing board worked tirelessly on behalf of Oklahoma’s youth.”

“Tony Caldwell’s dedication to OJA and its mission is commendable,” Treat said. “I want to thank Tony for his years of distinguished service on the OJA board.”



For additional information, contact:

Michael McNutt/OJA Communications Director

(405) 530-2860 Office (405) 249-6072 Cell

[email protected]


Paula Christiansen/ OJA Public Information Officer

(405) 530-2814 Office

[email protected]