Tulsa school board to get two newcomers | Education

Tulsa Public Schools’ Board of Education is about to have two new members.

According to unofficial returns released Tuesday night, E’Lena Ashley defeated two-term incumbent Shawna Keller for the District 4 seat, 556-429.

District 4 includes Cooper, Disney, Dolores Huerta, Kerr, Lewis and Clark, Lindbergh, Peary and Skelly elementary schools; East Central Junior High School; and East Central High School.

A veteran of the US Army’s military intelligence program and a parent of three adult children, Ashley has lived in east Tulsa for 15 years and was previously a substitute teacher for TPS. She also previously worked for Tulsa Job Corps and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We have an opportunity to turn things around for this district,” she said Tuesday night. “I am excited to do what we can to work together, get some traditional learning back in the schools and change the trajectory so that our children can come out of our schools ready to participate in society comfortably.”

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Meanwhile, with higher voter turnout on TPS’ southside than for the February primary, Susan Lamkin defeated former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris in a runoff for the District 7 seat, 2,632-2,249.

By comparison, 3,784 votes were cast in the Feb. 8 primary election.

TPS campuses in District 7 include Carnegie, Eisenhower International, Grissom, Key, Marshall, McClure and Patrick Henry elementary schools; Thoreau Demonstration Academy; and Memorial High School.

The incumbent, Suzanne Schreiber, opted not to seek a third term.

A current TPS parent, Lamkin has been involved in the Parent-Teacher Association at five of the district’s campuses over the course of 16 years. She is currently president of Memorial High School’s PTA and a vice president with the Tulsa Council of PTAs.

“I want families in District 7 and TPS supporters to know how much I appreciate their recognition of people who are already involved with our schools and know what’s going on with our schools … is what’s important,” Lamkin said. “I know there’s a lot of work to do, but we can all work together to do it in a positive way moving forward.”

Across the rest of the Tulsa area, school board incumbents with Union, Jenks, Bixby, Mounds, Owasso, Sand Springs and Tulsa Technology Center were all elected to another term.

In Union’s Zone 2 runoff election, Dr. Chris McNeil defeated challenger Shelley Gwartney, 686-586. As was the case with TPS’ District 7 runoff, Union’s runoff had higher voter turnout than the primary, as 1,052 votes were cast in February compared to the 1,252 cast in Tuesday’s election.

Union’s Zone 2 includes the campuses of Andersen, Cedar Ridge, Moore and Peters elementary schools.

In Jenks, current school board President Terry Keeling defeated Ashley Cross, 1,319-853, for the district’s Ward 2 seat.

Current Bixby school board President Amanda Stephens was also elected to another term, defeating Jake Rowland 476-292 for that district’s District 2 seat.

In Mounds, Justin Green was elected to another term, defeating Laci Jones 84-72 for seat No. 2.

At Owasso, incumbent Rhonda Mills defeated challenger Joshua Stanton, 1,163-971, to retain Seat No. 2.

By a 780-309 margin over MaRanda Trimble-Kerley, Mike Mullins was elected to another term on the Sand Springs school board.

Mark Griffin was elected to another term on Tulsa Technology Center’s board of education, defeating Jim Provenzano for the Zone 3 seat by a count of 1,806-1,708. Tulsa Tech’s Zone 3 includes portions of east Tulsa and west Broken Arrow.

Meanwhile, Catoosa school board incumbent Joe Deere, who was appointed earlier to fill an unexpired term, was defeated by Derrick Smith, 413-236. Smith will finish out the unexpired term for Ward 4, which covers the district’s far west side.

Voters in Kiefer, Liberty and Owasso approved school bond packages Tuesday. State law requires that school bond propositions receive at least 60% of the votes cast in order to pass.

In Owasso, proposition no. 1 received 70.75% of the votes cast, while proposition no. 2 passed with 74.84% approval.

Proposition no. 1 of the five-year package includes $22.7 for saferooms in two schools; $16.4 million for technology; and $11.8 million for texts, library materials and equipment for the fine arts program.

Proposition no. 2 is $3.6 million for transportation needs, including additional school buses.

Despite two precincts reporting no votes cast on election day, Kiefer Public Schools’ $29.1 million bond proposal passed with 81.69% of the votes cast. The 20-year package includes funds for a new agricultural education building, a new transportation facility, and a new multipurpose building to house the band program, elementary gym classes and multiple school teams. It also includes funds to restore and repurpose the old Kiefer High School to house the district’s administration offices and upper elementary grades.

Farther south, Liberty Public Schools’ $8 million bond proposal passed with 66.32% of the votes cast. The district will use the money to add six new classrooms and replace the elementary school gym, which dates back to the Works Progress Administration.

The State Election Board will certify results after 5 pm Friday.

Unofficial returns

Tulsa Public Schools—District 4

Tulsa Public Schools district 7

Union Public Schools zone 2

Bixby Public Schools district 2

Catoosa Public Schools ward 4

Jenks Public Schools ward 2

Mounds Public Schools seat 2

Owasso Public Schools district 2

Sand Springs Public Schools district 2

MaRanda Trimble-Kerley: 309

Tulsa Technology Center district 3

Kiefer Public Schools bond

Liberty Public Schools bond

Owasso Public Schools bond proposition 1

Owasso Public Schools bond proposition 2

Tulsa World Opinion podcast: Election season is upon us

lenzy.krehbiel-burton@tulsaworld.com

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