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Bixby School Board Spotlight

By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

EDUCATION ADVOCATES: Bixby Public Schools Board of Education members are ready for another school year. From left are Lisa Kramer, Ron Schnare, Julie Prox and Amanda Stephens. Not pictured is Lisa Owens.


Bixby Breeze photo


The Bixby Public Schools Board of Education is an elected board with its members given the responsibility of governing the school district while preserving the district’s core values.

The school board is responsible for establishing policies under which the school system operates. The Bixby school board has five members: Julie Prox, Amanda Stephens, Ron Schnare, Lisa Owens and Lisa Kramer.

Julie Prox, of District 1, began volunteering with Bixby schools when her son and daughter started at North Elementary in 2009.
She served on the board of the Northeast Elementary and Intermediate PTO from the time the school opened until 2016. 

“I have always had an interest in my children’s teachers and schools and a sincere interest in public education. I wanted to become more active in sharing in the vision and goals for Bixby Public School’s future and keeping our district one of the best in the state,” she says.

Regarding the future of public education state funding, Prox is grateful to the parents who have created Bridge the Gap, which has raised approximately $200,000 over the past year. Also, the Bixby Education Endowment Foundation (B.E.E.F) raises funds for scholarships and teacher grants every year, she says.

Prox is also proud of the community that, in 2016, voted to pass Bixby’s biggest bond issue ever.

“Watching the progress and growth that is happening in our district right now because of the passage of that bond is pretty awesome,” she says. “New schools being built, updating facilities, and updating technology and computers all because our community believed in the goals and vision for our district.”

Amanda Stephens represents District 2 on the Bixby School Board.
She holds her law degree from the University of Oklahoma and currently works as an oil and gas attorney at Samson Resources.

Stephens’ education activism stems, in part, from her mother, a 40-year public educator, as well as from the fact that her children are current Bixby students.
Stephens took over board member Wendall Nolan’s seat in mid-2016 and was reelected in February.

“I wanted to serve on the Bixby School Board to help ensure that our schools and community continue to diligently serve our kids. All children should be given the opportunity to receive a quality education,” she says.

As the state budget issues continue, Stephens is also interested in drawing further attention to the perpetual underfunding of public education in Oklahoma.

“The most important thing we can do as constituents is exercise our right to vote and educate ourselves on the candidates that represent us.”    

Ron Schnare represents Bixby’s District 3 and currently serves as board president. Schnare was elected to the board in 2014.

Even with the fiscal challenges that education is currently seeing in Oklahoma, “It is very rewarding to be a part of the education process and see our youth achieve success in the classroom and through school-sponsored activities,” says Schnare.

“A few characteristics that I believe are beneficial for those to have who are serving on the school board are a heart for kids, a mind for business, a willingness to listen and a desire to serve.”

Bixby school board of education vice president Lisa Owens has served on the school board for three years. She spent 17 years as a teacher, 13 with Bixby Schools.

She chose to run for her District 4 seat in order to positively impact the school district and to learn about the various aspects involved in education, she says.

Owens views the school board as vital and as an impactful opportunity to serve the community and the district’s teachers and students.

One of her proudest moments since beginning her board service is the successful passage of the 2016 $142 million bond issue.

District 5 representative Lisa Kramer is in her eighth year on the School Board of Education.

Kramer has been active in the Bixby school district throughout her two daughters’ time in the school district. Both daughters attended K-12 at Bixby.

During those years, Kramer served as PTA president, Booster Club president and in other roles.

“After being asked about running for an open school board seat, I decided that serving in this capacity was a natural extension of the ways that I have supported our district over the years,” Kramer says.

“Serving on the school board has allowed me to serve others . . . in an area for which I am passionate: the need for our society to provide a quality education to all children,” she says.

Kramer has served on multiple boards during her years on the school board. She is particularly proud of Bixby’s efforts to adopt an accelerated math and science program, improvements in district communication, the district’s adoption of the Great Expectations program, the alignment of district curriculum that culminates in higher average ACT scores and AP pass rates, and the board’s work in planning for growth and providing quality facilities through the last two bond issues, she adds.

Updated 09-06-2017

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