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Broken Arrow Express


Getting to Know BAPS Board of Education

By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor



The Broken Arrow 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 Broken Arrow school board has five members: Steve Allen, Steve Majors, Dr. Theresa Williamson, Cheryl Kelly and Jerry Denton.

Steve Allen represents Zone 1 and serves as president of the Broken Arrow School Board of Education. He is in his seventh year on the school board. His term expires in 2021.

Allen is a 1989 graduate of Broken Arrow schools and has served as both a teacher and coach with the school district.

He chose to run for a board seat because of his ties to BAPS and in order to serve the community and give back to the school district, he says.

Regarding the statewide education budget situation, “I think we are at a very critical time in public education, and the decisions we are making are going to have long-lasting effects on the children of the future.  

“I think we as a state need to make the decision, is public education important and are we going to fund it according to our commitment?”

Among the school board’s accomplishments, Allen is especially proud of the equal opportunities provided to students at all B.A. school sites and of the fiscal responsibility the board has provided through the years, he says.

Zone 1 school sites are Park Lane Early Childhood Center, Highland Park Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Timber Ridge Elementary and Oneta Ridge Middle School.

Zone 2 is represented by Steve Majors, who graduated from Tulsa Public Schools’ East Central High School and from Spartan School of Aeronautics. His two sons graduated from Broken Arrow High School.

Majors’ term expires in 2022.

Majors has served on the school board for five years. He chose to first run for a board seat “to try and help the kids of Broken Arrow,” he says.

“Being on the board helps me better understand why some decisions are made, and it allows me to be a voice for the kids and their parents/guardians.”

Zone 2 school sites are Arrow Springs Early Childhood Center, Leisure Park Elementary, Lynn Wood Elementary, Vandever Elementary, Sequoyah Middle School and the Freshman Academy.

Dr. Theresa Williamson, of Zone 3, taught for five years at South Intermediate. She returned 10 years later to serve as an administrator at North Intermediate High School.

Her term expires in 2018.

Williamson holds a doctorate in educational administration from Oklahoma State University.

She has served on the board since 2013, and she recently completed BAPD’s citizens’ and masters’ level community academies.

“With Oklahoma’s limited state monies, it’s more important than ever for board members to be conscious and careful stewards of taxpayer dollars,” she says. “Having a board of ordinary citizens to oversee the school district is an Oklahoma requirement; it is important that patrons are able to access a person from their neighborhood area to contact with any questions or concerns that arise.”

Williamson says that she is proud of the current board for its cohesive mission and collaboration in striving to meet the diverse educational and emotional needs of all district students through curriculum and activity opportunities.

Zone 3 school sites are Creekwood Early Childhood Center, Arrowhead Elementary, Country Lane Intermediate, Country Lane Primary, Creekwood Elementary, Centennial Middle School and Broken Arrow High School.

Cheryl Kelly has been the Zone 4 board of education member since 2009. Her term expires in 2019.

In addition to serving on the board of education, Kelly is currently a Region 4 Board of Director for the Oklahoma State School Board Association. She is also a graduate of Leadership Broken Arrow, serves as an appointee to the Economic Development Corporation and is a board member for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.

Kelly holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern State University, and she spent many years teaching before retiring.

She chose to get involved with the school board in order to serve “as an advocate for public education and a voice for the school district to ensure that students have equity in academic programming and an opportunity for success,” she says.

Although the school district continues to experience budget issues, losing over $7 million since 2008, the district has also experienced parent and business support, Kelly continues.

“During the state’s next legislative session, it will be important that the legislature establish new reoccurring revenue sources to adequately fund BAPS.”

Zone 4 school sites are Aspen Creek Early Childhood Center, Aspen Creek Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Wolf Creek Elementary, Childers Middle School and Oliver Middle School.

School board member Jerry Denton is a Broken Arrow High School graduate who went on to serve in the U.S. Navy for five years. His term expires in 2020.

He later returned to Broken Arrow to raise his family; his children are also B.A. graduates.

Denton represents Zone 5 and chose to get involved with the school board due to his love of kids and his passion to help them grow and develop, he says.

Currently, he is in his seventh year on the board.

“It’s easy to just sit back and complain or make suggestions. I felt it was important enough to jump in and do something about it,” says Denton regarding his choice to run for the school board seat.

“I continue to enjoy watching the district grow and want to help guide the vision of the district to be the best in the state,” he says.

Zone 5 school sites are Oak Crest Elementary, Rhoades Elementary and the Broken Arrow Academy.

Updated 09-07-2017

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