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Union Boundary

Union School Board Members Advocate for Quality Education

Managing Editor

DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES: Union Superintendent Kirt Hartzler, left, stands with Union’s Board of Education members at the district’s 2017 commencement. Next to him are, back row, Ken Kinnear, second from left, and Jeff Bennett and, front row, from left, are Stacey Roemerman, Heather McAdams and Lisa Ford

Courtesy Union Public Schools

The Union Public Schools Board of Education is responsible for establishing the policies under which the district operates. The board must act within the framework of state and federal laws and still be responsible to the needs of the Union community.
The school board is made up of five members: Jeff Bennett, Lisa Ford, Heather McAdams, Stacey Roemerman and Ken Kinnear.

Jeff Bennett is a long-time resident of the Grove Elementary area; he has one son who is a Union graduate.

Bennett was elected to the school board in November 2006. 

“Education is the most important investment we can make in our future,” says Bennett, who has worked in the airline industry for 30 years.

“The more education you have, the more skills you have, making you more productive. The more productive you are, the more potential you have for earning. The more you earn, the more you spend and more taxes you pay, which contribute to your community.”

Bennett is proud of the district’s achievements, including what is coming up for the 2017-2018 school year.

“This year’s students will be not only working towards 100 percent graduation but some will receive two diplomas: the second being an associate’s degree,” he says.

Additionally, Bennett appreciates the feedback sometimes received from students: “It is especially gratifying when a student comes back and is so thankful for the education and opportunities they were given while at Union.”

Lisa Ford is the crime prevention specialist and community liaison for the Broken Arrow Police Department, president of the Broken Arrow Rotary Club, and immediate past president of Broken Arrow Neighbors.

She has been a member and in leadership positions with Union PTA’s for more than 20 years.  Both her children graduated from Union, and she currently has a grandson at Moore Elementary.

“I want to promote more volunteerism and safe schools and develop more partnerships with business and churches,” says Ford.

Ford ran on the platform of representing the school district in Broken Arrow, which holds about 3,800 Union students.

“I don’t feel like Union has much representation in the city of Broken Arrow,” Ford says, meaning that “there may be opportunities that the school district is missing out on.”

Ford, recently, enjoyed participating in the High School graduation and the GED graduation.

“These are adults that have had serious struggles in their life but have pulled through them and completed school and graduated,” she says.

“I love that Union supports adult education and the diversity of our district.”

Heather McAdams is the mother of two sons, both of whom attend Union schools. She has lived in the district since 1999 and is a past president of the Clark Elementary PTA.
McAdams has been on the board for nine years.

She appreciates bringing a parent perspective to the board.

“Making sure Union is the best it can be for my kids and every other student is my whole focus as a board member,” she says.

Regarding the importance of serving on the school board, “We are helping to shape the overarching philosophy and underlying attitude of the district,” says McAdams.
Every piece we put in place through our strategic plan, board policies and staff expectations furthers our goals to do the right thing for kids: to provide a quality education, to provide family support, to provide career and college guidance, and to meet the goal of 100 percent graduation.

“It takes a board that is willing to work with administrators to make it important that the Union Way is the way all business in the district is conducted.”

McAdams is particularly proud of the district’s efforts in early childhood, bringing three-year-olds into an educational and family support environment to help the whole family prepare for school, she says.

“I’m also very proud of the huge, fast leaps we have made in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programming. We now have over 10,000 students in STEM classes.”

Stacey Roemerman is in her third year on the Union school board.

She holds a degree in government from Evangel University and previously worked at a local aviation company before leaving to be a stay-at-home mom.

“The best use I have made of my degree is serving on multiple PTA units and the Union Board of Education,” she says.

Roemerman has lived in the district since 2006 and serves as PTA president at Jefferson.

As she became more involved in volunteering at her children’s school, “the more all of the children begin to feel like your own,” she says.

That sentiment is what moved Roemerman to apply for the vacant school board seat in 2014: “It was a way to continue being involved in the education and lives of all of our kids and giving a voice to values that I cherish,” she says.

“Schools are better places when members of the community have an active part in their daily function.”

Roemerman is proud of the school district’s efforts to expand its STEM programming.
“It is truly the future of education, as businesses and colleges are asking for complex thinkers and problem solvers who can communicate effectively and work in team settings,” she says.

Ken Kinnear has lived in the Union school district for 25 years with his wife and three sons.

He was elected to the board in 2015 and has served more than 10 years as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee. 

Kinnear holds an accounting degree from Harding University and works as the treasurer of Kaiser Francis Oil Company.

Kinnear’s three sons are all Union lifers, and he and his wife were both heavily active in booster clubs and activity clubs during their sons’ tenures at Union. 

“When the opportunity to serve as a board member presented itself, it seemed to be a natural extension of the services that we had already been actively involved in,” Kinnear says.

As a student of the Bible, Kinnear endeavors to follow the Biblical examples of individuals who come into a position of influence to accomplish mighty things for a greater cause. “I hope that’s the spirit I bring to Union’s board and the humility with which I serve.”

Updated 09-18-2017

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