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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Two people began new terms of office with the administration of the oath of office for Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education Monday.

  • See the gallery at the end of this article for more photos from the evening.

Adrian Anderson, newly elected, was sworn in to the District 5 seat previously held by Ruth Veales since 2010. Veales chose to not run again leaving the election open to newcomers.

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Newly-elected Adrian Anderson takes his District 5 seat on the OKCPS Board of Education April 11, 2022 (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Meg McElhaney has been on the Board representing District 7 and begins a new four-year term. She first took the seat after having been appointed in 2019. Then, in 2021, voters elected her for a one-year term. For this election, no opponent filed for the seat and so she became the winner of the race.

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Meg McElhaney has now been elected to a four-year term and takes her seat representing District 7 once again. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

After the meeting Free Press talked to Anderson and McElhaney about starting new terms on the Board.

“I’m humbled by those people that went and voted for me and elected me,” said Anderson. in I’m humbled by the Spencer, northeast Oklahoma City and south side communities for going out there and voting for me.”

He was especially complimentary toward his predecessor, Ruth Veales.

“I’m thankful for Ruth Veales and her service over the last 12 years,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot by working side by side with her, being at the board meetings and hearing her speak, and just hearing her vision of equity and everything else she’s done for the district.”

Now starting yet another term, but this time for four years, Free Press asked McElhaney why she keeps doing the work.

“I’m a believer in public schools,” she said. “And, I believe that education can be a gateway for a lot of kids out of a lot of situations.”

She continued, “I also believe that we have a duty as a city and as just a community and in place to live that we should have great schools and it was a position that someone needed to fill.”

Vice-Chair elected

Chair of the Board Paula Lewis won the district-wide vote in 2021 and is now serving in her second term as Chair and third term on the Board.

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Mark Mann (B. DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

But, the Board chooses its own vice-chair who presides in the absence of the Chair at Board meetings and other meetings. The vice-chair also participates in the agenda conference in preparation for Board meetings.

By a vote of 7-1 (Carrie Jacobs was not present) the Board members chose Mark Mann to be the new Vice-Chair who will preside in the absence of the Chair and assist with setting the agenda for Board meetings as well as other tasks.

Building upgrades throughout district

As is the case during this time in the year plans for heavy work on buildings throughout the aging district are planned when there is a lighter student load on them in the summer.

The Board approved on the consent docket the renovation of the auditorium of Star-Spencer Mid-High School. The Rand Elliott architectural firm was chosen to design and oversee the work.

There were other significant installation projects approved on the consent docket as well plus others not in this list:

  • Amendments to the plans for the Northeast Alumni Room and Plaza
  • Safety vestibules at Douglass High School, Webster Middle School, Jefferson Middle School, and Wheeler Middle School.
  • Slab remediation at Douglass High School
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning for Northwest Classen High School and Southeast High School and Air Handling Units for Thelma R. Parks Elementary School
  • Water filtration systems for the mechanical systems in 16 schools

Upcoming meetings

The next meeting of the Board will be a work session Monday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. and the next regulalr business meeting will be Monday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. both in the Great Room of the Clara Luper Center, 615 N. Classen, OKC.

Gallery

(To see full-size versions and scroll through, just click/tap on any of the images.)

Last Updated April 11, 2022, 10:44 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor