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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Ruth Veales participated in her last regular meeting of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education Monday.

She first became a board member in February 2010 representing Board District 5 and will not run for another term.

“This feels to me like passing on the mantle, trusting God that he’s going to send the right people at the right time for such a time as this, and that you know the work is not complete,” Veales told Free Press after the meeting. “I don’t need a title to do the work and if they call upon me, I’m more than happy to do whatever I need to do, because it’s about the children.”

Veales was honored at a reception before the board meeting where her family, church family, and pastor were present.

Ruth Veales
Ruth Veales (second from right, front row) was joined by family, church family, pastor, and many well-wishers in the district at her reception March 7, 2022. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

The board meeting itself kicked off with the following resolution honoring Veales:


After the resolution passed each board member took turns talking about the profound contribution Ruth Veales had made to the district and to the Board of Education.

Comments from each member were similar in that they described a person who had a strong passion for students and her school district and a strong conviction to push for equity in the district.

But, Veales is also known far beyond Oklahoma City because of her interest in putting in time to learn from her counterparts in other similar districts around the nation.

“We all know her in this context, but Ruth is a very big deal nationally,” said Board member Carrie Jacobs. “Ruth is a very big deal.”

Jacobs pointed out that Veales is nationally known through her work on the Council for Urban Boards of Education where she got to interact with a host of other public school board members for districts similar to OKCPS. She is also well known around in other national circles.

Jacobs told of trying to carry on a conversation with Veales by an escalator at a National School Boards Association conference. Jacobs described it as a “mistake.”

“People are coming up this escalator, every person, and they are, “Hey, Ms. Veales! Hey, Ms. Veales!”

Jacobs said that she just decided to wait until her “adoring fans” got through coming up the escalator because, “everybody knows and everybody appreciates her.”

Having been on the Board during some turbulent times through numerous superintendents Veales had a lot to reflect on when it came her turn to speak.

This video of the livestream is queued to when she begins to talk about what her service has meant and what some of her key convictions were in serving.


Candidates to fill the Board District 5 seat will face each other in the April 5 election. They are:

  • Adrian Anderson
  • Sharri Coleman

Watch for our campaign coverage this month leading up to the election.

Last Updated March 7, 2022, 10:10 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor