Payne County Democrats will host Schools Matter! a bipartisan panel discussion on education at the Sheerar Auditorium located at 7th and Duncan in Stillwater on June 12 at 7 p.m.
With funding cuts, the repeal of common core, testing and many other issues, the legislature put a big target on public education in the 2014 session. There were diverse opinions on all those topics regardless of political party.
“We feel it’s important for everyone to have a reasoned discussion about the future of education in our state,” said Dennis Whiteman, chair of the Payne County Democrats. “People might disagree on the specifics of how we get there, but everyone wants to see kids have the ability to fully realize their potential.”
The event will include a panel that includes candidates, administrators, teachers, legislators, parents and a student. The audience will be able to submit questions to be discussed by the panel. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served.
The panel will include:
Dr. Ann Caine has been superintendent at Stillwater Public Schools since 2008. Dr. Caine obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Kansas State University and her doctorate from OSU. She has been an educator for 35 years.
Rep. Dennis Casey (R-Morrison) was elected t the legislature in 2010. He is assistant Majority Whip of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and serves as vice chair of the House committee on Common Education. A former educator with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Northeastern State University, Rep. Casey is also a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame.
Dr. John Cox of Peggs is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has been a school superintendent for 20 years and an educator for nearly 30 years with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Northeastern State University and doctorates in Educational Administration and Educational Specialist from OSU.
Dr. Jack Herron is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dr. Heron has been a college administrator, high school principal, coach, teacher and served as school superintendent for 18 years. His degrees include a bachelor’s in science education from OSU, a master’s in secondary school administration from OU and a Ph.D. in curriculum supervision and administration from OU.
Dr. Ivan Holmes is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dr. Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism education and a master’s degree in School Administration from OSU and later obtained a doctorate of education in journalism and school administration from Tulsa University. He has more than 40 years of classroom teaching experience.
Gina Noble is the parent of a senior at Stillwater High School, a Stillwater city councilor and an assistant professor at OSU. She recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Stillwater News Press urging the state to “stay the course” with Common Core.
Jake Waugh graduated from Stillwater High School at the end of May and will attend the University of Oklahoma this Fall. His high school years have been marked by the most difficult fiscal times for public education in Oklahoma so he brings a unique perspective to the panel.
Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater) was elected to the legislature in 2008 and is a 1996 graduate of Stillwater High School. He has a son who attends Stillwater Public Schools. He also holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University and practices law in Stillwater.