By Kyle Hinchey Tulsa World Four candidates from a wide array of backgrounds are vying for the District 5 seat on the Tulsa school board for the next four years. The current District 5 representative is not among them. Brian Hosmer, who was appointed to the board in February after his predecessor's resignation, decided against running for a full term. A general election on Feb. 11 could decide whether John Croisant, Scott Pendleton, Kelsey Royce or Shane Saunders will replace Hosmer on the board. If nobody receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will meet in a runoff election April 7. A fifth candidate, Ben Croff, also signed up to run for the District 5 seat in December but said earlier this month he intended to withdraw from the race. However, the Tulsa County Election Board's deadline for candidate withdrawal has passed, and his name will remain on the ballot. The Tulsa World sent the other four candidates a questionnaire designed to give readers an in-depth look at who they are and why they are running. Their responses are listed in alphabetical order and have been edited only for grammatical and style purposes.
Age: 43 Occupation: Allstate agent Lived in District 5 for: About three years Education: Bachelor's degrees in secondary education and political science from University of Tulsa Why are you running for the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education District 5 seat?
As a former teacher and soccer coach at Edison for 12 years and a parent of an Edison student, I am uniquely qualified to understand what is going on in TPS and will work to help fix not only the current budget shortfalls, but also help our schools create a long-term plan to attract students back into the district by offering the best educational opportunities to all of our students in Tulsa.
Age: 64 Occupation: Independent software/database developer Lived in District 5 for: 20 years Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas A&M Why are you running for the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education District 5 seat? This election is nothing less than a referendum on Tulsa’s future. Shall we thrive or dwindle? Tulsa cannot thrive unless Tulsa Public Schools does. Therefore, we will make it our mission to transform TPS into America’s best school district, as measured by academic performance. First step: Elect a leader who embraces this exciting challenge. I have the desire, energy and vision to rally Tulsa behind this unprecedented but achievable goal. Our “TPS Transformation” will happen over several years. We’ll see conspicuous improvement immediately, and steady progress thereafter.
On Feb. 11 Tulsa will choose its future. I urge all 29,000 District 5 voters to select success for our kids and community. Vote in person or request an absentee ballot at okvoterportal.okelections.us.
Age: 38 Occupation: Volunteer Lived in District 5 for: About three years as adult Education: Bachelor's degree in studio art Why are you running for the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education District 5 seat? Something’s not right with Tulsa Public Schools. We all know this. Listen to parents and they’ll tell you something’s not right. Listen to our teachers and our support staff and our children — they’ll tell you the same. For me, when something’s not right, a moral imperative exists to stand up for what is. This is why I’m running: to stand up for our schools and our communities.
As a legacy graduate of Tulsa Public Schools with our family’s fourth generation currently attending school in the district, I recognize we are at a crossroads here in Tulsa. What happens now will determine if there will even be a TPS intact for a fifth generation to attend.
Age: 39 Occupation: President of Trident Energy Inc. Lived in District 5 for: 14 years Education: Bachelor's in politics and bachelor's in classics from Washington and Lee University; master's in business administration from University of Tulsa Why are you running for the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education District 5 seat? The current school board is comprised almost exclusively of educators and former educators. The board desperately needs the skillset of a businessman and MBA who has experience with governance and oversight roles in other organizations.
Additionally, there are no fathers of TPS children on the board and I believe that a dad’s perspective is an important viewpoint to share with the other members. Additionally, TPS needs board members who are well-versed in the legislative process and who have extensive relationships within the legislative and executive branches of state government and I’m looking forward to bringing my experience and contacts to work on behalf of TPS.
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