The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 2, 2013

9 vying for school boards

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Nine candidates for county boards of education tossed their hats into the ring on the first day of the filing period.

Both Enid Public Schools Board of Education members whose terms expire in 2014 filed for re-election Monday.

Seats 4 and 5, currently held by Willa Jo Fowler and Colin Abernathy, respectively, are both up for election.

Fowler has served on the school board  for 38 years. Abernathy stepped up in October to complete the unfinished term of Cody Lack.

“Education is still a real passion for me, and I just want to work as hard as I can to make things better for our students and teachers,” Fowler said.

Fowler is a retired preschool director and instructor at Phillips University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Abernathy is safety and performance analyst for Groendyke Transport, as well as the father of two sons, one a kindergarten student with special needs.

“I want to make sure there is an advocate for special-needs children in the school district and want to make sure the progress the school district has made over the past few years continues,” Abernathy said.

Clee Jay Hedges, Enid, filed for election to the Pioneer Pleasant Vale Board of Education. He’s been on the board for 35 years.

Hedges, co-owner of Hedges Construction and also a farmer, said the school board still has things he wants to see finished up before he hangs up his hat.

“We just kind of have some unfinished business,” Hedges said.

Aaron Harmon filed for his second term on the Chisholm Public Schools Board of Education. He is president at GEFCO, an Enid-based company.

“I feel education is a critical component to our future in Enid and the state of Oklahoma,” Harmon said. “I feel this is a way I can help and contribute to the process.”

Gene Knouse, Covington, filed for his third term on the Covington-Douglas Public Schools.

He is a purchaser for Ditch Witch.

“Education is a vital part of our society, and I want to do my part to make it as good as possible,” Knouse said.

Travis Schovanec and Tim Beebe both filed for Garber Public Schools Board of Education. Neither could be reached Monday evening for comment.

Paula Olmstead, Enid, filed for Kremlin-Hillsdale Public Schools Board of Education. She is an incumbent with five years on the board.

She could not be reached Monday evening for comment.

Kyle Hohman filed for election to the Autry Tech board. Hohman is an incumbent who has served on the board for several years.

He could not be reached Monday for comment.