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Category archives for: State Government

Fallin Says She’ll Keep Doerflinger

doerflingerGovernor Fallin says she’ll keep Preston Doerflinger on the job: http://newsok.com/gov.-fallin-backs-preston-doerflinger-despite-arrest/article/5387984

Doerflinger Arrested

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger was arrested early Friday morning  by Oklahoma City police, The Oklahoman reports: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-police-arrest-oklahoma-secretary-of-finance-preston-doerflinger-on-thursday-night/article/5387362

Hofmeister Taps Education Veteran For Top DOE Post

millerA longtime educator from the Oklahoma City metro is the first person hired to a Cabinet-level leadership position in the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) under state Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister.

Hofmeister today announced Robyn Miller, Ed.D, will oversee policy research and development, as well as teacher quality initiatives. An official title will be determined after a new leadership structure for the OSDE is finalized in February.

Dr. Miller comes to the OSDE from Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, where she served as chair of the School of Education since 2007.

In addition to her work advising future teachers, Miller has volunteered her time to serve Oklahoma students. She was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to the commission for the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA), a merging of the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and the Office of Accountability. On the commission, Miller represented higher education teacher preparation in setting cut scores on tests and other education-related matters.

“I am excited and grateful that Dr. Miller will be joining my leadership team. Her keen intellect, breadth of experience and commitment to education make her a tremendous asset. As both a teacher and a researcher, Robyn brings a unique, much-needed perspective to the challenges of public education,” Hofmeister said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Oklahoma Christian University President John deSteiguer.

“Dr. Robyn Miller believes in the power and importance of education, and her years as chair for Oklahoma Christian University’s School of Education have prepared her well for her new role under our new state schools superintendent, Joy Hofmeister,” he said. “Robyn’s leadership at Oklahoma Christian has ensured modern, relevant and effective programs for our education students, preparing them for success as teachers. While we will miss her, I am confident her talent and expertise will lend great support at our state’s Department of Education, preparing young Oklahomans for college and careers.”

Miller has a doctorate in curriculum and education with an emphasis in diversity from Oklahoma State University, as well as a master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University.

She taught 11th and 12th grade English language arts at Edmond Memorial High school from 1985 to 1995 before launching a 20-year career as a professor in Oklahoma Christian’s School of Education.

“My entire professional career has been in education, and I am thrilled to embrace a new challenge where I can serve the state of Oklahoma,” Miller said.

Miller also was a trustee for the Edmond Public Schools Foundation from 2011 to 2014.

She is married to Frederick (Kris) Miller, and they have three children, ages 26, 22 and 15.

Fallin Names Natalie Shirley To Cabinet

shirleyGovernor Fallin today announced that Natalie Shirley, president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), will be joining her Cabinet as secretary of education and workforce development. Shirley will begin serving on Monday.

Shirley became president of OSU-OKC in 2011. She is the first female president in the OSU system.

Prior to her role at OSU-OKC, Shirley served as Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism for former Governor Brad Henry. She also served as the executive director of the Department of Commerce, the state’s leading economic development agency. Shirley has also served as president of ICI Mutual, an insurance company.

Fallin called Shirley a perfect fit for helping to achieve a goal outlined in the governor’s inaugural address: increasing educational attainment.

“One of my top priorities going into 2015 is to increase educational attainment in Oklahoma,” said Fallin. “We know that the best way to help Oklahomans – especially those living in poverty – is to get them the skills they need for a good job. Similarly, the best way we can support our businesses and grow our economy is to produce a more educated workforce. Making that goal a reality will take a cooperative effort between Oklahoma public education and our business community.

“I’ve asked Natalie to help oversee and energize that public/private partnership and work to ensure we are increasing educational attainment in Oklahoma. I believe she has the experience and the skill-set we need for that important task. Natalie has been a successful president at OSU-OKC; she has been a leader in both the public and private sector; she is respected by members of both political parties; and she has experience working with and managing large government agencies. Most importantly, she is absolutely committed to ensuring that Oklahoma provides the best education possible to our students.”

Shirley currently serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Central Oklahoma, SSM Health Care of Oklahoma, the Girl Scouts, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, BancFirst, the Oklahoma State Fair Board, AAA Oklahoma/South Dakota, as a trustee on the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum and on the community development advisory council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

“I am honored Governor Fallin has asked me to join her Cabinet,” said Shirley. “As an educator and business person, I know that a great foundational education, learning a skill and earning a degree can produce lifelong benefits. This is turn will make Oklahoma a stronger and better place to live and work.”

Shirley received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

She and her husband, Russ Harrison, have six children.

Fallin Names Steve Burrage To Tax Commission


Governor Fallin today announced the appointment of Steve Burrage to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. He will serve a six-year term succeeding Jerry Johnson, who is retiring January 31.

Burrage is chairman of the board at BankFirst in Antlers.

He also serves as secretary on the Oklahoma Board of Corrections and as chairman of the board’s finance and audit committee. Fallin appointed Burrage to the Corrections Board in 2012. Burrage will resign from the Corrections Board effective January 31.

His appointment to the Tax Commission requires confirmation from the state Senate.

Burrage served as Oklahoma state auditor and inspector from 2008 until 2010. He is also a former board member of the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

“Steve Burrage has a wealth of both private and public sector experience in banking and accounting,” said Fallin. “I appreciate him serving on the Tax Commission and lending his expertise to their important mission. I know Steve shares my passion for ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, both in government agencies and as it relates to the state’s many tax credits and economic incentives.”

Burrage currently serves as a board member for The Independent Bankers Bank in Dallas; the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank; vice chairman of the audit and finance committee for BancInsure, Inc.; and on the national accounting committee, government relations council and chairman of the state membership board for the American Bankers Association; chairman and government relations council chairman of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. He is also a certified public accountant (CPA) and serves as a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

Burrage received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma.

He and his wife, Roberta reside in Antlers, Oklahoma and have three children.

Barresi Defends Record

Former Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi is defending herself via social media after several news outlets published stories about her final days in office, and after an editorial critical of her: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/janet-barresi-defends-record-as-fiscal-conservative-amid-reported-hiring/article_ab65e30c-6513-5221-92c1-d4d427d8abbb.html

Hofmeister Fires Three Education Department Employees


Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister put her stamp on the Department of Education on Friday when she fired three top-level employees: http://newsok.com/new-oklahoma-schools-superintendent-fires-three-top-administrators-friday/article/5385633

Hickman Comments On Mack Selection

The following is a statement from House Speaker Jeffrey W. Hickman pertaining to the State Board of Career and Technology Education’s selection of Dr. Marcie Mack as the state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education:

“Dr. Mack has a solid background in career technology education and has shown continual dedication to ensuring Oklahomans have the opportunity to learn marketable skills and increase their earning potential. She knows what makes the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education a pacesetter for the rest of the nation but she also recognizes the reforms needed to keep us at the top. I have known Marcie since childhood so I can say from first-hand experience that she is a leader of great character and integrity, and I don’t know anyone who would work harder for the students served by the Oklahoma CareerTech system. I look forward to working with her in her new role as director as we help move Oklahoma forward.”

Grau Proposes Major Legislative Change


Rep. Randy Grau has a proposal that would change the way the Legislature conducts state business: http://newsok.com/state-rep.-randy-graus-proposal-would-make-major-changes-in-the-way-the-oklahoma-legislature-does-business/article/5384938

Editorial: Barresi’s A Is For Arrogance

By: Journal Record Staff 

journal-record-logoWhat’s lawful and what’s right are not always the same.

That truth was apparent Monday when the Tulsa World reported that outgoing Superintendent of Schools Janet Barresi made 11th-hour personnel changes. Newly sworn schools chief Joy Hofmeister will have to live with those, and Oklahoma taxpayers will have to live with the $653,000 added to the state’s payroll. Barresi hired five and promoted three in her last week on the job.

Barresi’s attitude was laid bare in the opening few words of her written response to the World, which began, “It is my right as superintendent of public instruction …” But having the right doesn’t make it right.

Barresi was trounced in her re-election bid, becoming the rare incumbent to not merely lose in a primary election, but to finish third with just 21 percent of the vote. It is hard to recall any elected official who has been fired so resolutely by the voters. Carroll Fisher, Jack Walton and David Hall each likely stood a better chance of winning an election than Barresi, who alienated school administrators, teachers and parents alike in just one term. That’s quite a feat considering her predecessor, Sandy Garrett, managed to keep the rarely contentious job for 20 years, eventually retiring in 2010.

Barresi knew in June she was out of the job. She knew Oklahomans wanted someone else – perhaps anyone else – to take the reins of public education. The right thing to do was to start a smooth transition to a new administration. There was plenty of time.

Instead, Barresi in September created the position of assistant state superintendent of accreditation and compliance and hired a career law enforcement officer, Larry Birney, to fill the unadvertised job. Birney happens to be married to Barresi’s general counsel, Kim Richey. We are also reminded that Barresi started her term with three controversial hires who had supervisory duties over state employees, although they were being paid by a private nonprofit organization.

That astonishing level of arrogance comes as no surprise to those who tried to deal with Barresi when she was overseeing the charter high school she launched, Harding Charter Prep, where bullying tactics over a sublease led to a legal battle with the school’s co-tenant, Harding Fine Arts Academy.

All of which, surely, was her right.

On Jan. 2, Oklahoma’s education system was ranked fourth-worst in the nation.

An Arabian proverb applies: Arrogance diminishes wisdom.

Read more: http://journalrecord.com/2015/01/12/editorial-barresis-a-is-for-arrogance-opinion/#ixzz3OqjtfZAx


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