The Deer Creek School District's school board election Tuesday will feature a volunteer, a business owner and a professor.
The three candidates are running to succeed board President David Miller, who said he will retire from the board after this term because he has accomplished many of the goals he set five years ago.
Miller also said he is a strong believer that the positions on the board should change to bring in some “new blood.”
The new blood will be coming in the form of either Deer Creek mother Keri Shipley, pharmacy owner Jerrod Roberts or University of Oklahoma professor Timothy Laubach.
All registered voters in the Deer Creek School District will be able to vote in the election, and the winner of the election will most likely take his or her place on the board in March.
Shipley is the mother of two girls in the Deer Creek school system and has served as a parent-teacher organization president at the elementary and middle school level.
Shipley said she and her family moved to the district in 2006, and she has been active in the community since that time.
Aside from her service on the PTO, she said she has been a part of many fundraising efforts for her daughters' schools and has volunteered several thousand hours to the school system.
Shipley said her main motivation to run for school board is to bring a woman's perspective to the board, which is made up of five men, and to “bridge the gap” between the school board and the community.
She said being active in the community “is a big deal” to her.
“And I think being active and involved is something that would have a positive impact on the board,” Shipley said.
Roberts is the father of three Deer Creek students and is the owner of Flourish Integrative Pharmacy in Oklahoma City.
Roberts said he and his family have lived in the district since 2003, and he opened his pharmacy in 2004.
After serving on several professional boards in the state, Roberts said he felt it was time to dedicate his time to education and his children.
Roberts is basing his campaign on five areas he said he feels need extra attention in coming years: safety, academics, inclusion of students, sports and fine arts.
Roberts said because the district is growing so quickly, the board needs to focus to try to keep expectations high for the school district.
“We've established a high bar for our education system,” he said. “And one of the things that happens when you do that is that people want to come to the district. We have to find a way to educate them well, and we've done a great job of that.”
Laubach is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Oklahoma and has spent his entire professional career in education.
He has been teaching at OU for 13 years and taught science and coached in Deer Creek district for three years.
Laubach said he has wanted to get involved with the school board ever since he moved to the district in 2009 and the opportunity presented itself this year.
He said he has been impressed with Deer Creek's level of performance, and he thinks there are more policies that could be developed to maintain that performance.
But, he said, there is one thing missing from the board.
“Our current school board has done a good job of maintaining excellence,” Laubach said. “But the board doesn't have an educator on it ... My entire professional career has been involved in (education), and I think that's something the school board needs.”