Incumbent Rusty Gunn faces challenger Tracy Hanlon

The April 6 election for Workplace No. 3 of the Sand Springs college board will pit veteran board member Rusty Gunn in opposition to challenger Tracy A. Hanlon.

Gunn, 45, is the church-planting chief for Ship Community Oklahoma and the lead pastor of Church That Issues. He and his spouse, Megan, have 4 kids attending Sand Springs Public Colleges in addition to a toddler who will enter the district quickly.

Gunn began college in Houston earlier than shifting to Cushing and graduating from Cushing Excessive College in 1996. He attended Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri, from 1996 to 2000.

Hanlon, 42, is a stay-at-home-mother and the proprietor of Candy Peony, a gluten-free in-home bakery. She and her husband, Chris, have 5 kids, all of whom attended or at the moment attend Sand Springs Public Colleges.

Hanlon graduated from Windsor Excessive College in Imperial, Missouri. She attended Meramec Group School in St. Louis and Tulsa Group School.

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Gunn has served on the Sand Springs college board for 10 years.

“The continual coaching in all areas of college administration — college finance, together with bond elections, college security and particular packages — has stored me updated on essential points going through our faculty district as we speak and shifting into the longer term,” he mentioned.

For 10 years previous to becoming a member of the college board, Gunn mentioned, he volunteered in various capacities with the district and in addition attended college board conferences for years as a mum or dad and neighborhood stakeholder. After becoming a member of the college board, he has continued to volunteer all through the district, he mentioned.

Gunn cited extra expertise gleaned from serving on the board of trustees for Oklahoma Baptist College, on the board of administrators for the Tulsa Ladies House, and on the advisory council for the Sand Springs Salvation Military, and he additionally pointed to his neighborhood involvement via his ministerial position and proudly owning and working a number of companies in Sand Springs.



Hanlon labored beforehand as a particular schooling paraprofessional and an utilized habits evaluation, or ABA, therapist at Limestone Expertise Academy.

“Whereas working within the career, I noticed an important want for church buildings to implement a program for kids with particular wants,” she mentioned. “So I got here up with a program for the church I attend, Life.Church, to accommodate all kids with particular wants.”

Hanlon mentioned she is closely concerned in her kids’s lives with Sand Springs Public Colleges.

“As a mother of a number of children, I cheer on many sports activities, from basketball to cross nation and observe, to soccer and cheer,” she mentioned. “I like giving my time to the PTO, in addition to being a homeroom mother to all of my kids.”

The Sand Springs Chief requested the candidates to reply to 5 questions. Their solutions observe. The candidates got phrase limits.

What was your favourite factor about college once you had been a scholar and why?

Gunn: Soccer, wrestling, ladies, associates, lunch and the bell on the finish of the day had been my favourite issues about college once I was a scholar. Wanting again, the impression many lecturers made in my life by their funding in me that I didn’t acknowledge on the time has grow to be evident and cherished for me.

Hanlon: There are numerous issues I cherished about college as a result of I used to be a kind of college students who cherished college! I used to be a varsity cheerleader all through highschool. It was my ardour, and I lived, ate and breathed cheerleading. My favourite topic in class was science. I cherished something to do with anatomy/physiology in addition to biology. If I might return to high school, it could be for forensic science. I discover it fascinating!

Why do you wish to serve on the Sand Springs college board?

Gunn: I wish to serve our neighborhood, signify the folks in our neighborhood who’re the stakeholders in our public college system and proceed working to verify Sand Springs faculties will all the time be the very best we might be as we serve and spend money on our neighborhood’s most dear useful resource and hope for our future, our kids.

Hanlon: I wish to serve on the board as a result of I wish to make a distinction, even when it’s a small one. I wish to be a robust voice and advocate for our kids, our great lecturers and employees, in addition to our mother and father. I’m a mum or dad of a number of SSPS children, and I discover it crucial to have mother and father play an lively position of their youngster’s schooling. Being knowledgeable and updated on all insurance policies and packages our schooling system places forth is extraordinarily necessary.

What’s one constructive factor you see taking place in Sand Springs Public Colleges?

Gunn: Sand Springs Public Colleges regularly has excessive retention charges and profitable recruiting of lecturers and personnel attributable to good, sturdy management, look after our group and an unbelievable neighborhood that helps our faculties.

Hanlon: There are such a lot of constructive issues taking place in our district, however I actually suppose our a number of completely different packages for our college students ranks excessive on my record. There are such a lot of completely different packages that our college students can select from. I imagine this actually offers our college students the power to search out out what pursuits them, what they’re captivated with, to allow them to begin planning forward for his or her future profession path.

What’s one particular factor concerning the district you suppose might be improved upon?

Gunn: We actually have challenges and wishes when it comes to amenities and assets. Our advert valorem alternatives are extremely restricted at the moment. Whereas we all the time have room for enchancment in different areas and attempt to make the wanted enhancements as these issues are delivered to our consideration, there may be not an space that’s obtrusive to me that will be a particular focus of a marketing campaign for this college board seat.

Hanlon: Funding. Funding not just for our lecturers however our help employees, as effectively. Together with classroom assets, which requires funding from the state. If we elevated funding, we might additionally improve pay for our substitute lecturers. Our district is in want of substitutes, however our funding doesn’t enable them to be paid adequately for his or her time. In addition to pay, lecturers establish an absence of assets and help, which is why our lecturers are leaving. That’s not only a drawback for our district, however it’s a drawback for our kids. We want good lecturers, and good lecturers deserve good pay. That’s the reason Oklahoma, sadly, remains to be ranked as forty seventh in per-pupil expenditures. It’s an absence of funding that’s seen in our school rooms all through Oklahoma.

One of the-talked-about points regarding public faculties in Oklahoma is whether or not to permit college students’ state-allocated per-pupil funding to observe them to personal faculties via vouchers or tax credit in the event that they resolve to go away public faculties. First, do you help that proposal, and secondly, what do you suppose the impact, if any, can be on Sand Springs Public Colleges if such laws had been to grow to be regulation?

Gunn: The laws proposed associated to this query is sophisticated. Exterior of my vote as a citizen and advocating for our district, I’ve little affect on whether or not it turns into a actuality or not. My focus as a member of the Sand Springs Board of Training is to make sure that our native public college is the very best it may be, making it engaging to oldsters and college students in such a method that our district is the college they select if given a alternative. In all honesty, I’m pleased with our faculties and imagine in our group and am not afraid of the competitors if this turns into a actuality. We are going to rise to the problem, as Sandites all the time do!

Hanlon: As an advocate for public faculties, I don’t help diverting taxpayer {dollars} from the general public state coffers and sending them to personal entities. Those that advocate for vouchers aren’t advocating for fogeys’ rights. Oklahoma households may have fewer alternatives to search out out what’s taking place inside their youngster’s college as a result of non-public faculties aren’t required to adjust to state accountability and evaluation requirements, state monetary transparency, open information legal guidelines, particular schooling guidelines or curriculum necessities. The present tax proposal being mentioned has no minimal cap. Anybody would qualify for the $5,000 tax credit score for personal college and $2,500 for homeschool per youngster. This voucher within the type of a tax credit score would lower the statewide income and never solely damage our district however districts throughout the state. Public faculties, not vouchers, supply probably the most college alternative. Among the many state’s 553 public college districts, households have already got the selection to pick out magnet, constitution, digital or a extra conventional Okay-12 choice. SSPS has an enrollment of over 5,100 college students and provides college alternative. We have now a number of profession path and academic packages for our college students supplied by in-person studying, digital studying and a hybrid of digital and in-person studying.

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