Paula Lewis
Incumbent Paula Lewis will continue to serve as chairperson of the OKCPS Board of Education after winning the Tuesday, April 6, 2021 general election. Carole Thompson will now serve as District 1 Representative with Lori Bowman serving as District 2 Representative. (NonDoc)

Paula Lewis will continue to serve as chairperson of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education after winning Tuesday’s general election with about 52 percent of the vote (4,579 votes).

Challenger and current District 1 Representative Charles Henry walked away with about 48 percent of Tuesday’s vote (4,236 votes) despite finishing ahead of Lewis in February’s primary.

Results from today’s elections can be found by visiting the Oklahoma State Election Board. All results are unofficial until certified by the board.

Lewis ran on a platform of increasing the quality of education, increasing pay and benefits for educators, bringing stability to the administration, removing barriers and promoting equity in the OKCPS district. During the primary election on Feb. 9, Lewis received only 44 percent of the vote compared to Henry’s 47.8 percent.

Meanwhile, retired OKCPS educator of 25 years Carole Thompson will fill the District 1 seat on the OKCPS board after receiving 58.9 percent of the vote (1,168 votes) on election night. Her opponent, Brett Hayes, received 41.1 percent of the vote (816 votes).

Thompson’s goals while in office include making the education of students a top priority in the community, implementing strategies and plans to help students maintain grade-level competency and making the educational opportunities in the OKCPS district better than ever.

Thompson will not be the only new OKCPS board member. Lori Bowman won the election for District 2 with 75.4 percent of the vote (1,872 votes). Her opponent, James McHenry, received about 24.5 percent (609 votes). The District 2 position was vacated after current board member Rebecca Budd opted not to run for a second term.

Bowman is the owner of the nonprofit consulting firm Bowman Strategies. Her campaign platforms included ensuring student access to mental health resources, following through on the district’s Pathways to Greatness plan, prioritizing board accountability and providing good stewardship of tax dollars.

Edmond Board of Education results

The District 1 seat of the Edmond Public Schools Board of Education was also up for election on Tuesday with incumbent Lee Ann Kuhlman winning with about 54.4 percent of the vote (1,957 votes) and challenger Margaret Best receiving about 45.5 percent of the vote (1,638 votes).

Kuhlman is a retired teacher who taught in the Edmond district for 14 years and has served on the Edmond Public Schools Board since 2005. She was also a 2004-2005 teacher of the year finalist.

Kuhlman had stated that, if re-elected, her goal would be to provide options for students that will keep everyone as safe as possible during the pandemic.

Western Heights Board of Education results

Oklahoma Education Association organizer Briana Flatley will now fill Seat 1 of the Western Heights Board of Education after receiving about 64.4 percent of the vote (328 votes) Tuesday night.

Incumbent board member Darrell Raper received about 35.5 percent of Tuesday’s vote (181 votes).

Flatley had said her goals while in office would be to improve and rebuild community relationships, provide more transparency and accountability and recruit and retain great educators.

The district has received heated critique from district employees and parents in recent years. In February, a citizens’ petition from the Western Heights Education Association and Western Heights community requesting a special audit of the district by the State Auditor & Inspector’s Office received 998 signatures and was delivered to the Oklahoma County Election Board.

The petition requests that the audit looks into child nutrition program expenditures, district credit card expenditures of certain administrative personnel, the issuance of school bonds used to finance and purchase school busses and payments related to consultant and attorney fees.