Edmond school board races
Edmond Public Schools voters hit the polls Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, to determine the fate of two bond propositions. Both passed with more than 70 percent support. (Megan Prather)

Both Edmond school board seats appear headed to an April 5 runoff after the ballot presence of a non-campaigning third candidate — who said she failed to withdraw before the official deadline — left candidate Michael Grande five votes shy of winning District 5 outright.

All election results are unofficial until they are certified by the Oklahoma State Election Board, and a recount to doublecheck the close contest would appear likely.

Grande finished with 1,749 votes (49.89 percent) and Marcus Jones received 1,678 votes (47.86 percent). Deonna Maxfield, who told NonDoc she had decided against seeking the office but had failed to withdraw in time to keep her name off the ballot, received 79 votes, or 2.25 percent.

In the race for Edmond Public Schools District 2, candidates Cheryl Williams and Courtney Hobgood will also square off for an April 5 runoff.

Meanwhile, EPS voters passed a pair of bond proposals with more than 70 percent of the vote. The bonds will total $120 million and will be used for classroom additions and the purchase of land for a new school.

EPS District 5: Grande v. Jones

Edmond Schools Election
The 2022 race for Edmond Public Schools Board of Education District 5 will head to an April runoff between management and investment consultant Michael Grande and incumbent Marcus Jones. (NonDoc)

At times, Edmond School Board meetings have been contentious in recent months, and voters will now have two more months to consider their choice between Michael Grande and Marcus Jones in District 5.

Grande’s campaign platform included ensuring that parents are involved and represented in the decision-making process of the district, ensuring that students aren’t being pushed through a standardized process and are on a path to master the basics of education, and a call for transparency and accountability.

He was endorsed by Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights, School Boards 4 Kids, Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee.

Jones, a software developer, had been appointed to fill the board position in November following the resignation of Meredith Exline in September. According to his website, issues of focus for Jones include reducing class sizes, supporting fine arts, advocating for district athletics, reaching out to elected officials to discuss partnerships and policies, improving the use of technology in the district and supporting teachers, principals and staff.

Jones is endorsed by the editorial board of The Edmond Way.

EPS District 2: Williams v. Hobgood

Edmond Schools Election
Edmond Public Schools District 2 candidates Cheryl Williams and Courtney Hobgood will be heading to an April runoff election after neither candidate secured 50 percent of the vote during election day on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (NonDoc)

After a field of five candidates crowded the District 2 ballot, Cheryl Williams and Courtney Hobgood will head to the run-off election. Williams received 36.61 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, and Hobgood received 25.3 percent of the vote.

An Edmond resident since 1988, Williams volunteers in and has grandchildren who attend school in the district. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of the Ozarks. She has experience as a business systems analyst and has worked for a bond underwriting firm. From 2011 to 2015, she served as the director of finance for Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello.

According to her campaign website, Williams aims to improve communication between the community, parents and the school district and to rebuild confidence that Edmond schools are teaching “approved age-appropriate curriculum” while providing a safe environment where students can learn. Her website also states that retention of good teachers must become a focus of the district and that parents and grandparents need to be welcomed back into the classroom as resources.

Williams made headlines in 2021 after she appeared before the Edmond City Council to oppose the designation of June as Pride Month. Last year, Williams also called for members of the Edmond Public Schools Board of Education to resign over the inclusion of the memoir The Glass Castle on a high school reading list in the district.

She has been endorsed by School Boards 4 Kids, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights and Sen. Jake Merrick (R-Yukon).

Hobgood has three children who attend elementary school within the district and has been involved in the Parent Teacher Organization at Washington Irving Elementary School along with serving on a principal selection committee for the district.

According to her campaign Facebook page, Hobgood believes in advocating for all students, teachers and parents, pursuing a low student-teacher ratio, ensuring the district receives the funding, technology and resources needed to develop students into future community, state and national leaders and points to teacher and staff exhaustion as a foremost issue for the district.

Hobgood has been endorsed by the editorial board of The Edmond Way.

Other candidates on the District 2 ballot Tuesday included Indrit Vucaj, who received 18.47 percent of the vote, Bobby Kern, who received about 11.72 percent of the vote, and Ashley Duffey, who received about 7.91 percent of the vote.

A total of 3,969 ballots were cast in the District 2 election.

Two Edmond bond propositions pass

Edmond Public Schools voters passed both bond proposals on the ballot, which will total $120 million.

According to state law, bond issues must receive a supermajority of at least 60 percent of the vote in order to be approved.

Edmond voters passed the first proposal with 72.37 percent support. The proposal will issue bonds totaling $117 million to improve or acquire school sites, constructing, repairing, remodeling and equipping school buildings, and acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Edmond voters also passed the second proposal with 71.07 percent support. This proposal will issue bonds in total of $3 million to provide funds for the purpose of purchasing transporting equipment.

There are 27 projects earmarked within the bond resolution’s first proposal, which are detailed below. The single project earmarked within the second proposal states that the $3 million in funds will be used to “purchase school transportation equipment to include but not be limited to large school buses, small school buses and large capacity sports utility vehicles.”

Projects funded by EPS bond proposals

  • $13,500,000 to purchase fine arts and athletic equipment for secondary schools, library/media center books, software subscriptions, instructional materials, maintenance school support vehicles, and child support equipment.
  • $12,000,000 to purchase and install computers, digital devices, software, wireless networking equipment, phone systems and technology support services.
  • $10,000,000 to improve HVAC systems at Northern Hills Elementary, Sequoyah Middle School, Central Middle School, Memorial High School and Santa Fe High School.
  • $7,500,000 to improve the district administrative facility located at 1001 W. Danforth to include but not be limited to the construction and equipping of a new technology building on the existing site.
  • $7,000,000 to replace and repair roofing at Will Rogers, Angie Debo and Sunset Elementary Schools, as well as Santa Fe and North High Schools.
  • $4,800,000 to purchase land and land improvements to construct future schools.
  • $3,000,000 to improve and upgrade existing fluorescent lights to LED lights district wife as needed and as funds allow.
  • $2,500,000 to construct a new warehouse at the existing district maintenance facility.
  • $2,000,000 to construct, resurface and/or modify existing parking lots and access roads at Santa Fe High School, Angie Debo Elementary School, Central Middle School, Orvis Risner, Frontier Elementary, John Ross Elementary and Boulevard Academy.
  • $2,000,000 to construct and equip a new bus building, parking lot and access road.
  • $1,500,000 to improve and upgrade existing water fountains to bottle filler/bubbler combo foundation district wide as needed and as funds allow.
  • $1,500,000 to provide for classroom furnishings district wide as needed and as funds allow.
  • $800,000 to improve and upgrade security as needed to include but not be limited to installations of video surveillance camera systems, electronic security and door control devices, fencing, badging and resistant glass film, student/staff photo ID badges and card reader systems.
  • $500,000 to improve and upgrade flooring district wide to include remaining broadloom carpet.

High school projects

  • $7,250,000 for Santa Fe High School to construct a multi-classroom addition.
  • $4,900,000 for North High School to construct additional space in the existing main cafeteria and renovate and upgrade classrooms and locker rooms as needed and as funds allow.
  • $3,000,000 for Memorial High School to improve and renovate Freshman Academy and corridors in the main building as needed.
  • $200,000 for Boulevard Academy to construct an enclosed corridor from the gym to the building.

Middle school projects

  • $4,000,000 for Heartland Middle School to construct additional space in existing cafeteria.
  • $2,500,000 for Sequoyah Middle School to renovate and improve the exterior of the existing building and make improvements to the cafeteria and corridors.
  • $2,250,000 for Summit Middle School to renovate and improve existing cafeteria and practice gym.
  • $2,000,000 for Cimarron Middle School to renovate and improve existing classrooms, practice gyms and office area.
  • $1,500,000 for Cheyenne Middle School to improve existing track, competition gym floor, restrooms and athletic locker rooms.
  • $1,500,000 for Central Middle School to renovate and improve existing tennis courts, track, gym bleachers and athletic locker rooms.

Elementary school projects

  • $8,300,000 to improve and upgrade classrooms, corridors, restrooms, cabinets, doors and ceilings at the following elementary schools: Northern Hills, Sunset, Ida Freedmen, Clyde Howell Early Childhood Center, Chisholm, Clergen, Angie Debo, Washington Irving, Charles Haskell, Will Rogers.
  • $8,000,000 for Redbud Elementary to construct classrooms.
  • $3,000,000 for Scissortail Elementary to construct classrooms.

Bond issue approved for Deer Creek Public Schools

Deer Creek Public Schools voters also approved two bond propositions during Tuesday’s election.

The first proposition, which totaled about $131.1 million, was approved with more than 70 percent of the vote and will go toward a new elementary school, a new middle school, baseball and softball turf, extra curricular needs and other district-wide renovations and improvements.

The second proposition, which totaled about $6 million, will be used for district transportation. It was also approved with more than 70 percent of the vote. 

According to the district’s website, the bond propositions were planned in order to reduce the number of school transitions for students, add additional cafeteria space to accommodate elementary students, provide additional space and transportation to accommodate the district’s growth and provide space for extra-curricular activities.