Deer Creek Board of Education
Incumbent Kelli Lay, Lucia Frohling and Scott Hasson will be on the Feb. 14 ballot for the Ward 3 seat on the Deer Creek Public Schools Board of Education. (Screenshot)

An employee of Every Kid Counts Oklahoma and a local businessman are challenging a one-term incumbent for her seat on the Deer Creek School Board.

Lucia Frohling, Scott Hasson and incumbent Kelli Lay are all on the Tuesday, Feb. 14, ballot for Deer Creek’s Ward 3, which stretches south from NW 220th Street to West Edmond Road, and west from Highlander Ridge Drive to North MacArthur Boulevard. Deer Creek Public Schools Board members are elected to five-year terms.

All three candidates were invited to participate in a Jan. 31 forum co-hosted by the Deer Creek Parent Legislative Action Committee and Deer Creek moms, but the forum was ultimately cancelled. Frohling rescinded her agreement to attend due to “blatant and obvious bias for a specific candidate,” she said on Facebook, while Hasson declined to attend altogether owing to concerns of bias.

Lay and Frohling answered questions asked of candidates on the DCPLAC Facebook page, but Hasson did not. Hasson and Frohling answered questions during a virtual town hall hosted by Deer Creek Parents and Community, but Lay did not attend.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, the top two candidates will proceed to the school board general election on Tuesday, April 4.

All information found in this cheat sheet was drawn from publicly available sources.

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Kelli Lay (incumbent)

Kelli Lay (Irish Realty)

Age: 45

Profession/Background: Lay was first elected to the Deer Creek Public Schools Board in 2018. She currently serves as the school board’s president. Lay has spent the last 18 years as senior vice president of Irish Companies specializing in college campus solutions and conflict resolution, according to her website. In 2017, Lay and others opened StellaNova, a chain of local coffee shops, for which Lay serves as the CEO.

Platform: Responding to a question on the Deer Creek Parent Legislative Action Committee’s Facebook page regarding major issues facing the district, Lay said she wants to keep the district local.

“We do not need the state setting the agenda for our schools and we certainly do not need the federal government trying to run our schools,” Lay said.

Lay’s website states that she led the hiring process for the district’s superintendent, Jason Perez, who was hired in 2021. Lay also states that she oversaw the completion of the Deer Creek Transition Center, a facility that offers special needs students a place to learn skills related to daily living, employment and more. The Deer Creek Transition Center opened Jan. 12.

Online: Facebook | Campaign website

Lucia Frohling

Lucia Frohling

Age: 42

Profession/Background: Frohling is the scholarships and opportunities coordinator at Every Kid Counts Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the expansion of school choice options. Frohling has served in that role since December 2021, according to her LinkedIn. Frohling previously served as a public school teacher in both suburban and rural districts, according to her Facebook. Previously, Frohling worked nine years in human resources for BOP Acquisition, LLC, an oil and gas company.

Platform: One of Frohling’s largest initiatives is to implement teaching solutions for reading and math in the district. “Early reading and math literacy is paramount as the bedrock for future success for our students, our district and our state,” Frohling states.

In response to a question on whether she supports school vouchers — which would allow parents to use public money for private school options for their kids — on the Deer Creek PLAC facebook page, Frohling stated that vouchers “are beyond the purview of a school board.” Frohling also said the state’s existing voucher program for children with disabilities — the Lindsey Nicole Henry scholarship — “has shown where there are areas that we need to drill down and improve to ensure that we are truly meeting the needs of our most vulnerable students.”

Online: Facebook

Scott Hasson

Scott Hasson

Age: 60

Profession/Background: Since July 2019, Hasson has worked in strategic sourcing for Dolese Bros, Co., an independent construction materials business that provides aggregates and ready-mix concrete.

Platform: On his campaign website, Hasson states that he wants to request audits of the Deer Creek district’s funding sources, collaborate with private businesses to incentivize funding opportunities, adopt a pay raise for teachers, add more student resource officers to schools and rework the district’s bus schedule and transportation system. Hasson said during the virtual town hall that he previously served as a school board member for a charter school in San Diego from early 2016 to 2019.

“Get this number — that 1,600 children (in Deer Creek) are reading and doing math below grade level. We have to fix that,” Hasson said. “We knew how to do it in San Diego at the charter school I was at and we can do it here in Deer Creek.”

If elected to the Deer Creek School Board, Hasson claims he will only serve one term.

Online: Facebook | Campaign website