school board runoffs
Putnam City, Mid-Del and El Reno Public Schools will all have a runoff for a seat on their respective school boards on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (Provided)

On Tuesday, April 4, voters in school districts across the Oklahoma City metro will head to the polls to elect candidates to various boards of education. In particular, Midwest City-Del City Public Schools, El Reno Public Schools and Putnam City Public Schools will each see an election for their respective school boards.

In the Midwest City-Del City and El Reno districts, candidates are running for an open seat. In Putnam City, the incumbent is facing a vocal challenger. The following overview of candidates includes information gathered from publicly available sources.

Mid-Del Public Schools

On Feb. 14, Lynette Dean and Gina Standridge advanced to the runoff for Office No. 3 in the northwest part of the school district, earning 43 percent and 49.02 percent of the vote, respectively. They beat Daniel Shaffer, who garnered only 7.98 percent of the vote.

On her Facebook page, Dean, 54, touts her business experience as a reason she would be successful in the position. According to the Midwest City Beacon, Dean has worked for Braum’s for 19 years and is currently an operations manager for Meadowbrook Oil Corp.

Dean calls herself a “teacher advocate” and says she has “over 32 years management experience” and has “managed multi-million-dollar accounts.” Additionally, Dean said she has raised her sons, adopted nieces and nephews and multiple foster kids in the district.

Standridge, 56, is a retired educator and Chickasaw Nation citizen who grew up and taught in Mid-Del Public Schools. According to her Facebook page, she is currently working on her PhD in education and was a classroom teacher for 32 years. She lists a number of priorities in a Facebook post, including improving communication, school safety, mental health resource access and teacher and staff support.

Putnam City Public Schools

Only two candidates filed to run for Office No. 3 of the Putnam City Board of Education, which meant the district did not hold a Feb. 14 primary election. Now, on Tuesday, incumbent Judy Mullen Hopper is facing Lori Tuggle.

According to her bio on the Putnam City Board of Education website, Hopper, 69, has taught in PC schools and has long been an education advocate in the district and at the Capitol. Hopper is a member of the Putnam City Parent Legislative Action Committee. In the 2016 general election, Hopper was Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat’s Democratic opponent for Senate District 47. She lost by more than 7,000 votes.

Tuggle‘s occupation is unclear from her social media accounts, but her Facebook page contains a number of posts that are critical of Marxism and teacher unions.

“I’ve been asked why I haven’t completed some of the candidate surveys I’ve been requested to complete,” Tuggle wrote in one post. “It’s simple really; I’m not willing to jump through some of their required hoops, and some were sent to me by union reps. I have no use for unions, and don’t feel compelled to provide them anything. I also will ignore those trolls who just want to get attention by playing childish word games.”

Tuggle, 58, said in one post that she does not have children, but if she did, she would not send them to public school.

“Putnam City has sex clubs in Capps Middle School, Putnam City High School, and Putnam City North High School,” Tuggle claimed in the same post.

Tuggle lists some of her priorities as improving communication, supporting parents’ rights, establishing transparency and reviewing teaching practices.

El Reno Public Schools

On Feb. 14, Eric Palmer and Ronald Funck beat Roberta Hamilton with 37.21 percent and 31.51 percent of the vote, respectively, to advance to the runoff for Office No. 3 in the eastern part of the El Reno Public Schools District.

Palmer, 33, is a customer service manager at Gemini Coatings, Inc., according to his LinkedIn page. On his Facebook page, Palmer calls himself a lifelong resident of El Reno.

Palmer’s page offers few details of his campaign priorities, but he does say he wants to give back to the district.

“I bring a passion for ERPS as it helped shape me into who I am today,” Palmer said in a post. “I promise to fight for the best future for the students.”

Funck, 74, is a former Canadian County assessor. He does not appear to have an presence online.

Polls will be open around Oklahoma from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4.