EducationElection 2019Town

School Board Candidates Meet

Wood & Anderson on April 2 Ballot

EDITOR’S NOTE: The story is updated to reflect that Justin Wood said he is not responsible for a campaign mailer that was distributed in the school district.

The two candidates for a seat on the Luther School Board participated in the Luther Register’s Candidate Event. Both Sherri Anderson and Justin Wood spoke to voters on stage and person to person at The Chicken Shack.

Anderson is the incumbent, elected in 2014. Her campaign signs are just now popping up around the community. She was elected five years ago, and has been a district leader during a tumultuous time that involved a controversial former administrator, program and budget cuts, a contentious bond election in 2015, and a citizen requested investigative audit. She also was part of ushering in new leadership and policy to the district.

At the event, each candidate had the microphone to introduce themselves. The Luther Register carried the event on FB Live.

Sherri Anderson For School Board

Anderson said she and her husband moved to the Luther School District in 1994. “We had family family out here and our oldest was getting ready to start school. We wanted for our kids a school system from K-12. We chose this one and we also wanted it because class rooms sizes were small,” she said.

All four of her children graduated from LPS and she spent 15 years volunteering at the school, “wherever anyone or anybody needed me, primarily in the elementary school.”

She said during the last five years of her term, there have been a lot of changes and accomplishments in the district.

  • our high school has a safe room
  • middle school is a secure site
  • all school locations have front door buzz-in system
  • full time resource officer.

Anderson said she is hopeful to add more safe roos for the other campuses, “hopefully future bond issues passed to do that,” she said.

She with a new school administration that was put in place two years ago, the school has “improved report cards, improved finances, improved our audits.

“If I’m elected, I will continue to work with the school district to improve it for our current and future Luther Lions, including my grandson,” she told the group gathered at the candidate event on March 19.

Anderson ticked down accomplishments of students in FFA, band and athletics and said the district boasts “extremely talented and gifted students.”

“We can only go forward.”

Justin Wood

Justin Wood is running for school board.

When asked why he is running for the school board, Justin Wood said that after the first day of school when there was a student stabbing, he thought he could bring his skills to the district. Those skills, he said, involve conflict resolution as an arbitrator and mediator. He filed for election during the filing period way back in December along with incumbent Sherri Anderson, and since there were only two candidates, a new state law pushed the school board election all the way to April. Had there been more than two candidates, there would have been the February election, with a run-off, if needed, in April.

Earlier, The Luther Register erroneously reported that Wood’s campaign sent a negative postcard mailer. Wood denied that he was responsible for the piece that says, in part,  “Vote on April 2 to drain the Luther School Board swamp.” The Luther Register apologizes for the error and for not verifying the source of the mailer.  

“I’m running because I saw some things that I work with daily and want to help support the community and see our children prosper.

“Myself, I didn’t go to college right out of high school. It would have been the worst thing for me,” he said. Wood explained he went to college later and his extensive education has enabled him to be a professional mediator and arbitrator to work on conflict resolution.   “There are ways we can go about trying to resolve disputes. You know that in arguments, just because you walk away, doesn’t end the argument. Our kids need coping skills to get through it; listening is most important,” he said.

Candidate Questions

During the question part of the campaign event, Luther resident Brenda Austin asked Wood whether he would be able to work with the board because he has been very vocal with not agreeing with them.

“I’m sorry if you think I am disagreeable, but I ask hard questions,” he said.“I don’t have a problem working with anyone as long as we won’t vote for an illegal act. Working with people is one thing. I’m very firm in what I do and don’t mean to come across mean or staunch.

Wood has criticized the district over findings of the state investigative audit that was launched in late 2015, but wasn’t released until March of 2018.

Wood also admitted that he has seen some positive changes but complained about a lack of transparency.

“I see some things have changed, I don’t make it to a lot of school board meetings. We have no transparency.”

Anderson responded to Wood’s comments

Anderson said, “As far as transparency,  when I came on 2014; there wasn’t any transparency. We weren’t online but because of events, we put everything online,” she said. She claimed the district was one of the most transparent in the state and the board abides by open meetings laws and provides the public with any information desired.

She said she has learned a lot over the last five years.

“When you are new; you are clueless. I had no idea but I had to learn. How do you learn? You learn with every new experience and mistake.

Were we perfect? No.
Did we learn? Yes.
Are we stable? Yes.
Will we need help? Yes.
 Do I care? Very much so. My heart is there even if not elected.

I believe in our teachers. I believe in our kids, every school can improve to help kids,” said Anderson.”

The election is Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at your regular polling location. For information about absentee ballots, click here.

Sheila Harp and Brenda Austin attended the candidate forum.

Next story, a recap of the Town Board candidates at the event. Four candidates, Jeff Schwarzmeier, Andy McDaniels, Carolyn Lawson and Brian Hall are vying to for two board seats.

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7 Comments

  1. I, Justin Wood, have NEVER MAILED ANYTHING.!!!! I have been blamed by the Luther Register twice now for some felonious mailing attacking my running mate Sherry Anderson and previously for a post card during the bond vote. I AGAIN SAY. I have NEVER mailed any post card, nor had them mailed nor in any manner participated in their creation or mailing.!!!! This is a slanderous assault by Dawn Shelton and the Luther Register and all others involved by making false and inaccurate remarks which are WHOLLY UNTRUE. This is NOT journalism but a self-righteous forum to attack and slander people of the community for monetary profit and person gain.

    1. Regarding the postcard, I have removed that portion of the story, and we will have to get to the bottom of that. However, there is a postcard circulating that attacks the other candidate. Are you saying that you did not approve it, pay for it or send it? Then who did?

      1. I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this card NOR the other post card during the bond vote; to which, both have been FELONIOUSLY blamed on me by the Luther Register News and yourself (Dan Shelton); to which, both times you just deleted stuff in your article “like it never happened”. That’s NOT honest reporting.!! An honest reporter would own up to their error and make a FULL retraction and apology and make it policy to avoid future erroneous reporting, not a line or two of text after the damage has been done. In reviewing my documentation, this is the 5th time you have accused me with bias intent. All it would take is a call, email or text but most of the time you say, “you’re too busy”. I am working too, as are many of the constituents of this community and they do not have time for Fake News. I still want to know: Who supplied you with a postcard mailed to NW OKC or Piedmont over an election in the township of Luther, as you referenced in your posting.?? Makes me wonder what tentacles extend into our community from the the other side of the county. Will you post who gave this to you, so, we can see who is receiving mail from so far away, as someone blacked out the name and address.?? Will you let me inspect the original postcard, as I believe I can remove the sharpie marker and identify the name and address printed on the post card.?? Share with the people and show them you want to report unbiased information rather than felonious accusations. What do you say.??

        1. The mailer was sent to 73054, but I did not completely mark out the last four of the zip, after the 73054. It was sent to a Luther address (not Piedmont).

  2. I am not sure this rises to the threshold of “felonious”… It was not evil nor a felony. Also, its Dawn Shelton.

    While I believe someone should sign their name to things they send, it is not illegal to mail such. The Luther Register did own up, apologize and correct any misinformation, as per this copied portion of the above article:

    Earlier, The Luther Register erroneously reported that Wood’s campaign sent a negative postcard mailer. Wood denied that he was responsible for the piece that says, in part, “Vote on April 2 to drain the Luther School Board swamp.” The Luther Register apologizes for the error and for not verifying the source of the mailer.

    1. I completely agree someone should sign their work but the original retraction was nothing but deleting the sentence. As we have been capturing screen shots all day. I do not know why this source continually blames me for acts I didn’t commit. I have never hidden my identity on any statement nor had anyone go behind the scenes to do stuff for me. I will own up to anything I post and I am glad to see that Dawn has again edited the post and made a more proper correction and apology. I do thank her for that.

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