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Candidate Profile | Luther Board of Education

Bison Blinds

Two candidates are on the April 4 ballot to serve on the Luther Board of Education. Brandon Rogers was first appointed to the school board in 2019, and elected in 2020. He is challenged by Charles De Furia who has served previously on the Luther school board.

Current LPS enrollment is 726 students with an average class size of 52 students in each grade, and 51 teachers. Data shows the district is in the bottom 50% of test rankings in math and English, but in the top 20% for graduation rates. The district has three schools, elementary (PK-4 grades), middle (5-8 grades), and high (9-12 grades).


Meet the Candidates

The Luther Register emailed identical questionnaires to Rogers and De Furia who obliged. Their responses are below.

BRANDON ROGERS

Q. Tell us about yourself.
BR: I am a 34 year old father of 2 wonderful children. I have been happily married to my beautiful wife for 13 years whom I met while attending Luther Public Schools. I attended Luther for 10 years and graduated in 2007. After graduation I attended college at the University of Central Oklahoma and received my bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in real estate. Since college I have enjoyed investing in and renovating several homes in Luther. I have worked in Luther at BancFirst for the past 16 years. I am a member of First Baptist Church, where I enjoy serving the Lord alongside my family and friends.   

Q. Tell us why you are running for a seat on the Luther Board of Education (include what you’ve been doing to campaign – signs, mailers, etc).
BR: Although I may have my personal political beliefs, I have zero interest in getting involved in “politics”. With being a father, an alumni, and longtime resident of Luther, I feel a great passion for serving my community. I believe that the children of our Luther Public Schools are our future and if we are not willing to invest in their success our future is pretty dim. My number one goal, as I have served on the board the last 3 and a half years, has been to put the children of Luther Public School first in every vote or decision I take part in. I feel as though I have done that with my time on the board and would love to continue to serve this great district.  

Q. What should voters know about you to help them decide at the ballot box?
BR: As a Christian, I believe passionately in service. Most importantly in serving our Lord, who blesses us daily and I believe he calls us to service in our community and make a difference. My desire would be for Luther Public Schools to thrive and be as successful as possible and for no one to know who I was or how I was involved. My goal is to assist the administration in making Luther Public Schools the best it can be. 

READ: Luther Founders’ Day Parade April 8, 2023

Q. Can you list and describe some challenges at Luther Public Schools?
BR: I believe that, like most schools, Luther faces the challenge of filling open positions and keeping the wonderful staff we have. With tensions being very high at the state level with major issues like teacher pay raises and school choice, it is making it very difficult for people to make the choice to become a teacher and even causing some current teachers to choose a different career. 

Q. Can you list and describe some successes at Luther Public Schools?
BR: I personally believe that Luther Public Schools strive for and are very successful in fostering a safe, loving, and student driven environment. This is only possible through having incredible staff that go above and beyond “their job” to make sure that every student knows that they are important and that their education matters. Luther Public Schools also takes pride in trying to create a work environment where the staff feels empowered and supported to do the best job they can. 

READ: LHS Participates in Swap Up Snack Event

Q. Public education in Oklahoma is getting a lot of attention as we watch the new State School Superintendent Ryan Walters begin his term. How does what is happening at the state level affect the local school level, particularly Luther Public Schools?
BR: I believe that Luther Public Schools are in a good place and fortunately this has had little effect on us at this point but there are some concerns for the future. As I mentioned before I do believe it could cause issues with properly staffing our schools. We, as a state, have to do more to support our schools and teachers to make teaching a good viable career option. This may begin with legislation but will also involve local school boards doing their part to make sure we help create an environment for teachers to thrive. 

Q. What is the financial health of Luther Public Schools?
BR: I truly believe Luther Public School is in a great place financially. Our administration does a great job of responsibly using the budget to get as much accomplished as possible. As our town grows, both in number of homes and number of students in Luther Public schools, it will be very important for us as a school board to make sure we continue to utilize the taxpayer’s money as efficiently and responsibly as possible.   

Q. How is enrollment at LPS? Do you anticipate student growth, as the town and surrounding area grows?
BR: Luther Public Schools have grown in the past few years and I do anticipate this to continue as our area gets more and more desirable. Growth is a great thing but does come with its challenges. We as a district need to be ready for this growth through being properly staffed and preparing our facilities to accommodate the growth. Although it has been a hot topic in the past, I truly believe that in order to properly prepare for growth it is time for us, as a community, to get behind a bond that would improve the safety of our buildings and make our facilities match the quality of the education that is being offered inside of them.   

Q. What hopes do you have for LPS graduates?
BR: My hope for every student that walks the halls of Luther Public School is for them to be able to leave with the tools they need to accomplish whatever endeavor they choose to take on after school, whether that be college, tech school, or straight into a career. I hope they can leave with confidence and pride for the school they attended. 

Q. Any last thoughts?
BR: I pray, at the end of the day, that politics play no role in this election and that the person that will best serve the children of our community fills this seat and does so with a love and passion for this community and the children of Luther Public Schools.


CHARLES DE FURIA

Q: Tell us about yourself.
CF: I was saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1982.

Q. Tell us why you are running for a seat on the Luther Board of Education (include what you’ve been doing to campaign – signs, mailers, etc). 
CF: I have ten grandkids and some of them attend Luther Public Schools.  America is in the midst of a spiritual war.  I want to bring the knowledge of the Creator God back into the classroom to save America from the Marxist “critical theory – divide and conquer” indoctrination that has crept into our society.  For my campaign, I’ve put out signs, sent out mailers and spoke at the Luther Community Center.

Q. What should voters know about you to help them decide at the ballot box?
CF: Follow me on “Truth Social” @charlesjdefuria.

Q. Can you list and describe some challenges at Luther Public Schools? 
CF: We need to terminate our contract with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA).  It’s the tail wagging the dog.

READ: Three Republicans File for Logan County Commission Seat

Q. Can you list and describe some successes at Luther Public Schools?
CF: The girls basketball team is awesome.  One of my granddaughters is on the team.

Q. Public education in Oklahoma is getting a lot of attention as we watch the new State School Superintendent Ryan Walters begin his term. How does what is happening at the state level affect the local school level, particularly Luther Public Schools?
CF: I voted for Ryan Walters.  I support the elimination of pornography and LGBTQ grooming of children in the public schools in Oklahoma.

Q. What is the financial health of Luther Public Schools?
CF: Very good.  The last time I looked, our appropriation was $13,015 per student.

Q. How is enrollment at LPS?
CF: The last time I looked the Average Daily Membership (ADM) was 741.

Q. Do you anticipate student growth, as the town and surrounding area grows?
CF: Our School District is primarily agricultural and rural residential.  I anticipate future growth to be similar, with the ratio of students to the increase in ad valorem tax revenue to be about the same.

Q. What hopes do you have for LPS graduates?
CF: I hope LPS graduates will have knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to preserve  our “One Nation Under God.”

Q. Any last thoughts?
CF: I support limited government.


On the April 4 Ballot

The election is April 4, 2023. The Luther School District covers northeast Oklahoma County, reaching up to Logan County to the north, and Lincoln county to the east. Other items on the ballot include a run-off for Oklahoma County Clerk. While there are several municipal elections in surrounding towns, including some hot races in Jones, Harrah, and Choctaw, there is not a municipal election in Luther where only one candidate, Jeff Schwarzmeier, filed for one of two trustee positions. Schwarzmeier who was first elected in 2019, will retain his seat. The Luther Town Board of Trustees is accepting applications through April 7, 2023, to appoint another trustee.

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