Bi-Partisan Group of Top State Education Leaders Endorse Joy Hofmeister
TULSA, OK (October 27, 2014) — Joy Hofmeister was endorsed today by three former state education officials, representing four recent Oklahoma governors. The three education leaders represent more than a century of experience as leaders in education, and have represented Democrat and Republican administrations.
The three include former Democrat State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, who was education secretary to both Governors Henry Bellmon and David Walters, Secretary Phyllis Hudecki, who served Governor Mary Fallin and former Secretary Floyd Coppedge who served Governor Frank Keating.
“I’m honored today to be endorsed by three experienced leaders who are among the most accomplished education experts in Oklahoma today. I believe their endorsement is about picking the right state superintendent to move education forward with a positive plan to accomplish our goals,” Hofmeister said.
Garrett, who was the first woman and longest serving state superintendent in Oklahoma history, served Republican Governor Henry Bellmon and then Democrat Governor David Walters. She was elected as the state superintendent in 1990 and garnered more votes than any other Democrat on the ticket.
"I’m supporting Joy Hofmeister because education should not be a partisan issue,” said Garrett. “We need a state superintendent who can successfully implement reform and advocate for education. That person is Joy Hofmeister. Joy has dedicated her life to education, and I have no question that she is passionate in her commitment. What sets her apart is that Joy Hofmeister can be effective.
"Joy will be a superintendent for teachers. I believe teachers need an advocate at this critical time in our state's history as we are witnessing an exodus of educators from the profession.
“We also need a leader who can collaborate at the state Capitol to achieve our goals. Joy has demonstrated an ability to build coalitions, and that is desperately needed if we are to put a renewed focus on education in Oklahoma. Our next state superintendent has to be effective,” Garrett said.
Former Education Secretary Phyllis Hudecki said when Hofmeister served on the state Board of Education, “she studied the issues, gathered input from stakeholders and voted her conscience, even when she had to stand alone.
“She was fearless in doing so, but only after she collaborated with practitioners and stakeholders to understand the real impact of her vote. That is leadership. Joy’s broad scope of experience gives her an understanding of education policy, which is important as we move forward,” said Dr. Hudecki, who served as education secretary for Governor Mary Fallin.
Dr. Floyd Coppedge, education secretary for Governor Frank Keating, said, “I am supporting Joy Hofmeister because I believe she has the skills needed to get the job done. She has the professional, relational and academic experience necessary to lead the state to a standard of excellence that we can all be proud of.
“We share a vision of seeing a cooperative, working relationship between the state Department of Education and educators across the state. The State Department should be a service agency, not a monitoring agency, and I believe Joy is the candidate to achieve this goal,” said Coppedge.