EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of profiles of candidates running for Deer Creek Board of Education.
Jerrod Roberts is one of three candidates running for Deer Creek Board of Education Ward No. 3. The other two candidates are Keri Shipley and Timothy Laubach. They will be on the Feb. 12 ballot.
Roberts said there is no better investment in a life than children.
“Deer Creek school system is a very important part of our family’s life,” Roberts said. He and his wife Drenda have three children.
“Our oldest is Elise, who graduated from Deer Creek in 2010 and is currently attending nursing school at the Stillwater campus of Northern Oklahoma College,” Roberts said. “Lauren is our middle daughter. She is a senior this year and very active in the music department and FCA at Deer Creek High School. She also serves in many capacities at Crossings Community Church. Our youngest, Will, is in the sixth grade at the Deer Creek Intermediate School and is involved in the Deer Creek Optimist Club’s basketball program.”
Roberts said he wants to be a stronger influence in the Deer Creek school system and help offer all the students opportunities to excel in their passion, whatever that may be. He believes it is everyone’s responsibility to build an environment where students can succeed in many areas of the educational experience.
Roberts said the two decades of business development and ownership helps provide insight into making the tough decisions and analyzing the data associated. He is registered as a Doctor of Pharmacy in the state of Oklahoma and owns his own business in north Oklahoma City.
“I founded a growing business that now employees nearly 30 people and am currently in the process of building a new facility to house this business. This experience can prove invaluable in the massive amount of construction Deer Creek is experiencing,” Roberts said.
“I have fund-raised, coached, supported and volunteered, but I have also balanced a budget, managed people and successfully navigated tough issues that demanded tough and fair decisions.
“All of this has equipped me with the experience to do what it’s in my heart to do: Identify and remove any roadblocks that might hinder our school system from realizing its full potential for the young people it serves and provide educators, parents and administrators the tools to help every child succeed.”
Roberts said one of the inherent challenges of the Deer Creek school district is managing the growth of students over the past several years.
“Deer Creek has been very progressive at expanding our facilities to meet the demands of this growth,” he said. “While doing this, they have also maintained the demand for excellence of our education and athletic programs.”
Roberts identified several areas of focus when looking at educating children.
“In an ever-changing world, we must place a continual focus on safety,” Roberts said. “ With the tragic events that we have witnessed in the past few years, in the schools and other public venues, we must do all we can to protect the safety and innocence of our children.
He said a second spoke and the cornerstone of education is academics.
“We should strive for nothing less than academic excellence at all levels of learning. Inclusion is another area of focus that many times is overlooked in the pursuit of excellence,” Roberts said. “Children are gifted and talented in many different ways, and we need to be intentional about developing young talent in whatever form it takes. Athletics is an important part of many students’ lives. Deer Creek has developed some of the best resources, coaches and facilities in the state. We must be diligent to ensure each young athlete has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in whatever sport that may be.
“The Fine Arts is another focus we need to remain diligent at developing. When budgets get slashed, many times the arts and humanities programs suffer. Our students have demonstrated a growing interest in the fine arts and we need to do what we can to foster this interest.”
Roberts said a board member must have all the information to determine the best answer.
“When looking at how our district has funded the projects/areas of our education system, I am confident with the current board that they have made the best decisions with the information and experience they have,” Roberts said. “Being a good steward of the money the residents of our district entrust us will have to be a constant focus.”
Roberts said being a board member should be viewed as a role of servanthood.
“Our purpose is to serve the district and the students we represent. Our role is the help the education staff continue to develop their skills and have the resources needed to achieve excellence in every area of education experience,” Roberts said.