Jack Herron

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Jack Herron
Jack Herron.jpg
Former candidate for
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction
High schoolNorman High School
Bachelor'sOklahoma State University
Master'sUniversity of Oklahoma
Ph.D.University of Oklahoma
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Airforce
Years of service1969-1972
Place of birthShawnee, OK
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Jack C. Herron was a Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2014 elections. Herron currently works as the Government Relations Director for Professional Oklahoma Educators.[1] Herron is a former assistant state superintendent for financial services at the state Department of Education.[2]


Herron is a past Assistant State Superintendent for Financial Services. He worked 11 years as the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics’ Outreach Coordinator and Regional Centers Director where he administrated centers across the state that provide college-level science and mathematics courses for qualified high school students to enhance their home high school education.[1] Herron has been a college administrator, high school principal and teacher, and served as school superintendent for 18 years in Macomb, Mangum, Guthrie, and Duncan, Oklahoma where he founded the Edge Academy Alternative School. He believes incorporating the arts strengthens curriculum and continually reinforces this concept. He is past Chair for Oklahoma’s Arts Alliance for Education, earning awards at the state and national levels. Outside of education, Heron is past Chair of the Oklahoma Community Service Commission, has been active in Kiwanis and Rotary, and was an American Legion Post Commander and a Chamber of Commerce President. He is a Leadership Oklahoma Class Two graduate and serves on the Board for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. He is an Eagle Scout, a 32nd degree Mason, and a veteran of the United States Air Force.[1][3]


  • High school: Norman High School Class of 1963
  • BS: Oklahoma State University, Science Education
  • MEd: University of Oklahoma, Secondary School Administration/Principalship 1974 – 1976
  • PhD: University of Oklahoma, Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum Supervision and Administration 1989[1]
    • Dissertation: Religious policies and selected practices in public schools of Oklahoma


Current Oklahoma Teaching Certificates:

  • Professional Oklahoma Superintendent
  • Professional Oklahoma Secondary Principal
  • Professional Oklahoma Science
    • (Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Earth Science, General Science, Physical Science, Physics, and Zoology)
  • Professional Oklahoma Social Studies[1]
    • (Democracy, Economics, Oklahoma History, Sociology/Anthropology, US Government and Psychology)


Professional Oklahoma Educators-Government Relations Director 2011 – Present

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame-Board of Trustees 2007 – Present[3]

Leadership Oklahoma-Lifetime Member 1987 – Present

  • Class II Graduate;
  • Vice President for Administration 1994-1995;
  • Vice President for Recruitment 1996;
  • Board of Directors;
  • Executive Committee;
  • Nominating Chairman for LOK Alumni

Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education 1984 – Present

  • 1996-1997-President Elect;
  • 1998-2000-President;
  • 2001-2004-Past Chair;
  • 2005-present-Executive Committee

Oklahoma FIRST Robotics-Planning Board Member 2007 – Present

  • FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

The OSSM Society-Member; 1998 – Present

Board of Trustees 2013-present

  • The OSSM Society is a 501 (c) 3 organization whose purpose is to promote the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics: Oklahoma’s two year, public, residential high school for juniors and seniors with exceptional ability in science and mathematics. Members include Alumni, Parents, and Friends of OSSM. The OSSM Society is also the support organization for OSSM Alumni activities.

Oklahoma Community Service Commission-Governor-Appointed Commissioner 1994 – 2013

  • Past Chair

Oklahoma State Department of Education-Assistant State Superintendent-Financial Services 2010 – 2011

Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics-Outreach Coordinator/Regional Centers Director 1999 – 2010

Duncan Public Schools-Superintendent 1991 – 1998

  • Duncan, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Association of School Administrators-Vice President 1994 – 1995

Selected Honors and Service[1]

  • 2007 Governor's Arts Award
  • 2007 Commendation for Leadership and Service - Oklahoma Community Service Commission
  • 2003 Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education Leadership Award
  • 1998 Legislative Committee for United Suburban Schools
  • 1995 National Community Distinguished Leadership Award
  • 1992 Commendation for Contributions to Education - Congressman Bill Brewster
  • 1991 Oklahoma State Superintendent's Leadership Award for Arts Excellence
  • 1991 Kennedy Center National School Administrators Award
  • 1991 Governor's Commendation - Governor David Walters
  • 1991 American Legion National Education Program Award


  • Past American Legion Commander: Post 121-Mangum, Oklahoma; Post 58-Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • 32nd Degree Mason
  • Eagle Scout



See also: Oklahoma down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Herron ran for election to the office of Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction. Herron failed to win the Democratic nomination in the primary.[2]

Herron's campaign set him apart as the only candidate for State Superintendent that has been a teacher, a principal, a coach, an administrator and headed a major department at the State Department of Education.[1]

Herron submitted his plan for education to Ballotpedia.[3]

1. Raise Teacher Pay. Jack knows we need to value our teachers and reward them for the sacrifices they make everyday for our children. As a former classroom teacher, he will fight for them and ensure they have the best resources possible. Jack is committed to fighting for teachers and working to raise their pay. He also believes the State Superintendent and Oklahoma SDE must develop a well-designed plan to improve teacher retention. Support of the teacher retirement system is also paramount.

2. Local Control for School Districts. As a former school administrator, Jack knows that the people best suited to make decisions for a school district are its own parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders. He will let each school district make their own decisions and he will refuse to implement or pass on unfunded mandates. Jack does NOT support Common Core State Standards but does believe in Oklahoma educator-based collaboration to develop our own higher standards and curriculum for improved student achievement.

3. Education for the 21st Century. Emphasis on Math, Science, & Reading. Jack believes that the pathway to a better education in the 21st century is an emphasis on math, science and reading. He wants to put Math and Science Specialists in schools and work to ensure that our children receive the best education to prepare them for a workforce that values math and science skills. Math Specialists will work hand in hand with Reading Specialists and teachers to greatly improve student performance. Oklahoma schools have had Reading Specialists for years, but have neglected the math area. Both concepts are needed, especially at the K‐8 levels. Jack also believes that our students’ education in Oklahoma should follow a well-rounded curriculum to include art, music, civics, and PE. These areas are especially critical for early childhood development.[4]

Jack Herron, , email communication

Primary results

Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 41% 68,889
Green check mark transparent.pngFreda Deskin 38.2% 64,135
Jack Herron 13.3% 22,335
Ivan Holmes 7.4% 12,504
Total Votes 167,863
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.

Race background

As in other superintendent races across the country, the national debate over the Common Core educational benchmarks inspired many candidates to throw their hat in the ring to challenge the incumbent, Republican Janet Barresi. This issue gained prominence when Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a law repealing Common Core standards in Oklahoma, becoming one of the earliest states to take such a step.[5]

Barresi faced a serious challenge from educator Joy Hofmeister in the primary. While Hofmeister had raised almost $1.5 million by the primary, Barresi only kept pace by loaning over $1.25 million to her campaign.[6][7] Both Barresi and Hofmeister, along with most of the other superintendent candidates in both parties, opposed Common Core and tried to pin its implementation on one another in attack ads.[8] In a debate on June 17 that included Hofmeister and the Democratic candidates, all of the candidates expressed opposition to Common Core and support for a change in educational culture.[9] In total, there were three Republicans and four Democrats contesting the superintendent primaries on June 24.

Hofmeister defeated Barresi in the Republican primary, receiving enough votes to avoid a runoff, and faced Democratic candidate John Cox in the general election.

Primary polling

2014 Democratic primary for Oklahoma Superintendent
Poll Jack C. Herron Jr. John CoxFreda DeskinIvan HolmesUnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Sooner Poll
May 5-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

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