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Shawna Keller

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Shawna Keller
Shawna Keller.jpg
Board member, Tulsa School Board, District 4
In office
2014 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 1
PredecessorBobbie Gray-Elliott
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 1, 2014
First electedApril 1, 2014
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
High schoolEast Central High
Bachelor'sUniversity of Tulsa
Shawna Keller campaign logo
Shawna Keller is the District 4 representative on the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education in Oklahoma. She won election to the office after advancing from the general election on February 11, 2014, to defeated incumbent Bobbie Gray-Elliott in a runoff election on April 1, 2014.

District 4 includes Columbus, Cooper, Disney, Kerr, Lindbergh, Lewis and Clark, Peary, East Central Jr. High and East Central High School.[1] While the board is a nonpartisan office, Keller was a 2012 Democratic candidate for District 23 of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.


Shawna Keller grew up in East Tulsa and graduated from East Central High School. She attended the University of Tulsa, where she earned a B.A. in history. Keller is involved with a number of community organizations, including MADD, Standing in the Gap, Blue Star Mothers and Oklahoma Honor Flights. She is a teacher at an alternative school. Keller married her husband, Jeremy, in 2004.[2]



See also: Tulsa Public Schools elections (2014)


Shawna Keller challenged incumbent Bobbie Gray-Elliott and newcomer William D. Bickerstaff for the District 4 seat in the general election on February 11, 2014. She defeated Bobbie Gray-Elliott in a runoff election on April 1, 2014.

Election results

Runoff election
Tulsa Public Schools, District 4 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngShawna Keller 65% 1,044
     Nonpartisan Bobbie Gray-Elliot Incumbent 35% 561
Total Votes 1,605
Source: Oklahoma State Election Board, "Municipal/Annual School Runoff Election — April 1, 2014," accessed April 2, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.
General election
Tulsa Public Schools, District 4 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngShawna Keller 49.8% 220
     Nonpartisan Bobbie Gray-Elliot 36% 159
     Nonpartisan William D. Bickerstaff 14.3% 63
Total Votes 442
Source: Oklahoma State Election Board, "Annual School Election — February 11, 2014," accessed April 9, 2014


Keller did not report any campaign contributions or expenditures to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.[3]


Keller did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.


See also: Oklahoma House of Representatives elections, 2012

Keller ran in the 2012 election for Oklahoma House District 23. Keller ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26 and was defeated by Terry O'Donnell in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[4][5]

Oklahoma House of Representatives, District 23, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTerry O'Donnell 58.4% 6,202
     Republican Shawna Keller 41.6% 4,412
Total Votes 10,614

Campaign themes


Keller's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2014:

Advocate for students

"We must ensure our children are the #1 priority with every decision we make. Shawna will ask the tough questions when it comes to day to day decisions that will directly impact our students."

Voice for teachers

"Our teachers are the first line of success to ensuring our children are educated. It is vital that we provide the tools they need to educate our children. Those tools include textbooks, technology, professional development, and basic supplies."

Expand partnerships

"Tulsa Public Schools has many partnerships that are vital to the success of our children. We must work to continue and expand the successful programs, as well as identify new partnerships that will work well in our district. "

Improve communications

"As your school board member, Shawna will be a voice for the students, parents, and educators in East Tulsa. To be that voice, input from the community will be vital to the improvement of our schools."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.


Keller cited her top priorities as quality education, healthy communities, health care and jobs.[6]

What was at stake?

Two seats on the school board were up for election on February 11, 2014. District 4 member Bobbie Gray-Elliott sought re-election against newcomers Shawna Keller and William D. Bickerstaff. In District 7, newcomers Suzanne Schreiber and Gene Beach competed for Lois Jacobs' seat. Neither the President nor the Vice President of the school board were up for re-election in 2014.

Issues in the district


Tulsa Public Schools is addressing overcrowding in many of its schools. Since the school district began an ongoing efficiency initiative known as Project Schoolhouse, it shut down 14 school buildings with low enrollment. This left many schools operating at higher occupancy rates. District leaders say they need to pay close attention to ensure that schools don't cross the line between full and overcapacity. Each winter since Project Schoolhouse began, district administrators have conducted an annual site capacity review and the Tulsa school board has subsequently approved adjustments to school boundaries to help balance out student enrollments among sites. In 2013, Tulsa Public Schools reopened a closed elementary school building as a 7th grade center to help alleviate unexpected crowding at McLain Junior High School. Superintendent Keith Ballard believes that Project Schoolhouse is working and that the district could be eligible to pursue a new bond issue to address capital needs, including classroom additions, in late 2014 or early 2015.[7]

About the district

See also: Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma
Tulsa Public Schools is located in Tulsa County, Oklahoma
Tulsa Public Schools is located in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. The county seat of Tulsa County is Tulsa. According to the United States Census Bureau, Tulsa County is home to 613,816 residents.[8] Tulsa Public Schools is the second-largest school district in Oklahoma, serving 41,501 students during the 2010-11 school year.[9]


Tulsa County outperformed in comparison to the rest of Oklahoma in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5% of Tulsa County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 23.2% for Oklahoma as a whole. The median household income in Tulsa County was $47,845 compared to $44,891 for the state of Oklahoma. The poverty rate in Tulsa County was 15.4% compared to 16.6% for the entire state.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Tulsa County (%) Oklahoma (%)
White 74.2 75.5
Black or African American 10.9 7.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 6.5 9.0
Asian 2.5 1.9
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.2
Two or More Races 5.7 5.8
Hispanic or Latino 11.4 9.3

Party Affiliation, 2013[10]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 129,137 37.13
Republican 175,008 50.33
Independent 43,625 12.54

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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