Four school principals win state office in Oklahoma

Four school principals win state office in Oklahoma
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Four current or retired school principals won state office in Oklahoma on Tuesday night, a win for educators during an election cycle that saw an unprecedented number of Oklahoma teachers and school administrators running for office, according to Education Week

The wins come after Oklahoma teachers went on strike for nine days in April, ultimately winning a pay raise. 

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All four principals won seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, including Ronny Johns (R), Sherrie Conley (R), Danny Sterling (R) and Melissa Provenzano (D). 

Johns is the principal of Ada Junior High School in Ada, Okla.; Conley is a school administrator in Oklahoma City; Provenzano is an assistant principal at Bixby High School in Bixby, Okla.; and Sterling was the principal of Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, Ok. until he retired at the end of last year, Education Week reported.

Many of the educators who ran in Oklahoma this year were inspired to do so after the teacher strike and walkout, with many saying their voice was underrepresented in politics.

A record-breaking 1,500 current and former educators ran for office this midterm cycle, galvanized by widespread teacher strikes that took place in multiple states this year, according to Vox. 

"What we are witnessing is not a moment but a movement by educators running for office to fight for the public schools our students deserve," National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García wrote in September.

"Now, in the wake of historic walkouts and school actions, we have a chance to leave our mark and elect to office public education champions who will raise their voices and fight for our students and public education." 

The strikes took place in Arizona and Kentucky as well as Oklahoma.

At least 40 educators this year filed to run for office in Kentucky after state lawmakers passed a bill changing the structure of pension benefits for future teachers. 

Schools across Kentucky closed so teachers could take part in a statewide rally to protest the pension reform bill.

Most of the educators on ballots were Democrats while about a third were Republicans, Vox reported.