In conjunction with the establishment of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness, the OPSR Foundation was created to solicit and receive public and philanthropic funds. The foundation supports OPSR’s vision and mission by expanding the breadth in which our organization can financially support early childhood research, programs and initiatives.
In this capacity, the OPSR Foundation operates as a 501(c)3 organization. Currently, the foundation is made up of passionate, dedicated early childhood advocates, some of who worked to improve school readiness even before the formation of OPSR. Our foundation is proud of OPSR’s hard work over the past 15 years but knows there is much more to be gained if we continue to invest in our children from birth to the time they enter school.
We’d like to thank our current donors for their continued support of OPSR:
From Tulsa, Bill has been an advocate for early childhood since before the inception of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness. In fact, he was named one of OPSR’s very first board members in 2003. Over the years his commitment to children, families and community has made an impact. In fact, at the upcoming 2019 Early Childhood Research Symposium, Bill will be honored as our 2019 Champion for Children.
Now retired from over 60 years in automobile and related industrial businesses, Bill became passionate about early childhood when he was involved with the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. Through his work with the chamber, it became clear to Bill that strengthening schools and early childhood would enhance economic development.
In addition to his work with OPSR, Bill is still involved with the 4-H Club of Oklahoma. And until 2017 was very involved with the Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy.
Bill earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa. He has three sons, a stepson, a step daughter and nine grandchildren.
Kathy has been with the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness since its inception in 2003. Her dedication to young children stems from her belief that “early education is the only way to succeed.” In fact, Kathy’s life has long been influenced by those who care about children and the future of our state as her father worked as a school principal and her mother a teacher.
Today, Kathy is the president of six licensed child care centers that have been operating for 35 years. Childcare, Inc. serves the OKC-Metro area and follows the philosophy that “children have the right to a nurturing, safe environment where they can feel comfortable and secure.” Kathy started this business when her daughter’s child care facility was closing and there were limited options for quality child care with positive learning experiences.
In addition, Kathy spends her time as an active member of the Oklahoma Child Care Association and the Chickasaw tribe. Kathy and her husband also own the Lake Texoma Lodge and Resort in Meade, OK. And she enjoys being a grandmother to her grandchildren ranging from age two to nine.
As a longtime supporter of OSPR, Jerry is proud that Oklahoma is recognized as a national leader in early childhood development. He is retired executive director of the University of Oklahoma Alumni Association, but currently serves on numerous boards including Friends of the Capitol, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), ASTEC Charter School, Oklahoma History Center and YMCA International. Jerry is a member of Rotary Club, most recently serving on the Council on Legislation for Rotary International (2017-18). In fact, as chairman of Forward Oklahoma’s board of directors, Jerry worked and encouraged the creation of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
In addition to his many community roles, Jerry, a nationally certified physician assistant, was a member of the Walter Reed Institute of Research Trauma Research Team as well as a founding member of the Missouri Academy of Physician Assistants and a founding member and president of the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants.
Jerry is happily married, in his words, “to the most wonderful woman in the world,” and has six children: Charles, a chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America; David, a radiologist; John, a psychiatrist who graduated from OSSM and was president of his U.S. Naval Academy; Paula, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma; Nancy who graduated from OSSM and Trinity College in Dublin; and Will, an engineer who graduated from OSSM and OU.
During Bob’s professional life, he rose to senior executive level at The Williams Companies in Tulsa. Then in a second career move, Bob devoted his time to serving young children by creating and managing the Tulsa Children’s Coalition in 1991. This coalition operated eight programs for school-aged children and ten sites for children up to age four, including 250 infants and toddlers. In addition, he served as a volunteer consultant to Governor Keating’s Task Force on Early Childhood, which resulted in the legislation that created OPSR.
For his dedication to helping young children and their families, in 2018, Bob was name the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Champion for Children. And in 1997 he was recognized as the Children’s Advocate of the Year by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.
Volunteerism is an important aspect of Bob’s life and as such, he has been on several boards including the Lawton United Way Board of Directors, Tulsa Area United Way Board of Directors and Success By 6 Leadership Committee. He was also chair of Tulsa United Way’s agencies, the American Red Cross and Urban League.
Janet is a retired teacher and longtime champion of the link between high quality early childhood experiences and success in education. Over the years, she taught special education, pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade and served as an instructional coach in Tulsa Public Schools as well as been an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University.
Notably, Janet received the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Award in Elementary Teaching in 2006 awarded by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
In addition to her work with OPSR, Janet is involved in her community as a member of the Tulsa Partnership for Children’s Behavioral Health with special work on steering, community and bridge building committees. Previously, she served on Tulsa Public Schools’ Wellness Policy Committee, the Oklahoma Early Childhood Teachers Association Board, Success by Six Board, and the North Central Association Plan Committee, to name a few.
She is married to Andy McKenzie, another 40-year early childhood educator and administrator, and they are proud of their two children and two grandchildren. She earned her Bachelors in Special Education and Masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Tulsa.
Ann has been engaged in the growth and betterment of Oklahoma since moving here in 1995. In addition to her work with the Foundation, Ann also sits on the OPSR Board and served as board chair from 2013-2017. She is passionate about education and ensuring that our young people are equipped to succeed as adults.
As a past president of the Junior League of Oklahoma City (JLOC), Ann oversaw JLOC’s literacy focus and spearheaded a joint project with the Oklahoma History Center illustrating the “history of the JLOC and women in voluntarism.” She received the 2018 Leadership Oklahoma City Distinguished Leadership Award. And she was named the 2014 Oklahoma Mother of the Year. Some of Ann’s other accomplishments include being a member of Leadership OKC Class XVII; serving as president-elect of the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma Council; and being a board member of the Boy Scouts of America’s Last Frontier Council, Science Museum Oklahoma, and several other OKC non-profits.
A native of Columbia, Mo., Ann graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Ann played professional tennis on the WTA Tour for five years after college before marrying KWTV News9 anchor/investigative reporter Alex Cameron in 1994. She and Alex have two children, Sarah, who attends the University of Virginia, and Scott, who attends the University of Delaware.
Debra has been the executive director of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness since June 2010. With over 30 years of professional experience, she has developed expertise in organizing collaborative efforts at both community and state levels to create positive change for young children and their families. Prior to joining OPSR, Debra was employed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, providing state level leadership for the Child Guidance program. She has a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Kansas State University and extensive experience in providing services to young children with communication delays, state level program planning and administration, and community coalition building.