Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 31, 2014

School board run times three

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Joe Don Looney is hoping the third time is the charm with another term on Pauls Valley’s school board and another opportunity to do what he can to help the school system here.

Born and raised in PV, Looney is a 1980 graduate of PVHS who is running for his third term on the board for many of the same reasons as the first.

“I just wanted to get more involved,” Looney said about the first time he ran for the PV Board of Education, “to be more involved with the schools and just give back.

“I wanted to do my part in helping the schools,” he said. “I hope the community allows me to serve another term.

“I’m just not finished yet.”

Looney first earned a spot on the school board when he defeated two opponents back in 2004.

His second five-year term came in 2009 when he was victorious over a single opponent.

Now Looney is set to go against challengers Brandi Harris and Randy McGee during an election on Feb. 11.

Looney sees the unpaid job of serving as a school board member as one with great responsibility and at times making “tough decisions.”

For one the board is the final say in developing policies for all the schools, while at the same time managing an annual budget of around $9.3 million.

All of that includes more than 1,300 students in the district, nearly 180 school employees and nine buildings.

“You’ve got to make sure everything’s being followed to the T,” he said.

“I personally think that we’ve got an excellent school board and have had one for a long time. I also think we’ve got an excellent school system.

“We’ve got an awesome community that supports the school system. That’s been really evident during the last two school bond issues.”

Those issues came in 2011 and 2012 when voters in the PV school district passed both with overwhelming support.

He’s quick to rattle off all the projects those issues have paid for with each one going to help students at each of the local schools.

Looney also has plenty of other facts and figures showing what he says are some solid things about how the district is on the rise.

“I appreciate the community for giving me the opportunity to serve on the board,” Looney said.

“I’ve learned a lot over the last 10 years,” he said about his role on the school board that’s included more than 200 continuing hours of education for the job.

“You don’t learn it overnight. You’re always learning. It never stops. There are always new laws, new mandates.”

Even though he’s seeking another term, Looney is quick to say good things about his opponents in this race.

“I think we’ve got three good people in it,” he said.

“I’m just in it for all the kids. I’ll do anything I can to help with their education.

“I’m just very passionate about this school board and the school system as a whole. I just want to keep doing what I can to help. I hope I get the opportunity to serve another term.”