Jena Nelson Announces Run for Superintendent of Public Instruction

March 31, 2022
2 min read

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Ready to inspire Oklahoma’s students, educators and parents, 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Jena Nelson is excited to announce her candidacy for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“I want to be our Superintendent to ensure students look forward to learning, teachers look forward to teaching and parents can trust these professionals to provide the best possible education for their children,” Nelson said. “It’s time for a revolution of classroom morale and my 16 years in public education have prepared me to step up and inspire those responsible for educating our kids to bring their best.”

Jena Nelson is the Student Support Coordinator and  teaches academic enhancement at Deer Creek Middle School. Her classroom excellence was recognized when she won 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. In addition to being an educator, Mrs. Nelson is mom to 17-year-old son Rafe and 12-year-old daughter Linnea. Her husband, Karl, is a professor and director of choral studies at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“I will bring an educator’s voice to the State Department of Education,” Mrs. Nelson said. “My promise to my kids and my promise to all Oklahomans is that I will do everything in my power to keep Oklahoma’s public dollars in its public schools. Our kids are not for sale.”

Mrs. Nelson credits her childhood educators for guiding her through a difficult and traumatic youth. This experience has guided her teaching philosophy and will shape her priorities as Superintendent.

“To say that I didn’t have a great home life would be an understatement. Growing up in extremely humble circumstances, I wanted a place to feel safe and cared for outside of my trauma-filled home and I found that place at school. To be the best it can be, Oklahoma needs to focus on humanizing teaching, recognizing educators as professionals and integrating mental health awareness in the classroom,” Mrs. Nelson said.

Oklahoma voters wanting to learn more about Jena Nelson and her priorities for Oklahoma’s kids can visit Also on the website, supporters can sign up for updates on how they can help make Mrs. Nelson Oklahoma’s next State Superintendent. Those wishing to donate to the campaign may also do so online.

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