MyHometownPost Brands

PCPS Board of Education Spotlight


In salute and gratitude to the more than 2,700 Oklahoma school board members, January 2022 has been designated as School Board Recognition Month.

School Board Recognition Month honors the efforts of thousands of men and women who help to shape the direction of Oklahoma public education and their collective focus on student achievement. School board members voluntarily tackle the enormous job of governing school districts while preserving the core of our democratic values.

Five board members serve the Ponca City Public School district including Anna Roland (Ward #4), Don Nuzum (Ward #5), Judy Throop (Ward #3), Robin Riley (Ward #1) and Nancy Zimmerschied (Ward #2).

Board member Anna Roland graduated from Ponca City High School in 1999 (Anna Fowler). While attending high school, she marched in the Big Blue Marching Band (1995-1998) and played the baritone. She was voted as the 2012 Garfield Elementary Teacher of the Year by her peers and is a member of the professional women’s educators association, Delta Kappa Gamma.

She has an Associate of Science in Secondary Education, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary of Education and a Master of Science in Instructional Design Technology. Mrs. Roland taught for PCPS for eight years before she made a career shift to higher education in 2017, first working as a Distance Learning Specialist and currently serving as the NASNTI Grant Project Director at Northern Oklahoma College. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering with the children’s ministry at First Baptist Church in Ponca City, playing board games, reading and spending time with her husband and six children.

Why did you run for school board?

Myself, my husband and five of our children are alumni of Garfield Elementary (one of the neighborhood schools in the ward I serve). Five of the 8 people in my family hold a Diploma for Ponca City Sr. High School and two of my school-aged children are heavily involved in PCPS Academic, Music and Athletic programs. Our oldest daughter attends OKC Public Schools. My experiences as a student, then a parent to students, gave me the drive to want to be involved. But more than that, I have experience in education and although I have shifted my career to Higher Education, I feel that I have a responsibility to help make things better for the community in which I have chosen to live.

I worked as a contract substitute for one year in PCPS beginning in 2008 before I taught 3rd and 4th grade at Garfield until 2016 (Anna Scott). Throughout my teaching years, I also served as an OEA Delegate, the PCACT President and NW-OEA Northwest B Board Member. I feel that I have a firsthand perspective of the positive and negative challenges that face the educators and staff who work with the children of Ponca City every day.

Last winter when I heard of the call to fill the untimely vacancy for Ward #4 seat, I decided to interview with the PCPS Board because I have an unmatched passion for both education and the South side of Ponca City, I felt could be an asset and I graciously accepted the appointment after being selected. I recently made the decision with my family to file for candidacy in the April 5 election to hopefully get the chance to serve out the remainder of the late Dr. Kinkaid’s term.

What kind of issues have you faced while serving on the school board?

During this interim position, I have experienced the navigation of creating the safest and most learning conducive environment for our students by listening to recommendations by the PCPS Administration, Staff, and Faculty to create the Return to Learn Plan. The quick and tough decisions made by everyone involved surely made a negative impact on the spread of Covid-19, particularly the Delta variant.

I have witnessed the effectiveness of the PCPS staff, students, administration in the event of the potential threat for violence in October. The work that was done in conjunction with the local law enforcement truly is to be commended.

Celebrating the retirement of so many of PCPS’s finest in May was a true highlight of the year; however, this created one of the most unprecedented teacher shortages that has ever been recorded. PCPS Administration has weathered each site through this massive shift in the education job industry and has made significant progress toward closing the gaping hole by creating programs that will pipeline current PC students toward a career in education.

The bond vote was extremely exciting, and I feel eager to watch each project unfold to better serve the students of PCPS.

What are you most proud of as a board member?

I am proud that I was chosen to represent the place of my long-time friend, Dr. Kinkaid. For years he served us well and I am proud that I get a chance to make a bit of difference in children’s lives, just like he did.