On this week’s edition of Capitol Report, Patrick B. McGuigan applauded the ASTEC Fund, which supports the ASTEC Charter Schools in Oklahoma City, for presenting a “door-opener” award to former Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett. Although a Democrat, Garrett’s mentor in statewide education leadership was Republican Gov. Henry Bellmon.
At the gala held at the downtown Skirvin Hilton, former Governor David Walters, a fellow Democrat with whom she worked closely for four years, introduced the five-term state public schools leader. In dialogue with News9 reporter Alex Cameron, McGuigan lauded Garrett as an advocate for public schools who, along with the late John Bryant, a Tulsa Republican, became the main architect of Oklahoma’s charter school systems.
McGuigan observed that while Garrett supported traditional teacher credentialing, she supported alternative certification efforts (including the pivotal vote to allow graduates of Notre Dame University to secure provision certification in the Sooner State). McGuigan praised Garrett as “a good superintendent” and expressed gratitude to Dr. Freda Deskin, founder of the ASTEC Charter Schools, for honoring her and six other state leaders at the recent event.
Anticipating the end of the holiday weekend, Cameron pointed to a recent CapitolBeatOK post that included all three Thanksgiving Proclamations promulgated by John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States. McGuigan said Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were the two best natural writers and speakers in the presidency during his lifetime. He pointed to JFK’s 1961 proclamation, in which he encouraged the head of each household to tell children the story of the Pilgrims, the Natives who befriended them, and the first Thanksgiving.
In 1962, Kennedy marveled at God’s gift of “uncovenanted mercies, beyond our desert or merit,” and prayed that Americans would confront future crises with “grace and modesty.” In his final proclamation in 1963 – issued just days before his assassination – Kennedy thanked “Providence for manifold blessings.”
The CapitolBeatOK editor said he hoped the incoming president will follow the models of