Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kathy Taylor to be OK Governor's Top Education Advisor

Yeah for Oklahoma. Kathy Taylor reports she will be helping Governor Brad Henry on education matters after she leaves the position of Mayor of Tulsa. And she is bringing her wonderful assistant, Amy Polonchek, with her. Yippee. Here is her message:

Dear Friend,

I want to be the first to tell you what I plan to do when I finish serving as your mayor this December. A few minutes ago, Governor Brad Henry named me his top education advisor!

I’ve gotten so many emails, letters and phone calls asking what I plan to do AFTER my term is over and Bill and I return from our Route 66 Trip, and I am absolutely thrilled to spend 2010 working to improve Oklahoma’s schools.

Governor Henry and I have one year left to bring change and continue improving our schools. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time than as the Governor’s Chief of Education, Strategy and Innovation so that I can help make Oklahoma one of the top states in the country for education!

The governor was kind enough to say, “I’m thrilled that Mayor Taylor has agreed to serve my administration and the state in this new and important role. As she does with all of her endeavors, Kathy will bring great expertise, high energy and a laser-like focus on the task at hand. I want Oklahoma to enhance its reputation as a national leader in educational innovation, and Kathy Taylor has the skills to help us accomplish that goal.”

As I think you’ll agree, our public education system is critical to the future of this state and many important decisions about its direction will be made in the next year. With the federal government encouraging and rewarding innovation with the Race to the Top grants and other initiatives, we have a small window of opportunity to make a great difference for our state.

When I start in January, I will be working full-time since this is a cabinet-level position in the executive branch, but I’ve decided to volunteer my time so we can direct more dollars to our classrooms. And I am taking my fantastic chief of staff Amy Polonchek with me to continue as my right hand.

Please know that I will be as focused and determined to be the best mayor possible until my final minutes serving you. And since this position will only last one year, I am not closing the door on working for you as an elected official in the future.

As always, I’m honored to be your mayor. You’ve been the backbone of my successful tenure in City Hall. I hope you will join me in making life better for our children, grandchildren, and future leaders of our great state by working to improve education in 2010!

Stay tuned for ways to get involved by going to our website ( or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I will also continue to keep you updated with periodical emails.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Read about one remarkable young woman, Amanda LaMunyon of Enid

Amanda LaMunyon of Enid is a remarkable Oklahoman on a number of levels. You can read about her here:

I am developing a more and more respect for kids with Asperger's. Her story will surprise and impress you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In preparation for Domestic Violence Awareness month in October, the Oklahoma City YWCA is spreading awareness! Have the YWCA join you for a brown bag lunch at your workplace, school, church or civic group. They can do presentations on the effects of domestic violence and the programs offered by the YWCA. Or come to the YWCA for a "Lunch & Learn" session which includes lunch, a presentation and a tour of the YWCA facilities!

Click here to see the dates and to sign up for a Lunch & Learn today!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ovarian Cancer Luncheon at OK Govenor's Mansion (followup)

For those of us who couldn't swing an invitation to the first annual Ovarian Cancer Research Fund's luncheon at the Governor's Mansion Pavilion this week, you can at least catch a glimpse on this video -->

FYI, click here to read an August 4 article by Melinda Beck in the Wall Street Journal entitled Toward Earlier Detection of Ovarian Cancer. It will give a little encouragement but the current statistics will break your heart. Tell your lady friends: a PAP does NOT screen for ovarian cancer (only cervical); our life time risk of getting this nasty thing is 1 in 70; this is "the silent killer" because there aren't any really clear symptoms; most cases are not detected until they are far along which is why only 45% of patients survive more than 5 years.

Thank God for physicians like Joan Walker who is doing important research and spoke at the recent luncheon (and who is my dear friend Florence's surgeon).

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Indian Women Artists of Oklahoma poster

I saw this hanging on the wall at the home of my Stillwater friend Pauline and had to share it.

You can read the names of the women artists if you click on the image (it will enlarge).