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Judith Barba makes history as first, first-generation immigrant elected to office in TPS

by The Black Wall Street Times

TULSA, Okla. — Judith Barba prevailed to win her election for the Tulsa Public School district two school board seat, taking over for current board member Jania Wester, who announced she would not seek another term in office.

Unofficial results from the Oklahoma Election Board website show that Barba narrowly avoided an April runoff by receiving more than 50% of the vote in the three-way race.

Barba, a young mother, immigrant and community leader, announced her candidacy in December, with the desire to “lift up our community’s voice and continue to create a bright, equitable future for all TPS families.” 

She is the first, first-generation immigrant elected to office in the district’s (if not the city’s) history.

The victory is a significant milestone in a school system with an ever-increasing population of students who are “newcomers” to the country.

Barba will take office at the next scheduled school board meeting. 

Tulsa Public Schools faces compounding crises amid declining enrollment and the ongoing COVID-crisis, requiring bold, decisive, inclusive leadership to navigate in service of all teachers, students and families.

In a message on Facebook, Barba thanked supporters and stated “there is still much work to do and I am committed to being a voice for ALL of the families in District 2 for the next four years. We have the potential and I want to work towards a better Tulsa Public Schools that provides all students a great education.”

Another contest will be held on April 6th, this time for the District Three seat, where incumbent board member Jeannette Marshall will face David Harris in her bid for re-election.

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