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Clif Harden joins Shawnee Board of Education

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
New Shawnee Board of Education member Clif Harden with his wife wife, Aimee, and two children, 6-year-old Cooper and 2-year-old Raylee.

Shawnee native and father of two Clif Harden has filled the Office 5 seat on the Shawnee Board of Education.

According to Harden, he is looking forward to his role on the board and being more involved with Shawnee Public Schools.

"I am also thrilled to be a part of helping SPS grow and having a hand in making sure the educators get the resources they need to help the students of Shawnee succeed," he said.

Harden, who was born and raised in Shawnee, said after the last bond issue failed to pass in August, he was disappointed and decided to be more involved.

"I was discussing the results with some friends and neighbors on Facebook, and we all shared how disappointed we were for our kids," Harden said. "So, instead of being a keyboard warrior and just complaining on social media, I decided if the opportunity presented itself, I would find a way to act."

In addition to being a member of the Board of Education, Harden said he works at Tinker Air Force Base in the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex.

The father of two said as a member of the school board he wants to assist those in the district with anything they may need.

"I am the program manager for a few different programs in my day-to-day profession, but the one that is most relevant to education is our High School and CareerTech Outreach program," Harden said.

The board member said he interacts with several CareerTech students and educators in Oklahoma to both promote the OC-ALC and connect what they do at Tinker to the training students receive in school.

Harden said another reason he wanted to join the board was because he wants to assist in bettering education for the community.

Harden said he is grateful to be a part of the Shawnee Board of Education and he looks forward to serving the community.

"I have seen first-hand the positive impacts of what a solid education can do for students," Harden said. "I have also seen what goes into teaching those skills."

Harden said his wife, Aimee, was a teacher at Gordon Cooper Technology Center's Aviation Campus for a decade and is now the assistant director of instruction at Mid-Del Technology Center.

"Witnessing the time, dedication, and passion of a teacher, then seeing the end result from the students when they are off and running onto a career, makes me a well rounded advocate for SPS," Harden said.

Harden said he looks forward to serving the community and improving education for students and teachers at Shawnee Public Schools.

"Bettering education is important because students need to have the right skills and knowledge in order to be successful in their futures," Harden said. "Teachers and students must have the right tools and resources to be effective in the ever-changing world of technology and jobs."

Harden, a 1999 Shawnee High School graduate, left Shawnee after coming off active duty with the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

"I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s in emergency management, then went on to complete my master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. I have an amazing wife, Aimee, and together we have two wonderful children: our son Cooper and our daughter Raylee," he said.

"Through my role on the school board, I hope to expand the enriching opportunities and experiences available to all students," Harden said. "I also hope to give both students and educators the necessary tools to achieve their goals."