An accomplished journalist with more than 20 years of experience in print, digital, broadcast media, and public relations, Laura is a veteran writer and storyteller. Raising two teenagers and her year spent teaching journalism in the Putnam City School district has given her unique insight into education in Oklahoma. Laura has served OPSA in many roles since 2021, and has risen to the position of executive director through her commitment to, and hard work for parents across the state.
A former public school teacher with a background in non-profit development, Lucia's passion for helping parents ensure their children have access to resources was ignited after her two youngest children were diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. She and her husband realized that their current school couldn't provide them with the help they needed, so they enrolled them in a private school that teaches the way they learn best. Their oldest child is also flourishing in his public school. Lucia is committed to empowering parents across the state of Oklahoma to champion their child’s education.
Our Board of Directors
Board President & Vice President of Public Affairs | Saxum
With over 15 years of experience in and around both the nation’s and Oklahoma’s Capitol, Jennifer brings expertise in public policy, politics, advocacy and media relations to OPSA, especially related to education and healthcare. She started her career as a political journalist and has held press and policy roles for the Oklahoma Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tempore. Jennifer's personal passion lies in education — she launched Oklahoma Achieves, a business-led education non-profit in 2014, and is working to improve education for all Oklahoma kids as a member of the State Board of Education.
Dr. Lee Denney, interim state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2004 to 2016, representing District 33. She served on various committees, including higher education career technology. She also served as chairman of the appropriations and budget subcommittee on common education. She ended her time in the Oklahoma House serving as Speaker Pro Tempore. After leaving the House, Denney served as department head of the veterinary technology program at OSU-OKC 2016-17 and then as Oklahoma state director for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2017 to 2021. She serves on several boards of directors including the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center and Every Kid Counts Oklahoma.
Mark Nowell is a 1986 Graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career in the Insurance Industry as a Farmers Insurance Agent in 1996 and remained there until 2002 when he joined Rich & Cartmill Inc. Mark has actively served on boards and committees with the American Subcontractor Association where he was a recent Presidents Award recipient and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Oklahoma where he has served on the membership committee, legislative committee and the golf committee. Mark was elected Vice President and Shareholder at Rich & Cartmill in 2012. Mark has been married to his wife Lisa since 1996 and they have two Daughters, Blythe who is a Senior at Deer Creek High School and Jentry who is a 4th Grader at Trinity School. The Nowell family are members of Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City.
Jason Nelson currently serves as chief of staff for recently elected Oklahoma County Clerk Maressa Treat. He served as Deputy Secretary of Public Safety during Governor J. Kevin Stitt’s first term, serving with Secretaries Chip Keating and Tricia Everest. Jason previously served eight years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where he held several leadership positions, including Majority Floor Leader, and led several historic reform initiatives. Jason has been a part of more than 20 campaigns, including candidate, state, and local question campaigns, as a volunteer, staff member, manager, spokesperson, consultant, or candidate. Jason has earned a justified reputation as a fearless and relentless advocate for children.
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