Title 10, O.S., ﬂ 7302-1.1 authorizes the Board of Juvenile Affairs (Board) as the governing body for The Office of Juvenile Affairs. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Oklahoma Senate. The term of office for a board member is six years. Appointments are limited to two terms. The Board meets monthly in a manner consistent with the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act [Title 25, O.S., ﬂ 301 et seq.].
The Board of Juvenile Affairs was created February 1, 1995. On February 14, 1995, the seven (7) members of the Board were appointed by Governor Frank Keating with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Board of Juvenile Affairs sets broad policy for the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) and is the rulemaking body for OJA. The board is responsible for reviewing and approving the budget, assisting the agency in planning activities related to the priorities and policies of the agency, providing a public forum for receiving comments and disseminating information to the public, and establishing contracting procedures for the agency and guidelines for rates of payment for services provided by contract.
|Chairman Donnie L. Nero’s distinguished career in education began as a teacher for the Sapulpa Public Schools immediately after earning his 1971 Bachelor of Science degree in education, majoring in health and physical education. He concluded his educational career on June 30, 2011 after 38 years in the field. His success in public education led him into higher education where he progressed through the ranks at Tulsa Community College to become Provost of the TCC Southeast Campus. He achieved the presidency of Connors State College in 2000, becoming the first African American to become president of predominately -white college or university in the state of Oklahoma. Nero earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration in 1977 and a Doctor of Education Degree in Occupational and Adult education in 1993 from Oklahoma State University. He once said, “Without the education I received from Dunjee and East Central, there is no way I would be where I am today. That foundation, excellent instruction, and the people I still know today have been priceless.”
A native of Spencer, Nero graduated from Dunjee High School in 1967. He focused on attending another college when a relative from Ada
persuaded him to look at East Central State College, now ECU. Along with some friends and his cousin, Nero made a campus visit and decided to stay. “The experience I was getting, the ability I had to study with people from other cultures, and the diversity provided me with a different world view and an excellent opportunity,’” Nero said. “I discovered we were different in many ways, but more alike than we realized. That discovery was crucial to my experience,” he said. This experience prepared Nero for his abilities to work with the diversities he faced as provost and president in higher education in later years.
The Sapulpa classroom teacher fresh out of college also coached baseball and soon rose through the Sapulpa school system to become a counselor and then junior high school principal in 1973. He was a program
analyst with Rockwell International for two years before returning to Sapulpa Public Schools as assistant principal of the high school. He joined the TCC staff in 1985 and served an instructor and Dean of Student Services before becoming the Provost. He left TCC to become the 15th President of Connors State College, which has campuses in
Warner and Muskogee.
While president at Connors State College, Nero served as president of the Oklahoma Council of Two-Year Presidents, and for 11 years, participated in all the Councils’ committees and served as Secretary/Treasurer. He also served as President of the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges. Nero is a founder of the Oklahoma Legal Issues Conference, a graduate of Leadership Tulsa Class XVIII and Oklahoma State Coordinator of the National Association Student Personnel Administrators. In addition, he is a member of the Oklahoma Global Education Consortium, founder of the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame and has served on various boards and committees, spoken at many high school graduations and various functions, chaired many meeting, and traveled thousands of miles for educational purposes. He has provided leadership to countless students, teachers, administrators, and staff and has been a champion of higher education throughout his many years in Oklahoma education. Through his guidance, Connors State College has experience record student enrollment and campus renovation and he left Connors with a valuable legacy of academic programs, innovation and growth.
In 2002, Nero ECU name Nero named him the Distinguished Alumnus and he addressed the 2002 ECU graduation class during the commencement ceremony. In 2010, East Central University inducted Nero into the ECU Educators Hall of Fame along with Jimmy Scales, making them the first African Americans inducted into the ECU
Hall of Fame.
In 2011, the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame inducted Dr. Nero into their Halls of Fame.
Dr. Nero is married to Shirley Ballard Nero. They have made their home in Clearview, Shirley’s hometown. They have two children, D.J and wife Carroll of La Habra, California and Tanya and Marvin Blades Jr. and three beautiful grandchildren Makai, Jordan, and Jada of Glenpool.
|Ms. Janice E. Smith, Co-Chairperons was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to represent Congressional District 3 and is representing the area of education. Ms. Smith has been in education for 20 years. She has served as a classroom teacher school counselor (both elementary and secondary), elementary principal, and as the director of alternative education. Ms. Smith graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford with a master in education.
Janice has been married to Dennis for 35 years. He is the District Attorney for District 2. Together they have four grown children; Christy, Lonnie, Lance and Cylie, and five grandchildren.
|Deanna Hartley-Kelso, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, has served as Attorney General for the nation’s Division of Justice since 2004. Prior posts with the nation included Legislative Counsel and General Counsel between 1997 and 2004. Ms. Hartley-Kelso is licensed by both Oklahoma and Texas Bar Associations with memberships in the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association, Native American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and currently serves as the president of the Chickasaw Bar Association. She is a fellow of the College of the State Bar of Texas, an organization that recognizes professionalism through education. In addition to serving on many Chickasaw Nation boards and committees, she is an officer with the Chickasaw Foundation Board of Trustees, a citizen appointee to the Arkansas Riverbed Authority, one of two advisory committee members representing the Eastern Oklahoma region for the Indian Law and Order Commission, and an adjunct professor teaching “Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country” at the University of Tulsa, College of Law MJIL program. Ms. Hartley-Kelso was also appointed by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry in 2009 to the Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs Board and served as its 2012 chair.
Previously, she has worked as an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies program at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, served as a volunteer for the North Texas Legal Services-American Indian Law Project, and represented the Chickasaw Nation at the 2004 United Nations Working Group on the Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to her work in Indian Country, she practiced corporate law as an in house attorney.
Scott Williams is a respected thought leader and sought-after speaker, who lives by the mantra “Everything Begins With An Idea.” He has been featured as one of the Top 15 Leadership Experts to Follow on Twitter and Top 5 Christian Leaders to follow. Scott is passionate about leadership development, organizational growth, and diversity. He is the author of Church Diversity – Sunday The Most Segregated Day Of The Week and Go Big – Take Your Life From Ordinary To Extraordinary.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Management and Administration, both from the University of Central Oklahoma, Scott's very first leadership role was in the field of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. His 21 years in the field included serving as superintendent of Oklahoma’s first private secure juvenile facility, Union City Juvenile Facility. He championed and was the Superintendent of the program when it was the only all “Youthful Offender” facility in the State of Oklahoma.
Scott also served as a Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Professor, Warden and many other roles throughout the criminal justice and juvenile justice system. He has remained active in the system as a volunteer leader, currently as the chair of the governor's State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
These days, Scott is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com, where he challenges readers to dream BIG and think BIGGER. Scott believes in the power of leveraging social media to make a Kingdom impact. He served for many years as a key leader and Campus Pastor for LifeChurch.tv, one of the largest, fastest growing, and most innovative churches in America. Under his leadership, the LifeChurch.tv NW OKC Campus grew from a campus church plant to having an average weekly attendance of over 3,500 people in less than three years.
Scott lives in Edmond with his wife and two boys. He and his family are proud fans of their home team, The Oklahoma City Thunder.
|Dr. Stephen Grissom|