Linda Hampton, President
Linda Hampton assumed the presidency of the Oklahoma Education Association on April 1, 2011, after Becky Felts left office for health reasons. Hampton became the 96th president of the state’s largest education professional association representing nearly 40,000 teachers, support professionals, administrators, retired educators and education majors at Oklahoma colleges and universities.
Hampton was originally elected vice president of the OEA in 2009. For six years, Hampton represented OEA members in Washington, D.C., as a member of the NEA Board of Directors while continuing to teach in the classroom. Hampton has also served the Association as a local president, vice president and secretary as well as a member of the OEA Board of Directors.
She taught elementary students for 34 years in Pleasant Grove, a dependent school district west of Seminole. She is a former Pleasant Grove Teacher of the Year and Seminole County Teacher of the Year. Hampton’s former students also nominated her in five different years for Who’s Who Among American Teachers.
Hampton was awarded the Sapulpa Dedication to Teachers award and is a past recipient of the OEA’s Kate Frank Meritorious Service award.
In March 2012, Hampton was elected to serve a three year term as OEA President.
Alicia Priest, Vice President
Yukon’s Alicia Priest became vice president of the Oklahoma Education Association on July 6, 2011, replacing Linda Hampton who had moved into the presidency earlier in the year. Priest was elected to a full, three-year term as vice president in March 2012.
Priest taught English Language Learners (ELL) and Spanish in Yukon for 16 years and is a former Parkland Elementary Teacher of the Year. She received a bachelor’s in Spanish from Oklahoma City University and a master’s in secondary school administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is working on a doctorate in Education Leadership-Superintendency from Oklahoma State University.
A former member of OEA’s Board of Directors, Priest most recently represented Oklahoma on the National Education Association Board of Directors. She was appointed by former Gov. Brad Henry to serve on the state Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Committee, and is the chairperson of the State Textbook Committee.
On the local level, Priest served in a variety of positions for the Yukon Professional Educators’ Association including president and negotiations chair.
Lela Odom, Executive Director
Lela Odom has spent her entire professional life working for the Oklahoma Education Association. Whether as a dedicated member or in a variety of positions on the OEA staff, she brings a wealth of experience to the position of executive director.
Odom was born and raised in Oklahoma City. After graduating from Southeast High School, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1971 from Central State University (now known as University of Central Oklahoma).
After graduating from CSU, she taught second and third grades at Kelley Elementary in Moore and was named Teacher of the Year in her building in 1976. Odom was a very active OEA member, serving as building rep and in various leadership positions in the Moore ACT, including president.
Odom joined the OEA staff in November 1977 as a UniServ director, and, over the next ten years, worked with various local Associations in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Garvin, Grady and McLain Counties. In 1987, she was promoted to UniServ manager. As a manager, she supervised all areas of OEA services except Legislative and Political Organizing.
In addition to Lela’s responsibilities at OEA, she serves on the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust (OETT) and was chair during 2008-10. OETT is a Trust that was created by a $30 million settlement between the state of Oklahoma and ATT. The Trust provides grants to schools for technology and professional development to implement technology into classrooms across the state. Lela has also served as chair of the Oklahoma Commission of Education Association’s, which is a group of K-16 education representatives who work with the State Department of Education on the latest education issues.
In her spare time, Lela loves to read and spend time with her family. She also serves on the board of her neighborhood association, is a member of the League of Women Voters, and is a member of Women of the South, which is an organization that promotes and does good deeds for South Oklahoma City.
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