Candidates vying for the second seat on the Sequoyah School Board include:



Rita Walkingstick

Cherokee County native Rita Walkingstick was born in and graduated from high school in Tahlequah.

Walkingstick is married to Keeven Walkingstick, a computer engineer for Yale Cleaners of Tulsa, and the couple has one son, Mason, a sixth-grader in Sequoyah Public Schools.

She has earned her business management degree from Rogers State University and is currently a stay-at-home mom.

Walkingstick has worked within the District as a volunteer, substitute teacher, fourth grade teacher’s assistant, and math tutor.

“The Sequoyah community is growing rapidly, and I want to make sure our level of education accommodates that growth,” she said. “As a Board member, I would facilitate the continued growth of the level of education within the District.”

Walkingstick said she’s “proud” to be part of the Sequoyah community, citing her focus as a Board member would remain on “education and the classroom.”

“An intelligent adult begins with a well-educated child, and Sequoyah does remarkable job educating its students,” she said. “I’m proud to be an ‘Eagle’ parent.”

Gordon Ray Carriger

Gordon Ray Carriger was born in Claremore in 1956and graduated from Sequoyah High School in 1975.

After studying at Claremore Junior College, Carriger went to work for Sheffield Construction of Owasso, building houses. After two years at Sheffield, Carriger and his father, Ray went into work for themselves, starting their own construction company, doing contract work.

In 1984, Carriger became a fireman for the Claremore Fire Department and he slowly reduced his work in the construction industry.

Carriger has two daughters, Sarah, 18, a senior at Sequoyah High School who plans to play softball at Oklahoma State University, and Jessica, 25, who graduated from law school in Texas and is currently studying to take the bar exam in Oklahoma.

“It’ll sound corny, but my dad, my mom, my whole family went to school at Sequoyah,” Carriger said. “I feel like the school system has given to the community and I’d like to give back by serving on the school board.”

Carriger said if elected, he would maintain an “open door” policy, inviting parents within the Sequoyah District to call him with any concerns or thoughts they might have.

“I’m a huge advocate of education and I’d like to see the educators and students have the best, most up-to-date technologies available,” he said. “I feel its also important for parents and students to know all the opportunities that are available for them, whether those would include vocational school or college.”

Presently, Carriger is a captain in the Claremore Fire Department. He has been on the board of the Professional Fire Fighters of Oklahoma for 11 years, and currently serves as the 7th District vice-president.



C. Brett Battenfield

“Claremore has been my home for most of my life,” said C. Brett Battenfield, Board seat candidate. “I graduated from Claremore Public Schools and attended Rogers State University.

“I lived in Dallas for a short time, but returned home to raise my children and instill in them the hometown values I was raised with,” he said.

Battenfield, a self-employed worker in the construction business, built his own home in the Sequoyah Public Schools District in 1997, preferring a smaller school atmosphere for his family.

In 2004, he joined the Sequoyah Public Schools Facility Planning Team, offering his expertise in assisting with the development of a long-range plan to serve the District.

“From this challenge, I became motivated to serve on the Board,” he said. “I am also a board member for Rural Water District 2 — the experience I gained from this position has given me another perspective of the needs in the Sequoyah area.”

Battenfield said he would want to see Sequoyah campuses keep pace with its growing classroom and faculty needs to attract and maintain high-quality teachers and support staff while fulfilling the school’s vision of excellence.

“Equally important is the confidence that our children leave with upon graduation of a quality education and having the tools necessary to prepare themselves for college and their future careers,” he said. “I plan to build on our reputation as a place where parents can be proud their children attend and experience ‘Eagle Pride’. If elected, I will represent the Sequoyah families and community with integrity.”

Battenfield is married to Tina, who is a substitute teacher and school volunteer. The couple has to children, Brandi, a 2006 Sequoyah graduate and current student at RSU, and Brooke, an eighth-grader at Sequoyah Schools.

School Board elections for all county school districts will be Tuesday, Feb. 13.