About the Character Council of Edmond
To designate the city of Edmond as a city of character through the promotion and development of character traits in all aspects of community life.
About the Character Council of Edmond
Our goal is to create a citywide initiative to build Edmond into a “city of character.” This non-profit organization believes that the character of a nation can only be strengthened one person at a time, one community at a time.
This character initiative began in 2001 with a working committee driven by the involvement of the Edmond Medical Center and the City of Edmond in the Character First! program, which headquarters in Oklahoma City. Character First!brings to governments, businesses, churches and families the need to recognize positive character traits in organizations and brings to a community a top-of-mind awareness of what good character is all about. It does this through, for example, spotlighting a character trait each month and how an individual demonstrated that character.
Supported in a July 2001 city resolution by Mayor Saundra Naifeh, designating Edmond as a “City of Character,” a board of directors was established to bringing the character message to Edmond. The Council is now a 501c3 not-for-profit grassroots organization incorporated by the State of Oklahoma since July 2003, and in 2004 was recognized for its exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service Code. The council is a local Edmond agency made up entirely by volunteers from different career areas whose focus is reserved for the Edmond area alone.
Since 2003, the Council’s primary initiative has been to sponsor character-based education to area schools, the first being Central Middle School, where 15 educators received the training at no training or material costs to the school. Since that time, additional area schools expressed their desires to receive the training. The character-based education training is now open to each Edmond area school, elementary, secondary, high school, both public and private. We’ve also made allowances for parent volunteers at these schools to also receive the training. The training fee, materials, a lunch and compensation for any substitute teachers that may be required while educators attend the half-day training, are paid for. The only investment from the educators is their time.
It’s the generous support from the community that continues to be the only means to provide character-based education. In the past, such support has come from the City of Edmond Social Agency Funding Committee, GRECO Frame and Supply, CEO Mo Anderson with Keller Williams International, Eateries Inc., and other generous contributions by area citizens. The Council thanks each of these and hopes that others will see the importance of promoting good character and support this Council’s efforts.
The Council does not endorse one character training curriculum or materials over another, but endeavors to assist with the funding and/or training and information that will best benefit the current needs within the community.
Meet the Board
The Edmond Character Council consists of a completely voluntary board of directors.
Sharman Hughes Barghols
Sharman Hughes Barghols grew up in Oklahoma City and moved to Edmond after graduating from OU Law in 1977. She has two grown children and is the grandmother of two. She retired after teaching for 16 years in Edmond at the middle school level where she participated in character education. She has been a PTO volunteer, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, a Future Cities coach, an Archery in the Schools coach, and currently volunteers for Oklahoma Lawyers for Children. The Board welcomes Sharman as our newest member!
Gloria Baumann grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated from Will Rogers High School. She and her husband, Roger, moved to the Edmond community in the mid-70s where they raised five children. Their family has expanded to include eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Gloria served as Director of the nursery and preschool at MetroChurch and led the Cradle Roll Prayer Chain and New Mom’s Fellowship. Later, she taught First Grade at Edmond Christian Academy (ECA), where two of her children attended. In recent years, Gloria began to hone her writing skills by taking classes at Oklahoma Community College and Christian Writer’s Guild. She continues to substitute teach at ECA on occasion. Gloria says, “One of the aspects I like about ECA is the emphasis on developing godly character and I’m excited about the opportunity to serve on the Character Council of Edmond.”
Tara Fair is presently the Associate Superintendent for the Edmond Public School District. Previously she served as the Educational Services Coordinator, and prior to that she was the Principal at Central Middle School for twelve years. Central Middle School was one of the first schools in Edmond to adopt the Character First Curriculum and has been a Character First School since 1998. In her new position she Coordinates and administers selected district instructional programs, performs as assistant district-wide (PK-12) assessment administrator, administers and serves as liaison for selected federal programs (Title IA, Title I D, Homeless); assist and serves as a resource for staff, board and public in interpreting and /or implementing district curriculum.
Jim Hulsey serves as President of the Character Council of Edmond. Retired from nearly three decades of television broadcast experience, as photographer, production assistant, later as a freelance journalist and an occasional newspaper editorialist, Hulsey has called Edmond “home” periodically since 1946. He served as the president of the Edmond Neighborhood Alliance and as a council member to the EdmondYMCA and participated in a variety of committees over the years to improve the community. He is a third-generation UCO alumni and received a MS degree from OSU. He is also a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War.
Marilyn Jones, born and raised in Arcadia, LA., graduated from LA Tech in elementary education and was a second-grade teacher for six years. Married to husband Phil since 1967, they have two grown children and six grandchildren. Members of First Baptist Church in Edmond, she has been the Preschool Director as well as taught Children’s Sunday School, worked in Youth ministry and lead the Women’s Ministry, as well as being a volunteer at her children’s school, and was the chairman for the 1st “After Prom” Event. She has volunteered in a number of Republican political races, as well as being a tenured member of the Character Council of Edmond.
Diane Krakowski joined the Character Council of Edmond shortly after being recognized as a Champion of Character for Diligence several years ago. She is a National Board Certified teacher who taught fourth grade for twenty-six years at Northern Hills Elementary School before retiring in 2013. She continues to stay active in the field of education by volunteering at Northern Hills and serving on the Executive Board of Delta Kappa Gamma Beta Phi Chapter. She and her husband, Ron, have three children and five grandchildren and attend St. John the Baptist Church. She enjoys the monthly meetings with the Character Council’s outstanding Board members.
Lee Ann Kuhlman
Lee Ann Kuhlman serves as Secretary of the Character Council of Edmond Board. She has been a board member since 2005. Lee Ann retired in 2010, after 14 years of teaching in the Edmond Public School District. She was recently elected to the Edmond School Board. She and her family have resided in Edmond for 27 years. Her experience include: Leadership Edmond Class IX Alumni, past-president of St. Mary’s Episcopal Pre-school Board, Executive Committee of the Junior League of Oklahoma City, and finalist for Teacher of the Year 2004-2005.
Pam Merrill is retired from 40 years in education, serving as a classroom Social Studies and Language Arts teacher and Debate coach in the Oklahoma City Schools and Putnam City Schools prior to serving as the Edmond Schools' Social Studies Curriculum Specialist since 1990. Pam and her husband have lived in Edmond for 22 years, enjoying its sense of community and dedication to our public schools. Pam has been recognized as the National Social Studies Supervisor of the Year, National Geographic's Educator of the Year, and the Oklahoma Friend of Social Studies recipient. She continues to enjoy researching, developing, and modeling instructional resources for social studies classrooms, working currently with the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education and the Oklahoma Council for Social Studies.
Shermie Potts has proudly served as Choral Director for Edmond Santa Fe High School since 1997. Prior to that, she taught at Choctaw Junior High. She has been an Edmond resident since 1976. She and her husband (fellow Memorial High School graduate), Steve, have two sons. She earned her PhD in Music Education in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma to better serve the needs of Edmond students. Dr. Potts is a longtime proponent of character education and has enjoyed school administrations that encourage its use for student growth. Dr. Potts enjoys teaching character through music, which requires the endurance, diligence, and humility of each student.
Anna Rognas has been a resident of Edmond since 1976. Anna is a mother of many children: 2 beautiful biological children, a foster parent since 2006, and a proud adoptive parent in 2010. Anna started selling real estate in 2003 with Keller Williams’ Edmond office. In 2008 she joined with Property Management & Realty, a “Best of Edmond” company 4 years running. She is also employed at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Edmond as the Children’s Formation Coordinator and a member of the Rolling Green Collaborative. In 2009, Anna started a Donate, Dine & Wine group that supports metro charities. Anna graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with her B.A in English Education and is very excited to join the Character Council of Edmond in 2011!
Emoly Walters is a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma pursuing a BA Degree in Dance with a minor in Broadcast Journalism. During her early teen years Emoly discovered Character First, a program that she now champions by being a certified Character Coach, and serves as a board member of the Character Council of Edmond. As Miss Oklahoma 2010, Emoly is excited to promote her platform, Leadership and Character Development, from elementary school students to the business community. It is her goal to help people realize how minute-by-minute choices affect their lives and impact the lives of others. Emoly believes that character goes right to the heart of what makes us better people and that the time is now to give people the tools to either stop a problem before it happens or to address one that already exist so that we can experience the best future possible.
Kathryn Williams joined the counsel in late 2016 based on her belief that instilling and recognizing character in youth betters our society and the future. Williams spent 20 years in the juvenile justice field, working in a variety of different areas within the Criminal Justice field ranging from Juvenile Probation and Parole to Juvenile Justice Administrator. Her experience within the criminal justice field includes being the Coordinator of the Foster Care Review Boards of Oklahoma County, Drug/Alcohol Group therapist at St. Anthony's Care Unit, and as a domestic violence therapist. Professor Williams has also taught as an adjunct at the University of Oklahoma and Southern Nazarene University and full time at the University of Central Oklahoma in both Sociology and Criminal. She has lived in Edmond since 1983 along with her husband and two children.