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The Kate Barnard Award


Picture of Kate Barnard
In 1907, Kate Barnard, a native of Oklahoma, became the first woman to win a statewide elected office in the United States.  She held the office of Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for two terms.  She was a key figure in the enactment of a compulsory education law providing for state payments to widows dependent on their children’s earnings, of legislation implementing the constitutional ban on child labor, and of laws aimed at unsafe working conditions.

History of the Award

The Kate Barnard Award was created in 1998 to honor the ranks of women that have made a difference in Oklahoma by becoming public servants. Nominees are from the ranks of elected or appointed salaried public officials in Oklahoma.

Recipients of the Kate Barnard Award

2011 - Patrice Douglas, Mayor of Edmond
Picture of Patrice Douglas 2011 Kate Barnard Recip

Patrice Douglas was elected mayor of Edmond, Oklahoma’s fifth largest city, in 2009. Prior to her election as mayor, Douglas served as an elected representative to the Oklahoma Municipal League Board of Directors, elected Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Edmond Economic Development Authority, and on the Board of Directors of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce.
Bio Continued...

2011 - Norma L. Noble, Deputy Secretary of Commerce
Picture of Norma Noble 2011 Kate Barnard Recipient

Norma L. Noble has served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Workforce Development since her appointment by Governor Brad Henry in 2003. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Secretary, Noble served as Deputy Director for Oklahoma County’s Department of Training & General Assistance and Director of Oklahoma County’s Workforce Investment Board. Bio Continued...

2010 - Sandy Garrett, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Picture of Sandy Garrett and Mary Walker

Sandy Garrett is serving her fifth consecutive term in the elected office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction. She is the only woman in Oklahoma history to hold this constitutional post, which includes chair of both the State Board of Education and the State Board of Career and Technology Education and membership on the State Board of Equalization, the Board of Reagents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, and the School Land Commission, among numerous other statutory roles, both state and national. Bio Continued...

2009 - The Honorable April Sellers White, Associate District Judge of Creek County
Picture of Judge April Sellers White 2009 KB Award

April Sellers White was elected Associate District Judge for Creek County in 1986 and has served in that capacity through seven elections, two of them contested. Her judicial responsibilities as Associate District Judge since 1987 currently includes felony trials, divorces, adoptions, child support enforcement, protective orders, weddings and traffic dockets. Bio Continued...

2008 - Kim Holland, Insurance Commissioner
Picture of Kim Holland-Kate Barnard Recipient 2008

Kim Holland is the first woman elected Insurance Commissioner in Oklahoma State history. She was elected on November 7, 2006 after having been appointed by Governor Brad Henry in January 2005 to fill an unexpired term. In her career as Insurance Commissioner, Commissioner Holland restored the integrity of the Insurance Department by bringing honesty and her vision of creating a completely transparent department for all Oklahomans. A business woman and active civic volunteer before becoming Insurance Commissioner, Commissioner Holland has a proven track record of consumer advocacy over more than two decades as an insurance professional. Bio Continued...

2007 - Congresswoman Mary Fallin
Pic of Lieut.Gov. Mary Fallin 2005 WHOF recip

Mary Fallin has been making history in Oklahoma since 1994 when she was elected the state’s first woman and first Republican lieutenant governor. As lieutenant governor, Fallin pursued an aggressive agenda focusing on economic development, education, health care, and government reform.

As lieutenant governor, Fallin served as the president of the Senate as well as on 10 boards and commissions that impact the quality of life and business in Oklahoma, including the Tourism and Recreation Commission, State Board of Equalization, Oklahoma Land Commission, and the Film Advisory Commission. Bio Continued...

2007 - Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins
Picture of Jari Askins 2007 Kate Barnard Award Rec

Jari Askins was sworn in as Oklahoma’s 15th lieutenant governor in January 2007, giving her the rare distinction of serving in all three branches of government: judicial, legislative, and executive. She is the first Democratic woman to serve as lieutenant governor.

Askins was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1994. As a freshman legislator, she was named vice chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. House Speaker Glen Johnson named her co-chair of the Domestic Relations Recodification Committee, a joint committee of legislators, attorneys, judges, and law professors to review and recommend revisions for Oklahoma’s divorce laws and procedures.
Bio Continued...

2006 - State Senator Angela Monson
Picture of Angela Monson 2006 Kate Barnard Award R

Senator Angela Monson has been a member of the Oklahoma State Senate since 1993.  She currently serves as First Assistant Majority Floor Leader and previously served as Chairperson of the Finance Committee.  

Senator Monson served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from November 1990 until her election to the State Senate.  Senator Monson serves as immediate past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  She previously served as president and a member of the Executive Committee of the NCSL, and as chair of the NCSL Health Committee.  Senator Monson is an Executive Committee member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislatures. 
Bio continued...

2005 - State Senator Penny Williams
Picture of Senator Penny Williams 2005 Kate Barnar

Ms. Williams was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1980 and served through 1988 at which time she was elected to the Oklahoma Senate serving through 2004. She represented House District 70 and held the Senate District 33 seat. She was a member of the Democratic Party. Ms. Williams was in the legislature 24 years, the longest serving woman. 
Bio Continued...

1999 - Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Picture of Vicki Miles-LaGrange 2003 WHOF recipien

Vicki Miles-LaGrange was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 1986 and served through 1993. She held the Senate District 48 seat and was a member of the Democratic Party.

U.S. District Judge-First woman U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma and among the first in the nation.

First African-American female elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 1986.

Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame

Oklahoma Bar Association's "Woman Trailblazer" Award


Last Modified on 04/21/2011