Longtime Fort Gibson school board member Jere Gibson is being remembered for her love of students and support for education.
Jere Gibson, 81, died Wednesday. She served on the Fort Gibson Board of Education from 1982 to 2017 — many of those years as president.
A celebration of Gibson's life will be noon Saturday at First United Methodist Church, Fort Gibson.
"She always had a phenomenal reputation to be a champion for kids and for public education," said Fort Gibson School Superintendent Scott Farmer.
Farmer said he knew Gibson through various Oklahoma State School Board Association activities even before he became Fort Gibson superintendent in 2018.
"Any time we were in the middle of legislative action or needing to visit with dignitaries about what's best for moving public education forward, she was always right out in front and very spot-on with her opinions and recommendations," Farmer said. "She just carried a lot of weight."
Former Fort Gibson School Superintendent Derald Glover called Gibson a legend. He said she "was one of the finest Christian women I've ever known."
Glover said Gibson was known across the state for her work with the OSSBA, as well as the local school board.
"I always thought that part of the reason for Fort Gibson being a great place was because of the stability she and other board members provided," Glover said. "She truly loved the kids, loved the school and loved the community."
Former Intermediate Elementary Principal Sherry Rybolt recalled teaching Gibson's grandchildren.
"She always was a sweet, loving, amicable lady," Rybolt said. "When you talked to Jere, she was very much a grounded, matter-of-fact person I had great respect for.... She would go to bat for student issues, school issues, but she would present it in such a way that was grounded in her philosophies and beliefs."