Two important constituency groups recognized state Sen. Dewayne Pemberton as Legislator of the Year, an honor we believe is well-deserved for the work he has done on behalf of public employees and public schools. 

Having spent 36 years of his life as a teacher, coach, athletic director and principal before being elected to the Oklahoma Senate, the Muskogee lawmaker has proven himself a dedicated public servant. As senator of District 9, Pemberton has become an effective representative of others as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and member of the Senate Education Committee. 

His efforts were recognized by both the Oklahoma Public Employees Association and the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, the members of which the senator has been a keen advocate. Both organizations and the members they represent deserve an advocate who will represent them to the extent Pemberton has up to this point of his first term in office. 

OPEA cited Pemberton for his support of both active and retired state employees. That support was demonstrated in part by a bill Pemberton filed that would grant cost-of-living increases to retired state employees and increase their representation on the state employee pension board. 

OSSBA pointed to the senator’s support of legislation designed to restore limits on the number of students in classrooms and modernize how the state funds alternative education. The organization also cited Pemberton’s efforts to improve accountability and transparency at charter schools, which is particularly important considering the ongoing investigation of Epic Charter Schools.  

Pemberton pledged to be a strong supporter of public employees and public schools throughout his campaign. He followed through on those promises and was recognized by these organizations as Legislator of the Year for doing so.

It’s an honor of which we’re sure he’s proud. We’re proud to claim him as Muskogee’s own, congratulate him, and look forward to more good work from him in the future.

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