State Superintendent Janet Barresi issued the following statement today regarding the passing of former State Rep. Odilia Dank.
"I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Odilia Dank. Rep. Dank was a trusted advocate for education reform during her time as a 28-year veteran educator and then during her 12 years as an Oklahoma legislator.
"As Chair of the House Education Committee, Rep. Dank fought for higher academic standards so our children would be prepared for college and the workforce. One of her greatest accomplishments was championing the Oklahoma Charter School bill through the legislature. Because of her, families now have a choice when it comes to educational opportunities for their children.
"Her dedication for children and their right to a quality education was a common bond that formed the basis of our friendship. With professionalism and a quiet modesty, Rep. Dank exhibited grit and determination when advocating for education. No matter the odds, she was determined to push forward. I and many others will proudly continue that fight for the children in her honor.
"Rep. Dank was a pioneer for women in politics. She was one of only three Republican women serving in the legislature when she was elected in 1994. Her leadership and bravery to do the right thing for children has contributed greatly to Oklahoma’s success and she will be missed.
"My thoughts and prayers are with her family."