Throughout her life, Susan Paddack has been passionate about education.
“I was the first person in my family to receive a college degree,” she said. “My father started work as a lineman with the telephone company and my mother was a stay at home mom. Neither was able to go to college, but they knew the importance of it and encouraged me to further my education.”
Susan believes a good education allows each individual to reach his or her goals and to be successful in life. Education is the way that people achieve the American Dream. Through hard work and a quality education, every person is able to be what he or she wishes to be. Education is also at the heart of our country's democratic form of government. Each person must be educated to carry out his or her duties as a citizen.
Susan received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Colorado and a Master of Education Degree in Secondary Education from East Central University. She earned a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Susan married her high school sweetheart, Gary, who is an internal medicine physician in Ada. Susan and Gary have two children, Geoffrey is a physician doing his second year residency in radiology, and Elizabeth is a third year medical student at OU’s College of Medicine.
Susan Paddack is a Leader
After years of involvement in education and health care issues and knowing the importance of more progress being made in those areas, Susan decided it was time to take on a new challenge. With her children graduated from high school, she announced as a candidate for the State Senate.
After very tough Primary and General Election campaigns, Susan was elected in November 2004 as the State Senator for District 13, which included Pontotoc, Hughes, portions of Garvin and Coal Counties. She was re-elected without opposition in 2008. She will be seeking her final term in the State Senate in 2012 with a newly redrawn District 13 which includes all of Pontotoc County, most of Garvin County, and parts of Hughes, Seminole and Pottawotomie Counties.
In the Senate, Susan serves on the full Appropriations Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, the Education Committee, and the Tourism and Wildlife Committee. She has represented Oklahoma as a former board member on the Southern Regional Education Board, a former member of the Annual Meeting Committee for the Council of State Governments, a former board member of the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust, a former board member on the Healthcare Workforce Resources Center Board, and a former member on the Governor’s Elimination of Health Disparities Task Force, the Task Force on Achieving Classroom Excellence, the State Coverage Initiative to reform healthcare in Oklahoma, and currently serves on the Governor’s Catastrophic Health Emergency Planning Task Force. She was a former commissioner of the Education Commission of the States and formerly served as chair of the Senate Education Committee and co-chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
Others Honor Susan for her Leadership
Susan’s honors for her legislation include being named the 2005 Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians Patient Advocate of the Year as well as 2006 Legislator of the Year for the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma. She was also named the Legislative Newcomer award recipient in 2005 by the Higher Education Alumni Council of Oklahoma. In 2006, Susan was awarded the Oklahoma Nurses Association Friend of Nursing award and the Legislative award from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. In 2007, she was awarded the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Alumni Association “Amicus Medicinae Award, and the Higher Education Alumni Council of Oklahoma Friend of Higher Education Award. Also in 2007, she received the Metropolitan Environmental Trust Legislator of the Year and the Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council Legislative Advocate of the Year. In 2008, she received the Oklahoma Academy Exceptional Commitment Award and was inducted into the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s Child Advocate Hall of Fame. The Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians awarded her the 2008 Legislator of the Year. She also received the 2008 Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education, and 2008 Legislator of the Year from the Oklahoma State Troopers Association-District 13. In 2009 she received the Outstanding Member of a State Legislature, Dr. Nathan Davis Award, from the American Medical Association and the Partners in Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior. She also received the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association’s Legislative Award of Appreciation and the Friend of Retired Educators from the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association. In 2010 Susan received the Don J. Blair Friend of Medicine Award from teh Oklahoma State Medical Association and in 2011 was named Legislator of the Year by the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.
Prior to her election, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence employed Susan for nine years as their Director of Local Education Foundation Outreach. She traveled the state on the mission of recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools while working with LEF boards to tailor presentations and workshops based on each foundation’s specific need. During this tenure, the number of local education foundations grew by 31% and over $22 million was awarded to schools by their LEFs since their formation in the early 1980s. She also consulted with LEFs in states such as Missouri, Indiana, and Arkansas. She was employed as a secondary science teacher in middle and junior high schools in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. She also served as an adjunct faculty member for East Central University’s Education Department.
Susan serves in various capacities for local, state, and national volunteer organizations.
She served as the 2000-2001 president of the American Medical Association Alliance, and traveled to 32 states as a part of their Speakers’ Bureau. Susan served as a representative from the AMAA to the Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence, which was a call to action from medicine, nursing, and public health to address the epidemic of youth violence in the nation.
On the state level, she is a board member for the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, a board member for the Oklahoma Academy, a board member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute and a board member of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Susan was a member of the Leadership Oklahoma Class XVI. She was named among the 2004, 2008 and 2011 honorees for The Journal Record’s 50 Women Making a Difference/Woman of the Year. Being selected three times by the Journal Record's 50 Women Making a Difference earned her the distincition of being in the Circle of Excellence. She has served as a board member of the Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy and was a board member of the Center for Nonprofit Management. Susan served as the 1991-92 president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association Alliance. In 2003, she was named an Honorary Member of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s Circle for Excellence, the group of award winning educators.
On the local level, Susan served on the board of the Ada City Schools Foundation where she was previously president, vice-president, and was grant review chair for ten years. She has also served as: president for the Pontotoc County Medical Alliance, board member for the City of Ada’s Board of Adjustments, board member of the Kiwanis Club of Ada and chairman of Young Children - Priority One, parent representative on the Ada City Schools Professional Staff Development Committee, vice-president for the Ada Arts and Humanities Council, the 1992 United Way fund drive chair and board president in 1993, a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force and steering committee on Economic Development, and a member of the 1991 Leadership Ada class. She was named the Ada Education Association’s 1992 Friend of Education. Susan is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Ada.