Joy Hofmeister with husband and children.


Building momentum for a strong public education.

Joy Hofmeister knew at an early age she wanted to be an educator. The daughter of an electrician and steel manufacturer and a homemaker, Joy possessed a drive and resolve that led to her graduating magna cum laude from Texas Christian University with a bachelor's of science in education. Since that time, Joy has dedicated a lifetime to helping children reach their potential.

As a public schoolteacher, a successful small business owner and the state superintendent of public instruction, Joy's guiding principle is simple but critical: What is best for kids? A committed change agent, Joy has provided strong leadership to:

  • significantly reduce Oklahoma's standardized testing (cutting cost by 40% and refocusing time on rich instruction),

  • develop and implement comprehensive academic standards in English language arts and mathematics after the repeal of common core, 

  • enable all high school juniors to take the ACT or SAT at no cost to students or schools, and

  • finally ensure long-overdue regionally competitive pay for Oklahoma teachers ($6,100 average raise per teacher beginning Aug. 2018.)

These accomplishments are part of Oklahoma Edge, a comprehensive long-term plan to foster academic excellence and learning for the long run. 

Momentum is building. In 2015, Oklahoma ranked 47th in the U.S. for the rigor of its academic standards. In June of this year, Oklahoma jumped to 17th nationwide, one of only 17 states to earn an A rating for the strength of its standards. 


Prior to her election, Joy was actively involved with the Parent Legislative Action Committee at Jenks Public Schools, where her four children attended school, and served as an officer with the Jenks Public School Foundation. In January 2012, she was appointed to the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The position afforded Joy a closeup look at a public education system that had become demoralized, grossly underfunded and mired in needless red tape. 


That experience deeply impacted Joy, who knew Oklahoma children and families deserved much better. She left her successful small business of 16 years to run for public office and in November 2014 was elected state superintendent of public instruction. 


Joy and her husband, the honorable Judge Gerald Hofmeister, have been married nearly 34 years. They have four grown children: Lou, Katy, Liz and Jimmy.

Portrait photo of Joy Hofmeister


Real leadership that brought real change.
  • Sounded the alarm and built sweeping public awareness of Oklahoma’s crippling teacher shortage and its impact on students. 

  • Shepherded through landmark legislation to give the largest pay raise in state history for teachers and support employees.

  • Raised PK-12 academic standards for English/language arts and math, bringing back phonics, cursive writing and strengthening math foundations—moving Oklahoma from 47th (D+) to 17th (A) for rigor and overall quality.

  • Eliminated end-of-instruction (EOI) tests that wasted millions of dollars and effort better spent on quality teaching and learning.

  • Eliminated all excessive standardized testing not required under federal law (except US History), reducing testing costs by 40%.

  • Enabled all high school juniors to take the ACT or SAT at no cost to families or schools, opening postsecondary opportunities and scholarships for students.

  • ​Developed, with the help of nearly 150 Oklahoma teachers, comprehensive curriculum frameworks for English, math and science to assist and support classroom instruction.

  • Created the Red Tape Task Force to cut decades of bureaucratic red tape and allow for greatest efficiencies in schools. 

  • Built a long-range strategic plan to improve academic outcomes by 2025 and well-rounded education for students called Oklahoma Edge.

  • Launched Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAPs), ensuring students set their own goals for technical certification and/or Higher Education in preparation for meaningful career pathways.

  • Overhauled the school accountability system to refocus on student growth, transparency and provide more meaningful context of the important work of schools.

  • Eliminated TLE VAM from state law.

  • Developed computer science academic standards, leading the nation as Oklahoma is one of only three states with grade-specific standards for K-12.

  • Built respect for teachers through public awareness initiatives such as ELEVATE, Shaped My Life and Ed Talks.

  • Redefined the senior year of high school to complete technical certification, earn college credit, or (if needed) reinforce math or reading skills before graduation to avoid costly remediation and lost time later.

  • Fought from Day One to reverse the Legislature’s resistance to education funding; and this year successfully put Oklahoma back on track.

  • Rebuilt the state Dept. of Education with an effective team of highly-motivated and dedicated  professionals with exceptional expertise, collaboration and leadership recognized across the state and nation.