MEET SENATOR MARY!
My family has committed our lives to loving our neighbor through public service, and carrying out justice and mercy by preserving the democratic institutions of public education, voter protection, and access to justice.
I was born in Abilene Texas, and grew up in Tipton Oklahoma where my parents, Don and Bonnie Brown, were houseparents at the Tipton Children's Home. My father retired as a county administrator for the Department of Human Services. My mother and father are still happily married and live in Perry, Oklahoma. My husband's parents are both retired school teachers, and his grandparents were retired school teachers from Cleveland County.
Nathan and I met through the Sooners for Christ ministry sponsored by the Alameda Church of Christ. During this time I was a law student, and Nathan was a pre-med student. We were married in 1992, on a very small budget, at the Wesleyan Center on Elm and Lindsey in Norman. Our reception was across the parking lot at the Sooners for Christ building.
For more than 25 years I've worked hard with my husband Dr. Nathan Boren to honor our family's long history of public service. We've raised three children together: Altus, Harrison, and Macy.
MY PARENT INVOLVEMENT
In 2003 we moved back to Norman with our three children who've been taught by world-class educators within Norman Public Schools. My closet is full of t-shirts as proof that I was a member of PTA in every one of my children's schools, chaperoned choir, orchestra and band trips, hosted receptions, and bought way too much cookie-dough, and wrapping paper from fundraisers. Nathan and I also participated in a wide range of clubs and groups with all three children which gave us the chance to enjoy raising kids with wonderfully compassionate, intelligent and hardworking friends and neighbors.
My bachelor's degree was earned from Cameron University in Lawton Oklahoma. While at Cameron I was a recipient of the Presidential Leaders and University Scholars scholarship.
While at Cameron competed on the university debate team and Black History Bowl Competition. I also became involved in the Young Democrats, while also continuing to serve and volunteer at my church in Lawton.
During law school at the University of Oklahoma, I continued to remain active with Young Democrats, and American Indian Law Review. Upon my graduation from law school, we moved to Oklahoma City where Nathan completed medical school and family medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
I'm currently completing my M.Ed from the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.
In 2008, after practicing child advocacy law in the Norman and Oklahoma City Metro area, I enrolled to complete a graduate degree in education and became a school counselor.
EARLY LEGAL CAREER
As a Carl Albert Executive Fellow, I worked for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, followed by the Oklahoma State Department of Education as the Director of Instructional Materials where I was responsible for the adoption and distribution of books to every school in Oklahoma. I also was invited by Governors Walters and Governor Henry to review legislation at the end of legislative sessions to make recommendations after reviewing the law and community comments.
Having a child in need of special education services propelled me with a desire to acquire more skills to better serve Oklahoma families and children. One of my first principals was Tony Smith, who is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Nobel Public Schools. My certification year was spent at Little Axe High School, followed by 3 1/2 years where I was honored to work in a high poverty school, Adams Elementary, in Norman Oklahoma.
Witnessing the tireless, dedicated and grossly under appreciated work of my co-teachers convicted me that our state was in great need of better leadership at the state-level. While working in Norman Public Schools I was elected by teachers to represent them on the bargaining team to negotiate their contract. The stress and injustice of state testing forced me out of teaching, but I've continued my advocacy for teachers and public education.
After the 2013 storms, I worked with Center for Children and Families of Norman, to facilitate medical and mental health care to people impacted by the storms, and worked with Native American leaders to connect resources into their communities. From 2015 to 2019, I worked for The Salvation Army Arkansas Oklahoma Division as an Attorney for the Estates and Legacy Division.