OHS Board of Directors
Shirley Ann Ballard Nero
Term expiring 2026
Shirley Ann Ballard Nero is a retired secondary social studies teacher who taught for 27 years. She attended East Central University, Northeastern State University, and Oklahoma State University, earning a bachelor of arts in home economics with minors
in sociology and psychology, as well as a master of arts in history.
In 1976 Nero began her teaching career at Sapulpa Junior High, where she taught geography and Oklahoma history. While there, she taught GED classes and spent a few semesters at Tulsa Community College teaching American history. In the course of her career, she was named Sapulpa Junior High Teacher of the Year and Sapulpa Public Schools District Teacher of the Year. She also was named the Oklahoma Social Studies Teacher of the Year and the Oklahoma Heritage Teacher of the Year for Indian Territory. Nero spent her last four years in education at Porum High School teaching social studies before retiring in 2004.
During his term, Governor Brad Henry appointed Nero to serve on the OHS Board of Directors, where she served until 2020. She was reappointed by Governor Kevin Stitt in 2022. As an OHS Board member, Nero has served on several committees, chaired the OHS Black Heritage Committee, served as the OHS Board of Directors treasurer, and was vice president for a short term. Nero also sits on the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Committee, where she serves as chair.
Nero was born in Clearview, one of Oklahoma’s historically All-Black towns, where she attended school until integration. She and her husband, Dr. Donnie L. Nero Sr., reside in her hometown on their DNS Ranch.