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OFE News Release

Oklahoma's Outstanding Students, Educators to be Featured on OETA Awards Broadcast Saturday

May 22, 2007

Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, gives the keynote address at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 21st annual Academic Awards Banquet.
Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, gives the keynote address at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 21st annual Academic Awards Banquet. The awards ceremony, which honors Oklahoma’s top public school educators and students, will premiere on statewide public television at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26, on OETA.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Three outstanding Oklahoma teachers, a superintendent and an alternative education program will be recognized, along with 100 of the state’s top public high school seniors, when OETA premieres its statewide broadcast of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 21st annual Academic Awards Banquet at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26.

The broadcast will air on OETA Channel 13 in Oklahoma City and Channel 11 in Tulsa. Subsequent broadcasts will be shown on OETA’s OKLA digital channel. For digital broadcast listings, visit the station’s Web site at www.oeta.onenet.net.

The gala celebration, taped May 19 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a non-profit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.

The banquet recognizes 100 public high school seniors from throughout the state as Academic All-Staters. Also featured are this year’s recipients of Oklahoma Medals for Excellence in Teaching: kindergarten teacher Eileta Faye Creekpaum of Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Tulsa; art teacher Kathleen A. Blake of Edmond Memorial High School; and James Breckenridge, professor of piano at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Bobby D. Russell, superintendent of Pauls Valley Public Schools, received the foundation’s administration award, while Emerson High School of Oklahoma City received the Medal for Excellence in Alternative Education.

The broadcast will also include a keynote address by Brown University President Ruth Simmons. The first African American and first woman to serve as president of an Ivy League institution, Simmons is the recipient of numerous academic and humanitarian honors. She was named America’s best college president by Time Magazine in 2001 and was dubbed Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 2002

The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Orchestra, under the direction of conductor John Clinton, is also featured in the program.

DVDs of the awards ceremony can be purchased for $12 each by contacting the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence at (405) 236-0006.