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Owasso Indian Education honors nearly 500 students for academic, cultural excellence

Owasso Indian Education honors nearly 500 students for academic, cultural excellence

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Holden Rogers holds up an award he received at Owasso Indian Education’s Native Rams Honors ceremony at OHS on Monday.

Owasso Public Schools celebrated a special occasion last month.

The Owasso Indian Education program hosted its annual Native Rams Honors award ceremony at the Owasso High School East Campus Monday evening, April 26, where nearly 500 students were awarded for their ongoing efforts.

The event was held to honor those students who achieved either straight A’s or maintained a culture of excellence in their classrooms — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recognized several outstanding seniors.

“It is remarkable how students can perform exceptionally well under the circumstances of the past year,” said Angela Stall, administrative assistant for OIE. “We were delighted to see that so many students did so well, and we were excited to get to award them for all of their hard work and achievements.”

OIE’s Native Rams Honors were held as part of the Johnson O’Malley Program, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education, which makes it possible for school districts like OPS to bring Native American culture and curriculum to the classroom.

Over the years, Owasso’s Native American students have served as valedictorians, salutatorians, national merit finalists and semi-finalists, and are included in numerous district honor rolls, band All-Staters, athletic championships and top students of the month.

“The JOM awards program that we have provided over the past 14 years serves as a means to share and showcase the success of our native students and families here in Owasso,” Stall said. “(It) is our way of saying we see you and we appreciate you as an example of OPS and native excellence.”

A total of 223 elementary students received awards for academic excellence (all A’s), along with 50 middle schoolers and 75 high schoolers. Additionally, four Cherokee Challenge and Language Bowl students, 11 NASA students and 26 Native Literature students, as well as 87 seniors, were recognized during Monday’s ceremony.

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