By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is seeking nominations for its 2021 Academic All-State Awards. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
Scholarships totaling $100,000 will be presented at the foundation’s 35th annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 15, 2021, at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa.
During the event, the foundation will recognize five innovative public school educators who were selected in 2020 as Medal for Excellence winners, but were unable to be honored last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Academic Awards Banquet, referred to as the “Academy Awards for public education in Oklahoma,” is attended by nearly 1,000 guests each year and is broadcast statewide on public television.
“The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Program is the Oklahoma’s premiere awards program honoring academic achievement, innovation and leadership among students and educators in our public schools,” said Executive Director Emily Stratton.
“By working together to give outstanding students and educators the recognition they deserve, we send a strong message to our state and to the nation that Oklahomans value academic excellence,” Stratton added.
The Academic All-State Award honors 100 public high school seniors with a $1,000 merit-based scholarship. Nominations are being accepted through an online portal at www.ofe.org.
To qualify, students must meet at least one of the following requirements: a composite ACT score of at least 30; a combined SAT evidence-based reading & writing and math score of at least 1370; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship. Eligibility must be verified by the district superintendent or high school principal.
Academic All-State nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, December 3.
The foundation will not hold a selection process this year for Medal for Excellence Awards for educators for 2021 so that it may honor the 2020 Medal winners, whose recognition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Academic All-State Award recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee,chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa B. Adwan, and comprised of business, education and civic leaders, as well as former Academic All-Staters and Medal for Excellence winners.
In 1985, then U.S. senator David L. Boren brought together a group of Oklahoma business and community leaders with the common goal of improving public education in the state. Through this effort, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence was established with the mission of recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
Since 1987, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has awarded more than $5 million in academic awards and scholarships.
For more information, visit ofe.org or call 405-236-0006.