FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2019
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Educators Recognized at 2019 National Johnson-O’Malley Association Awards Ceremony
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, along with schools and educators within the Nation’s jurisdiction, received national recognition during the 2019 National Johnson-O’Malley Association Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev., March 6, 2019.
The awards ceremony, which was part of the 2019 NJOMA Conference, presented the Nation with the Platinum Donor Recognition for its contributions to the association and its advocacy for changes in law for the JOM Program.
During the ceremony, NJOMA also recognized a number of educational programs within the Nation’s boundaries including the nationwide award for Educator of the Year and the National At-Large JOM Exemplary Program.
Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Okla., was honored for this year’s National At-Large JOM Exemplary Program, while Henryetta Public Schools in Henryetta, Okla., was recognized for the Region 3A JOM Exemplary Program.
The Region 3A Teacher of the Year also came from the Union Public Schools, which was awarded to Nancy Pedicord.
Another national-level award for Educator of the Year went to Jackie White, who retired from Union Public Schools and has been involved in working with the Nation and its JOM programs throughout the jurisdiction.
Principal Chief James R. Floyd attended the ceremony, along with others from the Nation and the Department of Education including Secretary of Education, Employment & Training Greg Anderson.
Secretary Anderson said it’s an honor to be recognized by the NJOMA for the hard work the Nation has put in over the years and to see the Nation’s dedicated work payoff.
“The Nation is getting a lot of recognition this year,” Secretary Anderson said. “It’s been a long time coming, too. But, the recognition given to the Henryetta and Union schools and their staff was well deserved. They have some great things going on.”
This year’s conference was significantly notable following President Trump signing the Johnson-O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act (S. 943) into law and the NJOMA celebrating 25 years of service.
The success of the modernization act becoming a law has been a noteworthy achievement for the Nation following its prominent involvement in getting S. 943 signed into law.
The Nation’s efforts in supporting the legislation included providing financial support, as well as human capital; and making several trips to Washington D.C. to meet with the Bureau of Indian Education and Congress, in order to advocate for the Native students and their educational needs.
“We’ve worked hard on the Senate Bill 943 to get it into public law and now it is,” Secretary Anderson said. “It is really nice to be recognized for it and it’s a good feeling.”