The Norman Transcript


May 23, 2014

OETA to broadcast Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence awards banquet

OKLAHOMA CITY — Five Oklahoma educators and 100 of the state’s top public high school seniors will be recognized when OETA premieres its statewide broadcast of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 28th Academic Awards Banquet at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Harvard Professor and best-selling author Robert D. Putnam, who served as keynote speaker for the banquet, also will be featured on the program.

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 website,

The gala celebration, taped May 17 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Norman, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. The program is emceed by foundation chairman and founder David L. Boren.

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: Elementary winner Cheryl Tate, Woodland Hills Elementary School, Lawton; secondary winner Donna Gradel, Broken Arrow High School; regional university/community college winner Emily Dial-Driver, Rogers State University, Claremore; and research university winner Katheleen R. Guzman, professor of law, University of Oklahoma, Norman.

The recipient of the Medal for Excellence in elementary/secondary administration is J. Michael McClaren, superintendent of Claremore Public Schools. Bios of this year’s honorees are available at

Putnam’s keynote address is titled “The Opportunity Gap: Reviving the American Dream” and focuses on his latest research on the growing class gap among American young people and the implications for social mobility.

Putnam is Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. He is former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been praised by the London Times as “the most influential academic in the world today.”

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