Chouteau Elementary School Named Winner of the School Character Award

Chouteau Elementary School is the winner of one of the most prestigious education awards in Oklahoma. The northeast Oklahoma school has been named 2020 School Character Award recipient by the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation.      

The statewide honor was presented at the foundation’s Excellence in Education Awards banquet on April 30 in Oklahoma City.

The School Character Award is presented to an Oklahoma public, private or charter school site that purposefully encourages the development of character in students by teaching, recognizing and praising character development.

“We are grateful to the administrators who have led by example and have their entire staff members purposefully teach character to every student within the school,” said Ginger Tinney, executive director of the POE Foundation. “It is not easy to get an entire staff on board with any idea – it takes incredible leadership skills.”

“Chouteau Elementary School brings intentionality of character and character development into each school program, service learning project, club, sport, and classroom,” said Superintendent Lori Helton. “Teachers model good character both in and out of the classroom. As faculty, they meet and greet students in the hallways and at the doors, being intentional in outreach and connection with the students and each other. The atmosphere, as you walk into the school, is one of caring, connection and compassion.”

According to Principal Tamara Bryan, the staff created a code of conduct, “The Wildcat Code,” that is a set of expectations across the school site for students and staff to follow in order to keep orderly and to be conscientious of others.

“We work together to make sure our students are responding well to the circumstances around them and that they know the expectations set before them,” Bryan said. “We celebrate as we see them doing well.”

The Excellence in Education Awards Banquet recognizes and rewards Oklahoma educators who demonstrate a commitment to their students in teaching strength of character and excellence in the school or classroom. Award nominees must go through a rigorous application and evaluation process.

According to POE Foundation Executive Director Ginger Tinney, “These awards serve as an encouragement to not only Oklahoma educators, but also to the many businesses, organizations, and communities that have a stake in the character building and intellectual development of the children who will shape our state in the future.”


About POE Foundation: The Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation is a nonprofit that serves as the charitable arm of Professional Oklahoma Educators. The Foundation serves as a support organization for POE and provides valuable educational training and services to teachers and students across the state. The POE Foundation is dedicated to promoting a world-class education for all Oklahoma students.

About POE: Professional Oklahoma Educators is the fastest-growing education association in Oklahoma. POE is a non-union, nonpartisan professional association for all school personnel. POE members receive professional liability insurance, legal services, and lobbying representation. It is our commitment to these valuable services that make POE a positive and unmatched option for education employees in today’s teaching environment.

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