A Tulsa area school district puts Oklahoma in the national spotlight. Jenks Public Schools received the highest presidential honor for quality and excellence Wednesday.
Dozens are in Washington DC for the Malcolm Baldrige Awards ceremony. News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims says hundreds of Jenks supporters and students joined in the celebration.
In eastern Oklahoma, the name "Jenks" speaks volumes. They're known for academics, ranked in the top one percent of Oklahoma schools. For athletics, racking up championships from football to girlâ€™s basketball to golf. And for the arts, singing, dancing, acting they do it all. It's well known in Oklahoma for sure and now the Trojans are getting some national recognition with the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award.
World Literature teacher Nancy Pettus: "that is pretty amazing, I have to say. Nothing like this has ever happen to our school before. So naturally, to get that type of national recognition is just incredible."
Jenks Public Schools competed with 64 other businesses and organizations for the Malcolm Baldrige Award. After 1,000 hours of review, they granted the Trojans one of the presidentâ€™s highest honors.
Jenks High School students took time out of class to gather in the Performing Arts Center to share in one of their school's finest hours. Jenks junior Angela Criner: "only two high schools that I know of were in the running and out of all those great businesses and the other great high school, we won." Jenks junior Brittani Beaver: "who gets an award from the vice president, everyday. That just doesn't happen everyday. So it gives you a lot of pride about your school."
The Baldrige Award has elevated Jenks as a national model for other school districts. They're fielding hundreds of calls from educators interested in learning the secret of their success. But It's a role, these students don't shy away from, they say they're used to being the best.
The Malcolm Baldrige Award was established in 1987, named after a former Secretary of Commerce. The awards were designed to promote excellence.