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January 12, 2010

Quality Recognized

It is not often that pre-k educators get the recognition I think they deserve. I mean pre-k people build a more positive future every day, I think we should be the highest priority in educational systems, not the first program placed on the back burner. Recently one educator did get the regard she deserved, and for all the right reasons. Dr. Ramona Paul was named Person of the Year by Oklahoma Today Magazine. She is the first educator presented this honor in the award's history. For the past 30 years, the Assistant State Superintendent of Education has been helping to build one of the highest quality and most accessible pre-k systems in the country. Oklahoma has been consistently held up as one of the best examples for what high-quality pre-k, for all kids, looks like in action.

Louisa McCune-Elmore, the magazine's editor
in chief explained why Dr. Paul was named Oklahoma's person of the year this way:
“Her vision and achievement have put Oklahoma in the limelight of early childhood education progress. To say that she has created a better future for Oklahoma is an understatement, and we believe telling her story is a step toward creating the best schools in our nation. There can be no doubt that our state’s four and five year olds are lucky children indeed.”
 
Oklahoma began its state program in 1980 as a pilot. Since then it has grown to serve over 70 percent of the state's preschool age children. Dr. Paul has been there from the beginning providing insight and guidance to policy makers and advocates who have made the program one of the best in the country, according to National Institute for Early Education Research. Read more about just how good Oklahoma's program is here on the NIEER website.

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