Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Chief Gregory E. Pyle, Rattan’s JOM Coordinator Felicia Morse, Superintendent Shari Pillow, Vice Chairperson Roseanna Sorrells, Chairperson Kendra Taylor and Choctaw Nation Sr. Director of JOM Rebecca Hawkins display the award for exemplary school.

Rattan school wins JOM exemplary school award

By BRET MOSS Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation hosted the 2013 Johnson-O’Malley (JOM) Awards Banquet to honor the exemplary JOM programs from each of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma. The meeting was held on March 5 at the Tulsa Renaissance Convention Center and featured an invocation by tribal princesses from all nations represented.

Chief Gregory E. Pyle and a number of the Choctaw Tribal Council were in attendance to display their support for the JOM program and education of Native students. District 7 Councilman Jack Austin was especially proud of the Rattan JOM program from his area, which won this year’s exemplary JOM Program Award from the Choctaw Nation.

“It is a testimony to what great services we provide to our Native American students,” said Rattan School Superintendent Shari Pillow. “It makes me very proud of our school,” she continued. Pillow was accompanied in accepting the award by Rattan’s JOM Coordinator Felicia Morse, Chairperson Kendra Taylor and Vice Chairperson Roseanna Sorrells.

June Praytor, member of the Joint Tribes Planning Committee, presented Rattan’s JOM associates the award, making note of the longevity and consistency of the program’s uninterrupted service to Native students. She mentioned that though the down economy funding has caused difficulties in the realm of education, Rattan’s JOM program has done an exceptional job providing steady support for Native students.

The evening served as a conclusion to a two-day JOM gathering and was complete with entertainment from flutist Rev. Nelson Harjo and musicians Julian B and Nokvs Haga. Tickets were drawn for door prizes as well as items raffled to raise money for educational programs.

Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger addressed the audience, expressing his appreciation for all in attendance. “I feel like we have been invaded by Choctaws,” he jested as he acknowledged the strong Choctaw presence at the banquet. He continued by stating that the turnout was a testament to how much the Choctaw Nation cares about education.

To find out more, visit JOM’s web page.