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Tulsa-Area Teacher Honored with Presidential Award

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Jenks Public Schools
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One Tulsa-area teacher is among more than 200 honored by President Obama.

Jenks West Intermediate fifth-grade math and language arts teacher Moriah Widener got a call Monday morning telling her to check her email. That’s how she learned she was one of 213 teachers nationwide honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

"I was just overwhelmed and excited at the honor of being recognized with so many other amazing educators that I know have been recognized through this program, so excited is definitely an understatement," Widener said.

Widener said the award serves as validation for best teaching practices.

"I'm going to continue to do exactly what I do, which is never the same thing," Widener said. "I mean, always be reflexive and flexible to the needs of your students, and continue to grow and gain more experience, and gain more ideas, and collaborate with other educators."

The award comes with a $10,000 prize, which Widener already has some plans for.

"To help pay back for my master's program that I graduated from in the fall of 2014, but also I got to install an air conditioning unit," she said. "We've got a few places, but there will definitely be maybe a new pair of shoes or two as well."

Oklahoma teachers in Stillwater, Norman and Hydro also won awards. Winners are invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C.