OSDE announces Joullian scholarship winner


April 18, 2016 (Oklahoma City) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Fair Board of Directors, today announced that Tamah Minnis is the recipient of the $5,000 Edward C. Joullian III Scholarship. Established in 1999 to encourage students to continue their educational development, the scholarship is awarded annually to an exceptional high school senior who attends school in the current Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s district. Shawn Sheehan, the 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, teaches mathematics at Norman High School, where Minnis is completing her senior year.
 
The scholarship is named after Edward C. Joullian III, who served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1982 to 1984 and chairman of the State Fair Board of Directors for 11 years.
 
Minnis was selected through an application process that focused on student academic honors and extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, written essays and a final interview. She has been accepted to the University of Oklahoma, where she plans to double major in Native American Studies and journalism before continuing on to law school.
 
“We are thrilled to award the Joullian Scholarship to such an outstanding candidate,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Tamah Minnis has an exceptional academic record, proven leadership skills and a tremendous sense of civic duty. We are confident her future at OU and beyond is very bright.”
 
Minnis, who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school, served as senior sports editor for Norman High School’s nationally recognized yearbook and was one of only 20 students nationwide to attend the annual National Civics and Law Academy in Washington, D.C.
In her written essays submitted to the selection committee, Minnis emphasized the value of public education to Oklahoma.
 
“My main desire for the state of Oklahoma is to refocus on the importance of education,” she wrote. “Teachers are the unsung heroes in our nation – especially teachers in Oklahoma. Teachers in Oklahoma go above and beyond to ensure that their students learn, succeed and grow with one of the lowest average salaries in the nation.”
 
Minnis credits Sarah Dewitt, a Norman High School teacher who oversees the school’s AP Capstone program, with inspiring her to eventually practice law. She plans to work in tribal law upon graduation.
 
A photo of Tamah Minnis is available upon request.
Last updated on April 18, 2016