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During the 36th Multicultural Education Institute, several individuals were honored for helping build cross-cultural appreciation in schools. Pictured, from left, are Regina Lopez, UCO instructor of curriculum and instruction; April Haulman, UCO professor of curriculum and instruction; Jahree Herzer, principal at Northwest Classen High Schoo; Silvya Kirk, educational consultant; and, Angela Mooney, UCO assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

EDMOND — Three individuals and one metro organization were recognized for their contributions to diversity efforts in Oklahoma at the 36th Multicultural Education Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Jahree Herzer, principal at Northwest Classen High School, was selected as the 2019 MEI Citizen of the Year. Herzer was nominated for her role in ensuring that the needs of English Language Learners are held as a top priority for her staff, as well as for encouraging students to actively participate in school cultural events.

MariaAnna Mendoza, a paraprofessional for Edmond Public Schools, received the Multicultural Bilingual Paraprofessional of the Year Award.

Possibilities Inc. was named Multicultural Organization of the Year for its work establishing cross-cultural workshops to educate local volunteers on better community development processes.

Sam Wargin, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at U.S. Grant High School, was named the Multicultural Teacher of the Year.

The Multicultural Education Institute is designed to assist teachers, future teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, counselors and other personnel in education to understand and implement strategies and programs in schools that build cross-cultural appreciation and academic success for all students. The Institute was first co-sponsored by UCO and Oklahoma City Public Schools in 1983.

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