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Sen. Thompson praises Checotah Intermediate School and principal for receiving national honors

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, was on hand for a special celebration Monday at Eufaula State Park to mark Checotah Intermediate Elementary School’s designation as a National Blue Ribbon School.  The school’s principal, Ryan Ambrose, was also honored as a 2022 recipient of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership.

Only nine principals nationwide received the Terrel H. Bell Award for leadership, including Ambrose, who is the only Oklahoma recipient.  Checotah Intermediate Elementary School is one of only four state schools and just 297 nationwide to be named as a National Blue Ribbon School for academic excellence and progress in closing student achievement gaps.

“These awards show what’s possible here in Oklahoma – we can create excellence and make a positive difference in the lives of our children,” Thompson said. “I’m extremely proud of Principal Ambrose, his faculty and staff, the students, parents and all our community supporters of Checotah Intermediate Elementary School.  These are achievements that everyone in Oklahoma can take pride in.”

After the local celebration, Ambrose and Checotah Public Schools Superintendent Monte Madewell traveled to Washington D.C. to represent the school at the National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony on Thursday.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program was founded in 1982 to recognize outstanding elementary, middle and high schools.  The National Blue Ribbon School Award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging material.


For more information, contact: Sen. Roger Thompson at 405-521-5588 or email