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Spring 2009


Volume 2, Number 3

2009 Oklahoma Supreme Court School and Teacher of the Year Teacher of the Year Linda C. Gunsaulis Cornelsen Elementary School, Fairview

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Page 2 LRE Coordinator’s Welcome 2009 Mock Trial State Champions Page 3

Linda C. Gunsaulis speaks on the importance of citizenship education. Also pictured: Court Clerk, Michael Richie and Justice John Reif . February 26, 2009 the Oklahoma Supreme Court convened to recognize Linda C. Gunsaulis and McKinley Elementary School for their commitment to citizenship education. Principal Terry Hopper accepted the award on behalf of McKinley Elementary. Teachers Sheryl Tatum, Audra Plummer, and Tina Thompson spoke regarding the activities in which the students from McKinley participated. Accompanying Ms. Gunsaulis were her family, Principal Richard Beck, and Cornelsen students with scores of 97 or above in Social Studies.

School of the Year McKinley Elementary, Norman

2009 We the People Citizen and the Constitution State Finals Page 4 Close Up RDA PROS Page 5 PACE XX Hatton W. Sumners Foundations of Democracy Citizen & the Constitution Workshop

The proud students of McKinley Elementary have their pictures taken with Justices Steven Taylor and Yvonne Kauger.


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Making Connections‌ Jane McConnell, OBA/LRE Coordinator I write this while returning from our CIVITAS delegate exchange with our new partner the Dominican Republic. It was a privilege to attend their National Citizenship Day Competition. Over 300 teachers from across the country attended civics education trainings one Saturday per month for the entire school year. Dominican teachers receive no financial benefits, only a certificate of completion, and self fulfillment in seeking quality professional development. Unlike our partners in the D.R., Oklahoma teachers are being offered two ALL expense paid LRE Institutes this summer. In June the Hatton Sumner Foundations of Democracy Institute will be in Tulsa. National speakers and trainers will be featured, including the Bill of Rights Foundation on June 19th. In July PACE XX will focus on digital connections for civics educators. Deadlines for applications are April 15th for the Hatton Sumner’s Institute and May 11th for the PACE XX Institute . Oklahoma Supreme Court Vice-Chief Justice, Steven Taylor and LRE Chair, Jack Clark visit the National School of Justice, D.R..

So, in these economically challenging days, step up and claim your place at the best FREE Civics Education trainings in the nation.

2009 State Mock Trial Champions Christian Heritage Academy

Members of the Christian Heritage Academy team pose with their state High School Mock Trial Championship trophy. At left is their teacher Jerrid Eischen and at right is their attorney coach Jennifer Miller.


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2009 Citizen and the Constitution State Competition District finalists gathered to compete in the We the People: Citizen and the Constitution State Finals held January 24th, 2009 at the State Capitol. The students participated in a mock congressional hearing, answering questions regarding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Competitors were judged on presentation skills and knowledge of the subject. The competition consists of 6 units reflecting on different aspects of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Enid High School scored highest, placing first.

2009 State Champions Enid High School Teacher Matthew Holtzen

Second Place Winners Norman High School Teacher Sandranel Bahan Enid will advance to the

Third Place Winners National Finals to be held April Rock Creek High School 25-27, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Teacher Greg Thralls

The Unit Award winners were: Norman HS—Units 1 and 6 Rock Creek HS—Units 2 and 3 Enid HS—Units 4 and 5 All competitors are to be commended for their efforts.

Thank You To our judges and volunteers, who helped to make this a great event!


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Register Now for PROS Peaceful Resolutions for Oklahoma Students A project of the Early Settlement Programs administered by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Law-related Education Department of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

PROS is a peer mediation program designed to reduce conflict in schools. Peer mediation in schools decreases suspensions, violence, and fighting. Peer mediation results in less instances of name-calling and put downs. Peer mediation helps students achieve improved self-esteem and self-respect among peers. The program further benefits teachers by enabling them to deal more effectively with conflict. Training sessions for the 2009-2010 year begin in September. Training dates & locations, can be found at:

Oklahoma Legal Aid

State of Oklahoma

U.S. House of Representatives

Teachers from around the state meet at the Oklahoma Bar Center to attend sessions regarding RDA, the George Washington Teaching Ambassador Program, and LRE programs.

America’s Library

Representative Democracy in America

National Geographic

Students take notes during a session at Oklahoma Bar Center.


Students who attended the 2009 Close-Up program engaged in shadowing at the State Capitol, witnessed an accelerated criminal appeals court docket, participated in mock legislature, and were photographed with Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins. Program speakers included First Lady Kim Henry; Representatives Gary Banz, Jason Murphey, Anastasia Pittman, and Scott Inman; Senator Todd Lamb, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice James Winchester , Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Gary Lumpkin, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Frosty Troy; Neal McCaleb, Chickasaw Nation; OU Professor Mary Sue Backus; Information Officer, Terri Watkins; Brian Bush, Academy of Leadership and Liberty, and Lisa Pryor, Asst. Superintendent of Public Instruction. The three day program afforded students the opportunity to observe and take part in government functions.

Online Fun and Games

Oklahoma Close Up


Citizen & the Constitution National Finals Washington, D.C. May 6

Project Citizen State Showcase Oklahoma Bar Center June 15-19

Hatton W. Sumners Foundations of Democracy LRE 101 Teacher Institute July 20

Project Citizen National Showcase Philadelphia, PA 20-22

PACE XX Teacher Institute August 15

Citizen & the Constitution Workshop Oklahoma Bar Center September

PROS Workshops 10 17 24 29

Elementary Weatherford Sallisaw Tulsa/Jenks OKC

Middle/High School 11 Weatherford 18 Sallisaw 25 Tulsa/Jenks 30 OKC

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PACE XX Discovering the Digital Divide Monday, July 20—Wednesday, July 22, 2009 During this three day program attendees will discover online Law-related education programs and activities for the classroom. The institute will conclude with training covering the Representative Democracy in American Program. Participants will receive free meals, lodging, in-state mileage reimbursement, and professional development credits. Applications may be found online at: Application deadline: May 11, 2009 NOTICE: The PACE XX reunion picnic scheduled for July 12, 2009 has been CANCELLED.

Hatton W. Sumners Summer Institute Foundations of Democracy: Law-related Education—Basic 101 Monday, June 15—Friday June 19, 2009 ◦ Tulsa Institute participants will engage in lectures presented by constitutional scholars followed by peer led classroom activities. The program follows the Foundations of Democracy curriculum authored by the Center for Civic Education. The textbook series instructs students on the four fundamental concepts of government: Responsibility, Privacy, Authority, and Justice. The texts are appropriate for grade levels Pre-K to 12. Friday lecturers from the Bill of Rights Institute will present their “Being an American Program”. Educators will receive a book containing lesson plans and classroom activities appropriate for 5th—12th grades. Attendees will receive free meals, lodging, in-state mileage, a classroom set of textbooks, and professional development credit. Deadline for application: April 15, 2009

Citizen and the Constitution Workshop Attendees receive instruction regarding utilization of the Citizen and the Constitution curriculum devised by the Center for Civic Education. Each educator attending will receive a classroom set of textbooks. High school students participating in the curriculum are eligible for district, state, and national competition. Competitors participate in a mock congressional hearing, testing each student’s knowledge of the U.S. Constitution.

When: August 15, 2009 Where: Oklahoma Bar Center Time: 9 a.m.—3 p.m. Program agenda and application available at:

LRE Law-related Education Programs Oklahoma Bar Association P.O. Box 53036 Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Find it Online!

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Oklahoma Bar Association

Executive Director

What you will find on the LRE web pages:

Law-related Education Committee Chairperson

John Morris Williams

Jack C. “Chip” Clark • • • • • •

Contact Info News Releases Calendar of Events Description of Programs Useful links Newsletter Archive

FORMS: Free Materials Request Request for Attorney Speaker PACE XX Summer Institute Application Hatton W. Sumners: Foundations of Democracy Institute Application

Vice Chairperson Tracy Pierce Nester

Law-related Education Coordinator Jane McConnell (405) 416-7024

Administrative Assistant Debra Jenkins (405) 416-7023 1901 N. Lincoln Blvd. P.O. Box 53036 Oklahoma City, OK 73152 Toll Free Number: 800-522-8065 FAX: (405) 416-7088

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