Representative Ann Coody of Lawton was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and the Council of Presidents at a ceremony on the Cameron University campus earlier today. OSRHE Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, State Regent Bill W. Burgess, Jr. and CU President Cindy Ross spoke of Rep. Coody's selfless efforts and leadership on behalf of higher education during her legislative career. The Distinguished Service Award honors Rep. Coody for her strong stance against the concealed weapons legislation, her support for concurrent enrollment and funding for higher education. She was especially helpful earlier this year advocating for higher education to receive additional funding.
"Rep. Ann Coody is very deserving of the 2009 Distinguished Service Award," said Chancellor Johnson. "She has been a consistent advocate for the needs of our students throughout her tenure in the House of Representatives. Her leadership during this difficult budget year was instrumental in providing an increase in funding for higher education, making a tuition freeze possible. Our State System of Higher Education is very grateful for her actions."
"We are fortunate to have Ann Coody as a state representative for the Lawton area," said Regent Burgess. "She continues to be a tireless advocate for higher education, and her service is deserving of the recognition she is receiving today."
"It is an honor to recognize a person who has made such a significant difference to Cameron students and students across the state of Oklahoma," said President Ross. "As a legislator, Rep. Coody has always stood up for higher education. It is not always the easiest road to take, but she has always taken the right road. Without exception, she listens, she hears, she understands, and she acts."
Rep. Coody enjoyed a 39-year career as an educator, serving as principal of Lawton MacArthur High School before retiring in 2004. She was elected as state representative for District 64 in 2004 and is currently in her second term. In February 2009, she was appointed by House Speaker Chris Benge as the Oklahoma Legislature's representative on the Education Commission of the States. The commission is part of the multi-state Compact for Education that meets in Denver to provide a forum for all branches of government to discuss educational policies.
November 16, 2009