Express Employment Professionals and Oklahoma CareerTech honor Teacher of the Year
L-R Marcie Mack; Jackie Archer; Michelle McNutt; Gay Simpson; Justin Nisbett; Skye McNiel; and Bob Funk, Jr.
TULSA – Cash awards totaling $20,000 were presented by Express Employment Professionals to outstanding educators from across the state in the Oklahoma CareerTech system today.
The top statewide recognition, a $10,000 award for Teacher of the Year, was given to Jackie Archer, the lead biomedical science and medicine instructor at Lawton-based Great Plains Technology Center. The award recognizes excellence and dedication in CarerTech and is given by the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education (OkACTE), which is the professional organization for the state's CareerTech administrators, teachers and staff members.
"Express is in the business of putting people to work. In fact, 30,000 of our employees are right here in Oklahoma. Exemplary teachers like Jackie provide students with the type of skills highly sought after by employers. These are skills we must master if we want Oklahoma to thrive and put more of our citizens to work," said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals.
"Sponsoring these awards is our way of encouraging CareerTech educators that their work truly matters to the future of our state," said Funk.
Express sponsored four awards at the 48th annual summer conference hosted by OkACTE and Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE). Award recipients are members of OkACTE and go on to compete regionally and nationally.
OkACTE executive director Skye McNiel said, "I couldn't be more pleased to see a tremendous Oklahoma company like Express team up with OkACTE and the CareerTech system to show support and enthusiasm for Oklahoma teachers. "
Oklahoma CareerTech state director Marcie Mack said, "We have one of the finest CareerTech systems in the nation, and that is a direct result of the outstanding teachers who work hard to cultivate high-quality classroom experiences for their students."
Archer was selected as the OkACTE Teacher of the Year for making significant contributions toward innovative programs that are improving and promoting career and technology education.
Archer has been an educator in Oklahoma since 1990 and entered the CareerTech system in 2008. She started a Project Lead the Way biomedical science and medicine program from the ground up. Project Lead the Way is known as the nation's leading STEM education solution and is in more than 6,500 schools across the U.S.
Archer brought her seventeen-plus years of experience as a laboratory science teacher to Great Plains by creating a temporary laboratory facility. Her program started with just nine students.
To meet growing demand for the program, Archer went on to create a permanent facility with two classroom combination laboratories and an additional lecture room. Her students have achieved a 93% completion and retention rate.
Additionally, Archer successfully expanded the curriculum to include Advanced Placement courses including pre-AP chemistry, AP biology, AP physics, pre-AP calculus, and AP calculus. Her students' Project Lead the Way end-of-course test scores exceed national scores by 11%.
As a leader in her profession, Archer is a master teacher and was recognized by Project Lead the Way in 2010 with the prestigious Innova Award for her innovative teaching beyond the curriculum.
Archer currently serves as the OkACTE STEM president and is involved in community service at the global and local level. She encourages and mentors her students to join in community service as well.
Upon receiving the award Archer said, "It is an honor to be recognized as the recipient of an award from Express Professional Services. I am humbled to have been chosen out of many outstanding professionals. It is very rewarding to share a partnership between organizations that have a common mission and vision for the workforce of Oklahoma."
Additional awards given by Express were a $5,000 award to the Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, Gay Simpson, an adult workforce development instructor at one of the CareerTech Skills Center sites located in Enid; a $2,500 award to the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, Justin Nisbett, a precision metal and fabrication instructor at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater; and a $2,500 award to the OkACTE Support Staff Member of the Year, Michelle McNutt, at the McAlister campus of Kiamichi Technology Center.
Mack said, "CareerTech is grateful for the generous contribution by Express in recognizing exceptional CareerTech educators. Their support reinforces the important work these individuals provide on a daily basis to train a high-quality workforce."
"We are so appreciative of Express supporting educators in the Oklahoma CareerTech system," McNiel said. "We've always known our teachers are great, but to have an internationally renowned business leader validate this with generous support to our educators is remarkable."
Approximately 3,500 CareerTech educators from across the state will participate in the conference Aug. 3-4 at the Tulsa Cox Convention Center. It is one of the largest educator professional development conferences in Oklahoma.
OkACTE is the professional association for the state's CareerTech administrators, teachers and staff members. The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources to the CareerTech system of nearly 400 public school districts, 29 technology centers with 59 campus sites and 16 skills centers in correctional facilities.
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $2.85 billion in sales and employed more than 456,000 people in 2014. Express ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and second largest privately held staffing company in the United States. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.
For more information about Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education, visit www.OkACTE.org.
For more information about the Oklahoma CareerTech System, visit www.okcareertech.org.
For more information Express Employment Professionals, visit ExpressPros.com.
DATE: Aug. 3, 2015
CONTACT: Crystal Coon