CareerTech Criminal Justice Educator Earns National Award
Mark American Horse, criminal justice instructor at Central Technology Center, knows how it feels to win a national CareerTech award, twice.
American Horse was recently selected as the National SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year at the National SkillsUSA Conference held in Kansas City. In 2008, he was named the Association of Career and Technology Education Teacher of the Year for Region IV and National Teacher of the Year in 2009.
SkillsUSA is a national CareerTech student organization serving high school and adult members enrolled in trade and industrial education offerings.
The SkillsUSA State Directors Association created the Advisor of the Year award to recognize and honor dedicated CareerTech instructors who serve as SkillsUSA advisors. State winners are submitted to the regional competition. At the National Leadership and Skills Conference, regional winners are interviewed and a national winner is selected.
For the past 11 years, American Horse has also served as a SkillsUSA advisor at Central Tech in Sapulpa. While teaching criminal justice, American Horse created Oklahoma SkillsUSA's first Crime Scene Investigation and First Aid/CPR contests.
"The Advisor of the Year award recognizes and honors dedicated career and technology education instructors who serve as SkillsUSA advisors," said Darren Gibson. Gibson is state SkillsUSA advisor. "The award recognizes instructors who have gone above and beyond what was expected of them in the classroom. It honors those who have poured their hearts and souls into providing the best opportunities for all students in SkillsUSA."
American Horse has also been nationally recognized on several occasions by the Association for Career and Technical Education, which is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.
The Teacher of the Year award he received in 2009 recognizes teachers who are providing outstanding career and technical education programs for youth and/or adults in their respective fields and communities. Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education.
American Horse helps maximize the success of other technology center criminal justice programs by working closely with each instructor. Keeping up with technology, American Horse ensures that his students are well prepared for their careers. In three homicide investigations, some of American Horse’s students at the time were able to assist.
One of American Horse's most popular projects “Puppy Strike” is nationally recognized. During a mock-terrorist raid, Central Tech students role-play as cyber-terrorists, or law enforcement and cyber security agents to “bring down” the terrorists.
This training exercise includes schools from around the nation and requires American Horse to coordinate with the FBI to ensure the training exercise isn't mistaken for actual terrorist activity.
“Mark has been the ultimate example of what these awards represent," Gibson said. "His passion and dedication for his students and SkillsUSA is second to none."
Written by: Jessica Lewis, Communications and Marketing Intern
Publish Date: August 23, 2011