Express Employment Professionals and Oklahoma ACTE Honor Educators
TULSA – Cash awards totaling $40,000 were given by Express Employment Professionals to outstanding educators in the Oklahoma CareerTech system.
Top recognition, a $20,000 award to the Teacher of the Year, was given to Janet Harris a broadcast and media instructor with Francis Tuttle Technology Center for her work at Deer Creek High School. The award is the first of its kind nationally and was comprised of a $10,000 check to Harris and a $10,000 check to her school for classroom needs. The award underscores the value and importance of excellence in career and technology education.
Express sponsored a total of four awards at an annual summer conference hosted by the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
"Express is in the business of putting people to work. In fact, 30,000 of our employees are right here in Oklahoma. Inspiring and equipping our state's future workforce depends on exemplary teachers like Janet, who 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 move our citizens into wealth-building careers," 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 matters profoundly. We also wanted to give them a boost in classroom resources to help equip students to succeed in life and the workplace," Funk said.
Gov. Mary Fallin said, "I couldn't be more pleased to see a tremendous Oklahoma company like Express team up with our CareerTech system to show support and enthusiasm for Oklahoma teachers. 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."
Harris 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.
During the 2013-2014 school year, Harris directed the launch of a live broadcast service at Deer Creek High School in coordination with Francis Tuttle Technology Center and GameView, a student-led broadcast sports media platform based in Tulsa.
In the first year of implementation her students broadcast more than 40 live events. They learned new technologies, techniques of broadcasting and numerous life skills. Twenty-first century learning skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration are the foundation for Harris's classroom. She is known for consistently creating opportunities for her students to develop career, college and life-readiness skills through practical, real-world learning experiences.
Additional awards given by Express included a $10,000 award to the Postsecondary Teacher of the Year to Nancy Howell, an EMS/Fire Academy instructor at Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton. Howell was awarded a $5,000 check and $5,000 for classroom needs was given to her school.
Dexter Matlock, an agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor with Chattanooga Public Schools was recognized as the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year. He was awarded a $2,500 check and his school was given $2,500 for classroom needs.
Last, Susan Bymaster, an administrative professional with business and industry services at Northwest Technology Center in Fairview was named OkACTE Support Staff Member of the Year and awarded a $2,500 check and her school was given $2,500.
Pat McGregor, executive director of OkACTE said, "We are deeply appreciative of Express recognizing and supporting high-quality educators in the Oklahoma CareerTech system. We've always known our teachers are great, but to have an internationally renowned business leader validate this with generous support to our educators and their schools is incredible."
Marcie Mack, interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education said, "CareerTech is grateful for Express's generous contribution in recognizing exceptional CareerTech educators and professionals. This support reinforces the important work these individuals provide on a daily basis to train a high-quality workforce."
Approximately 3,500 CareerTech educators from across the state participated in the conference Aug. 4-5 at the Tulsa Cox Convention Center. It is one of the largest educator professional development conferences in Oklahoma.
OkACTE is the professional organization 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.
About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013, and ranks as the largest franchise staffing company in North America. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.