From left, Jim Struby, OKDHS; Sen. Bryce Marlatt; Kathy Quinn-Teague, OSRHE; Jack Day; Janie Clay, OkCTEEC; Joe Robinson, ODCTE.
April 25, 2014
High Plains Technology Center teacher Jack Day recently received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.
Day was one of 25 people honored at the 20th annual Making It Work Day April 24 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students and members who received national honors for their efforts.
Day, who teaches in the technology center’s wind energy program, was nominated by Denise Whitehead, Project HOPE coordinator on the High Plains Tech Center campus. Whitehead said when a Project HOPE student enrolled in the wind energy program, the only woman ever to do so, Day worked hard to make sure the single mother of four succeeded.
“There were several struggles that caused her to miss school. Each time she was absent, Mr. Day came to my office to discuss why she was absent and what we could do to make sure she didn’t miss any more days,” Whitehead said. “Mr. Day believed in her to the point that she was employed before she finished the program. She went to work making $16 an hour.”
After his student graduated, Day followed up by checking with her employer several times to make sure she was doing well, Whitehead said.
OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.
“The mission of OkCTEEC is to serve as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents, teen parents, single pregnant teens and women, nontraditional students and at-risk females,” said Lou Ann Hargrave, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Sandy Elledge of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
“State and federal programs often cannot remove all the obstacles facing those living in poverty,” said Janie Clay, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the Allied Jobs Program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. “Therefore, a strong community partnership is imperative among agencies, businesses and industries as the participants transition from education and training to employment and self-sufficiency. We rely heavily on our partners to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom.”
Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor