Oct. 7, 2015
Phil Berkenbile enters CareerTech Hall of Fame
Phil Berkenbile, retired state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, is one of five 2015 inductees into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will be Oct. 21 on Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Rockwell Campus in Oklahoma City. Other inductees are Dean Denton, Broken Arrow; Dale DeWitt, Braman; Bea Paul, Enid; and Greg Pierce, Ada.
The 2015 class of inductees will increase the Hall of Fame membership to 75. The Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Oklahoman Foundation for Career and Technology Education, was founded in 1990. Previous inductees include governors, college deans and professors, business and industry leaders, educators and CareerTech faculty, staff and agency members.
“Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame honorees have contributed significantly to the success of the CareerTech System,” said Marcie Mack, CareerTech state director. “Each recipient has advanced the mission of CareerTech in unique and extraordinary ways. Their commitment to students, businesses and the lives of Oklahomans is appreciated and honored.”
Berkenbile entered the CareerTech System at Dover High School, where he was active in the agricultural education program and FFA, a CareerTech student organization. He received his State FFA Degree in 1968 and the American FFA Degree in 1971. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.
He became the agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Morrison Public Schools in 1972 and for the next 16 years, built a local, state and nationally recognized FFA chapter and Young Farmer program. It was a national gold emblem chapter and Building Our American Communities and national safety award winner and developed three state FFA officers and numerous competitive event winners and degree recipients.
“He had a passion with the young people that you don’t find in everybody,” said Brian Campbell, one of his former students who is now the agricultural education instructor in Depew.
In 1988, Berkenbile became a program specialist at ODCTE in Stillwater. He completed a master’s degree at OSU and earned career and technology administrator, superintendent and principal certificates. As northwest and northeast district program specialist and assistant state supervisor, he helped update curriculum and deliver professional development.
In June 1995, he became superintendent at Morrison, a position he held for more than four years. He completed his doctorate in that time. In October 1999, he became associate state director of educational services at Oklahoma CareerTech. He was named chief of staff in April 2003 and interim director in May 2003. In January 2004, he became the agency’s sixth state director, a position he held until his retirement in February 2013.
His honors included the Francis Tuttle Leadership Award, National and State FFA VIP awards, National Technical Honor Society membership, Oklahoma Youth Expo Honoree, OSU Graduate of Distinction in Agricultural Education, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, Leadership Oklahoma Class 14 graduate, American Farmers and Ranchers Lifetime Achievement Award, National FCCLA Honorary Life Award, BPA Lifetime Achievement Award, DECA Lifetime Achievement Award and Outstanding Graduate of Dover High School.
He served as president of the National State CareerTech Directors Association; chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership and the High Schools That Work board; and on the Oklahoma Manufacturer’s Alliance, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the American Farmers and Ranchers Policy Board and the SREB Board.
He is chairman of the Oklahoma Education Technology Trust and president of the Morrison Board of Education and serves on the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation boards and the Morrison Community Development Association.
For more information about the Hall of Fame banquet and to reserve a ticket, please contact LaMecia Stidham, 405-743-5115. Tickets are $60 each.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.
Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor