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Tom Thomas receives Oklahoma CareerTech’s top award

Tom Thomas receives Oklahoma CareerTech’s top award

Pictured from left are Ryan Tuttle, grandson of the late Francis Tuttle, and Tom Thomas.

Aug.8, 2015

Tom Thomas, superintendent/CEO of Great Plains Technology Center, received Oklahoma CareerTech's most prestigious award during the 48th annual Career and Technology Education Summer Conference.

Thomas received the Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award given by Oklahoma ACTE. OkACTE Executive Director Skye McNiel and Ryan Tuttle, grandson of the late Francis Tuttle, presented Thomas with the award.

The conference was Aug. 3-4 at the Tulsa Cox Convention Center. It attracted some 3,700 CareerTech educators from across the state and is one of the largest professional development educator conferences in the state. OkACTE is the professional organization for the state's CareerTech administrators, teachers and staff members.

The Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award was established in 1985 in honor of Francis Tuttle, former state director of the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education and architect of what is now called the CareerTech System. The award recognizes individuals whose careers exemplify Tuttle's dedication to the development of people through career and technology education.

Dr. Tuttle was serving as state director in 1974 when Thomas joined the CareerTech System as a researcher/planner. The Lawton native quickly emerged as a respected data analyst and has worked for more than 20 years with the funding formula and funding equalization initiatives. He also serves on Governor Mary Fallin's Education Advisory Council.

Thomas has served since 2010 as superintendent of Great Plains Tech Center, where his ability to use data to solve problems has become a culture. Thomas said he believes management makes better decisions when recommendations are supported with data.

In addition to his leadership at Great Plains, Thomas has been a strong leader in Lawton-Fort Sill, southwest Oklahoma and the state’s economic development activities.

 For more information about the Francis Tuttle Award and Oklahoma's CareerTech System, visit

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, 391 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.


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