Norman Filtz grew up on the family farm near Orlando and learned the value of hard work early while helping his father work fields, tend livestock and break horses. He fondly remembers the deal he made with his father to shock their field of oats by hand in return for a calf. That calf started Filtz’s herd and instilled in him an entrepreneurial spirit. With his love of farming and true cowboy spirit, it was only natural he joined FFA as a freshman and became FFA chapter president at Orlando High School.
Filtz has always lived by the saying, “If you can’t pay as you go, you’re going too fast.” He worked his way through school, graduating in 1972 from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He found a new career path when he began working part-time in the OSU bursar’s office. He was promoted to assistant bursar, succeeding R.L. Beaty, who hired him in 1970 as bookkeeper for the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education.
During his 37-year career, Filtz saw the agency budget grow to $180 million and the process for maintaining financial records evolve from hand-posting to using accounting software. His leadership as finance director kept finances strong in both good and bad economic times. Filtz attributes his success to always keeping an ace in the hole to handle an agency crisis or need. In recognition of his dedicated service, he received the Arch Alexander Award, the Honorary State FFA Degree and a proclamation by the Association of Educational Federal Finance Administrators at its 31st conference honored Norman Filtz, one of its most loved and cherished members.
Filtz is proud to have been a part of ODCTE and the system that provides training opportunities for those who may not be college-bound and to those in need and provides training for industry programs that help bring new jobs to Oklahoma. He is also proud to have been part of the U.S. Army Reserve from 1965 to 1995, earning a Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and retiring as chief warrant officer three. His belief in doing something for humanity every day is evident through his service to the community, his participation in church mission trips and the love and support he shows to fellow CareerTech retirees.
Filtz has been married to his wife, Jan, for 46 years. They have one daughter, Dana Booth, and two grandchildren, John T. and Londan Nicole. Filtz lives in Stillwater.
Filtz was inducted into the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2013.