Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2013 Monday Memo 2013-11-11
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Monday Memo 2013-11-11

Thank you; America Works session a success; State Chamber business survey complete…more to come; reorganization feedback appreciated; Hall of Fame event a huge success; inmates learn life-changing skills; creativity conference coming to Oklahoma City; OBAN brings federal dollars to Oklahoma businesses; comparative data helps Wes Watkins with strategic planning; counselors receive professional development; professionals update crisis communications skills; tech center recognized at quality event; and my schedule for the week.
"The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labour is immense." Arnold Bennett

Thank you

Just a note of thanks to everyone who sent their condolences for my mother’s passing. Denise and I received many kind words. They were appreciated. The family is doing well and mom is in a much better place.

America Works session a success

Governor Fallin’s second America Works session was held in Santa Fe, N.M. last week. The attendance at the meeting was very strong. The Oklahoma team representing the governor’s office, the Board of Regents, CareerTech, K-12, Commerce, and the governor’s Economic and Workforce Investment Board spent time working through key strategies around the state’s vision of wealth generation and our focus on the five economic ecosystems. Stay tuned for additional information. I admit I was happy to be from Oklahoma during both national events. We have a great deal going for us.

State Chamber business survey complete…more to come

The Oklahoma State Chamber completed its statewide business survey of CareerTech this past week. The first read of the data shows very strong satisfaction ratings and some great opportunities for improvement. This data will be processed by the chamber and provided in detail soon.

Reorganization feedback appreciated

We received substantial feedback on our first reorganization proposal. The feedback from within the agency and from the field helped us with minor adjustments to the overall structure. We will be taking the organizational structure to the board on Thursday. Stay tuned for the final version sometime early next week.

Hall of Fame event a huge success

Congratulations to the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation Board for another great Hall of Fame event. Inducted this year were: Harold Anglin, Frank Coulter (posthumously), Norman Filtz, Kay Martin and Dwight Stoddard. Lisa Eden plays a key role in this event’s success. The audience represented major partners, past winners, and a huge group of supporters. The award winners were very deserving and the stories shared were inspiring for future system leaders.

Inmates learn life-changing skills

With a swelling prison population, Oklahoma lawmakers are examining how to cut costs while maintaining public safety. Next time on Oklahoma Horizon, we go inside a CareerTech Skills Center to look at work underway that greatly reduces recidivism in the state. (Contributed by Rob McClendon)

Creativity conference coming to Oklahoma City

Don’t forget to check out the 2013 State of Creativity Forum Nov. 19 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City. Details can be found at

OBAN brings federal dollars to Oklahoma businesses

Julie Farmer, bid assistance coordinator at Eastern Oklahoma Technology Center, recently had the opportunity to help a local company secure new business that they may not have been aware of without her assistance. Julie matched one of the technology center Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network clients with a contract to provide products to Tinker Air Force Base. The client thanked Julie in a letter that stated this was the company’s first government contract. Without Julie’s proactive work identifying the opportunity and assistance in the bid process, they would have been unable to secure the contract.

Comparative data helps Wes Watkins with strategic planning

Alice Rushmore had a wonderful moment recently when attending the Wes Watkins strategic planning session. Wade Walling shared with his staff some of the system assessment results comparing his school to the other 28. He said that one of the reasons he continues to push them to do better is because of how their school compares to the others. He said that while they have done good work, they will continue to push ahead. This is an excellent example of using data to improve a school and, in turn, student success. (Contributed by Alice Rushmore)

Counselors receive professional development

More than 250 counselors from high schools and technology centers across the state recently attended GuidanceFest 2013. Kelly Arrington, Tommi Leach, Melissa White (SDE), and Jeremy Zweiacker, with assistance from Cynthia Vick, provided training on the A-F Report Card, transcripting issues, legislative updates, Rigorous Programs of Study and social media for counselors. Technology Centers hosting the five events this year were: Autry Tech, Mid America, Kiamichi – Poteau, Red River and Tri County. (contributed by Becki Foster)

Professionals update crisis communications skills

School communications professionals from across the state recently completed a two-day training session on crisis communications sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Kenny Day, marketing and communications coordinator, Northeast Technology Center, coordinated the Basic Public Information Officer training at Tulsa Tech’s Owasso Campus in which 25 of the 35 participants were from the CareerTech System. The curriculum for the course was developed by National Emergency Management Association, the National Information Officers Association and FEMA. (contributed by Paula Bowles)

Tech center recognized at quality event

Tri County Technology Center was recognized Nov. 8 at the second annual Oklahoma Quality Foundation’s Sharing of Best Practices Conference at Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City. Tri County received the Oklahoma Quality Award for Achievement and Best Practices in Leadership and Workforce Development. Participants at the conference learned about best practices from Oklahoma and the regional representatives who are considered role models in their respective industries. The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and Oklahoma Department of Commerce, focused on helping Oklahoma companies be more competitive and improve results through performance excellence. (contributed by Paula Bowles)

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:


General office work
Meeting with Pat McGregor and Greg Winters
Meeting with legislative field team


Meeting with Chancellor Johnson and Superintendent Barresi
Tech Center Superintendents group
Agency Heads meeting
Business Roundtable


Radio interview with Senator Halligan
Governor’s Cabinet meeting
CCOSA meeting Achieve Webinar
Meeting with Board of Regents on Cooperative Alliance agreement


Meeting with Superintendent Barresi
Oklahoma CareerTech Board meeting
Meeting with School Choice group
Regents inservice meetings


Meeting with Richard Schwartz – Harvard Pathways
Greater OK City Chamber/Metro Tech Centers Education Conversation
Adam Newman conference call
General office work

See you around!

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