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Director's Weekly Memo 2016-1-18

SkillsUSA Oklahoma Executive Council learns about texting and driving danger; Canadian Valley Tech names administration building for CEO Greg Winters; ODCTE opens dialogue on CareerTech agriculture education with Bulgaria representative; useful links and my schedule for the week.
Director's Weekly Memo 2016-1-18

Skills USA members try out Pioneer's texting and driving simulator.

SkillsUSA Oklahoma Executive Council learns about texting and driving danger

Members of the SkillsUSA Oklahoma Executive Council learned about the dangers of texting and driving at their January meeting in Stillwater.

Dean Carter from industry partner Pioneer Telephone Cooperative demonstrated Commit, the company’s driving and texting simulator. It showed students the dangers of texting and driving and how easy it is to have an accident when you’re distracted. Pioneer is taking the simulator to high schools in the western half of the state.

The SkillsUSA members also heard from Family, Community and Careers State Adviser Denise Morris, who shared her story of FCCLA state officer Heather Hickman. Hickman was killed in 2013 when the vehicle she was in was hit by a vehicle driven by someone who was texting while driving.

Cutline: Oklahoma SkillsUSA South Central District President Justin Keith tries the driving and texting simulator at the SkillsUSA meeting. Keith is a student in the maintenance II program at Wes Watkins Technology Center.

Oklahoma Career Tech board member encourages students about their future leadership roles

ODCTE board member and Lawton businessman Phil Kennedy spoke to the Great Plains Technology Center Ambassadors this week about the many facets of leadership.

The interactive presentation covered leadership qualities, types of leaders, motivation and the importance of teamwork. Kennedy challenged the students to envision their futures and to think about and discuss what kind of leaders they want to become.

The GPTC Ambassadors are a group of students who represent each of the school’s career education programs and who are dedicated to the positive promotion of GPTC. Ambassadors have a unique opportunity to develop and receive training and experience in communication, teamwork, etiquette, community involvement and leadership. They also represent Great Plains at career fairs and campus tours and in recruitment activities. Fifty-one ambassadors represent the Lawton campus, and 11 represent the Frederick campus.

Canadian Valley Tech names administration building for CEO Greg Winters

Canadian Valley Technology Center has renamed its district administration building after Superintendent and CEO Greg Winters in recognition of his leadership after the 2013 tornado that destroyed the tech center’s El Reno campus.

The building, built with the salvaged steel frame of a small structure on the northwest edge of campus, will be the Dr. Greg Z. Winters District Administration Building. The building reopened in June 2015.

After the May 31, 2013, tornado, Winters told an ABC television reporter that no one would lose their job and school would start on time the next fall -- even though all nine buildings on campus were destroyed.

Winters, 62, of Piedmont, has invested more than 40 years in Oklahoma education, including 36 years as an administrator. He is one of two people in state history to have served as superintendent in three districts (also at Kiamichi Technology Center and Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center). Winters is also the longest-serving current superintendent in the state.

 “The most defining moment was Aug. 15 of 2013 when KOCO reporter Jessica Schambach came out and interviewed one of our Piedmont students,” Winters said. “The young lady told Jessica that after the tornado she started worrying whether or not she was going to have a school to go to so she could finish her education.”

Winters said when the student’s comments made him realize how important the job of re-opening school within 72 days really was.

“That sealed the deal for me,” Winters said. “When you hear a kid give a testimony like that, which is not coerced, that’s all you really need. That’s why you get up every day and go to work. It was the most powerful confirmation for me of how important our job was.”

Recently, Winters announced plans to retire in June 2018.

ODCTE opens dialogue on CareerTech agriculture education with Bulgaria representative

With the help of CareerTech State Board member Tim Burg, the commercial counselor and trade attache from Bulgaria, who is based in Washington, D.C., learned about CareerTech agriculture education.

ODCTE was able to begin a dialogue on sharing educational resources, starting with our outstanding agricultural education division. More opportunities for a mutually-beneficial relationship are being discussed to show the benefits of the Oklahoma CareerTech System and the strength it brings to workforce development.


Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

For daily news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech.

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education

Lifelong Learning Foundations newsletters


This week

Business advisory council

Staff evaluations

WIOA core partners meeting

CareerTech board meeting

Advisory meetings


The next weekly memo will be published the week of Feb. 1.


Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
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