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Director's Weekly Memo 2016-4-4

Did you know?; CareerTech pre-engineering team takes top honors; practical nursing curriculum standards approved; FCCLA making an impact around the world; Francis Tuttle Tech graduates work to prevent power outages; Ann Houston retires; useful links and my schedule for the week.
Director's Weekly Memo 2016-4-4

Gordon Cooper's Robotic Team moves on to compete at the World Championship.

Did you know?

  • By 2025, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development estimates 53 percent of the jobs in Oklahoma will require an associate degree, a certificate or an industry-recognized credential. Oklahoma CareerTech trains Oklahomans to fill these jobs and help Oklahoma’s economy prosper.
  • CareerTech programs are in 390 common education districts, 29 technology centers and 13 skills centers in correctional facilities to meet Oklahoma’s workforce needs. Last year alone CareerTech students earned more than 14,000 certificates or industry-recognized credentials and helped more than 6,700 companies improve profitability through our Business and Industry Services.
  •  CareerTech is an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy. It ensures individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to be productive and successful in the workplace, in education, in life and as entrepreneurs. Investment in CareerTech programs and services is necessary to ensure Oklahoma companies have the workforce they need to compete in the global economy.

CareerTech pre-engineering team takes top honors

Gordon Cooper Technology Center’s Pre-Engineering Academy’s Robotic Team -- Team 2341 -- The Sprockets won the most prestigious award at the 2016 FIRST Oklahoma Regional Robotics Competition. The award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills; that inspire innovation; and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.

The Sprockets will now go on to compete at the World Championship April 27-30 in St. Louis, Missouri. The team will compete against 900 teams from 39 countries.

Practical nursing curriculum standards approved

The Health Careers Education division is very proud to announce that the Oklahoma Board of Nursing has approved the curriculum standards for practical nursing.

A practical nursing directors team has worked to revise curriculum standards for more than a year. When the team presented its work to the Board of Nursing, team members not only received approval but also a round of clapping and wonderful words of encouragement.

The team, led by J.R. Polzien, Diane Duffy of Northwest Technology Center and Lisa Morlan of Gordon Cooper Technology Center, was eloquent, succinct and praiseworthy in its efforts not only to put forward a quality product of revised curriculum objectives, course descriptions, hour designations, etc., but also to work collaboratively. Fourteen technology centers’ practical nursing programs submitted to adopt the changes, and each of these program directors was also on site to answer questions from the board.

FCCLA making an impact around the world

From Wright City, Oklahoma, to Abu Dhabi, former FCCLA member Kyle Ensley's horizons expanded thanks to his involvement in the organization.

After completing a double bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State University in international business and political science and a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Ensley is serving as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

As a family and consumer sciences student and FCCLA member, Ensley developed public speaking and leadership skills, experienced real-world situations outside of the classroom and developed a love of traveling from his opportunities to attend FCCLA conferences and events.

“I am very grateful my instructor encouraged me to become more involved in FCCLA,” he said. “It was a defining part of my high school experience.”  

Francis Tuttle Tech graduates work to prevent power outages

Two Francis Tuttle Technology Center graduates – now students at Oklahoma State University – have come up with a way to help prevent power outages caused by winter storms. Jackson Jandreau and Austin Bennett created a cross arm to keep power poles from falling one after another during snow and ice storms.

Under Francis Tuttle instructor Jimmy Bollman, they began designing and building the cross arm as a senior project before turning it into a product and seeking a patent.

To learn more about Jandreau and Bennett and their work, read The O’Colly’s article about them at

Ann Houston retires

After more than 20 years at ODCTE, Ann Houston, communications and marketing coordinator, is retiring April 8. She has been an integral part of several major system initiatives, including School to Work Champions and the name change to CareerTech. In 2010, she received one of CareerTech’s highest honors, the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers Outstanding Communications and Marketing Award. Congratulations to Ann for all her contributions.

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

Oklahoma Works

OK Career Guide


This week

Senior leadership

Local educator’s luncheon


Workforce partners meeting

Senate rural caucus meeting

Ann Houston’s retirement

Staff meetings

SREB meeting

Oklahoma Department of Corrections board meeting

Woodward Industrial Foundation

FCCLA state conference


When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." – Henry Ford
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