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Director's Weekly Memo 2016-4-8

Thanks, Express Employment Professionals, for leadership opportunity; study finds CTE helps students; National SkillsUSA illustrates STEM; CIMC celebrates 50 years; Central Tech truck driver training program making a difference; Oklahoma CareerTech educators take top honors at ACTE Region IV; useful links and my schedule.
Director's Weekly Memo 2016-4-8

Participants in Refresh Live listen to Shaquille O’Neal in the simulcast at ODCTE.

Thanks, Express Employment Professionals, for leadership opportunity

We appreciate Express Employment Professionals for presenting Refresh Live, a live leadership simulcast this week.

The simulcast featured 15-time NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal, professor and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith and motivational speaker and career consultant Kaplan Mowbray.

ODCTE and several tech centers hosted simulcast sites. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the leadership opportunity.


Study finds CTE helps students

A Thomas B. Fordham Institute study found that career and technology education students are more likely to graduate from high school, enter a two-year college, be employed and earn higher wages -- and are just as likely as other students to pursue four-year college degrees.

For more findings, go to


National SkillsUSA illustrates STEM

SkillsUSA’s national Teamworks technical committee financed a video,, that offers an introduction to the concept of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and explains how SkillsUSA training is directly and inextricably connected with STEM concepts. In fact, SkillsUSA -- and career and technology education in general -- is STEM.
The SkillsUSA website says, “CTE is an important part of STEM educational goals established by the Department of Education. CTE is a catalyst for STEM education. We know there are unfilled STEM jobs and the gap for students in STEM fields is widening.
“Often times when individuals think about STEM, they think of scientists and engineers, which is right target. However, what doesn’t come to mind are the numerous high wage, high skilled, high demand careers for which CTE is preparing students.
“The magic of CTE is that the definition of STEM is not just science or technology, engineering or math, but the integration of two or more of these topics in a context that students are passionate about. Without the combination of two or more of the STEM components, you are not teaching STEM. That is why CTE is a perfect fit for STEM education.”


CIMC celebrates 50 years

Since the internet was new, CIMC staff have guided educators to websites of interest for instruction, training and professional development. These websites were a feature of CIMC curriculum, but CIMC staff members also compiled those links into a helpful booklet titled “Welcome to the Web.” For 20 years, CIMC’s web booklet has been one of its most requested resources from educators at conferences nationwide.

CIMC is celebrating its 50th year of service by providing a new edition of this popular resource. The latest edition, now known as “Best of the Web,” is available to download for free at< The 66-page booklet features resources organized by cluster. It also includes pages of resources relating to career information, digital tools and creativity.

The booklet is also available to purchase online or by calling 800-654-4502; just ask for “Websites, Apps and More” or item TA9214.

The CIMC staff thanks CareerTech educators across Oklahoma for their support of high-quality instructional materials made in Oklahoma.


Central Tech truck driver training program making a difference

Central Technology Center recently received an email from a truck driver training program graduate.  Mike Zaffuto sent the email to Mark Brown, director of truck driver training at Central Tech, praising the program and his instructor, George McMillan:

“We seem to live in a time when promises are easily made and just as easily unfulfilled. After my facility visit with Mr. Brown last December I was excited to apply for admission to the TDT program, and at the same time a bit skeptical about the depth and extent that was detailed.

“To my very pleasant surprise, the program turned out to be everything promised and much more. ... they (the instructors) all share the same dedication to the students and program. I received help with and without request on my part, as well as constantly being challenged to perform at a high level in every phase of the instruction. To say that this program is a unique and challenging learning experience would be a gross understatement. ...

“This has been an experience I will long remember and treasure. I am deeply grateful to all of you (Central Tech) for your efforts.”


Oklahoma CareerTech educators take top honors at ACTE Region IV

Four Oklahomans won awards at ACTE Region IV.

OkACTE President-Elect Dick Lowe won Administrator of the Year, Gay Simpson won Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, Justin Nisbett won New Teacher of the Year, and Donna Metcalf won Lifetime Achievement.

Lowe is the industrial coordinator at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Chickasha campus. He has been with the Oklahoma CareerTech System for 18 years.

Simpson is an instructor at Enid Skills Center with the ODCTE Skills Center School System. She has been in the CareerTech System for 20 years.

Nisbett teaches precision metal and fabrication at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater. He has been in the CareerTech System for three years.

Metcalf is the organizational and instructional development coordinator for Kiamichi Technology Centers. She has been in the CareerTech System for 44 years.


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

Regional coordinators

Legislative meetings

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance


Oklahoma Works meeting

Staff meetings

State data meeting

Tech center superintendents meeting

There are many obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.” – Ralph Marston
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