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Director's Weekly Memo 2016-8-8

CareerTech personnel honored; robotics skills demonstrated; new resources supplement OK Career Guide; CareerTech making a difference with companies; CareerTech making a difference in a student’s life; Oklahoma teachers and administrators attend SREB summer conference; useful links; CareerTech events.

CareerTech personnel honored

Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education honor a number of instructors, administrators and other staff members at the 49th annual Summer Conference earlier this month.

Receiving top awards were Diane Durham, ODCTE, who received the Arch Alexander Award; Phil Waul, Central Technology Center, who received the Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award; and Carol Colwell, Autry Technology Center, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards included four for which recipients received cash awards from Express Employment Professionals: Support Staff Member of the Year, Laura Manahan, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, $2,500; New Teacher of the Year, Natalie Jordan, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, $2,500; Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, Dustin Hicks, Meridian Technology Center, $5,000; and Teacher of the Year, Mary Foxworth, Tulsa Technology Center, $10,000.

We appreciate Express Employment Professionals for its continued support of the Oklahoma CareerTech System and Oklahoma education.

Other awards were Communications and Marketing, Stephanie Pool, Central Tech; Carl Perkins Community Service, Richard Stewart, Tulsa Tech; Administrator of the Year, Jayne Huffman, Southern Oklahoma Tech; Career Guidance, Valerie Fink, Great Plains Tech; Distinguished Achievement, Canadian Valley Tech, Indian Capital Tech and Wes Watkins Tech; Kaleidoscope Award, Metro Tech Second Chance Welding Program; State Superintendent of Public Instruction Award, Yukon Public Schools; and National Technical Honor Society Stars in Excellence, Linda Enlow, Central Tech, and Bruce Long, retired from Mid-Del Tech.

Congratulations to all and thank you for all the work you do!


Robotics skills demonstrated

FIRST Robotics demonstration at Summer Conference
Oklahoma students demonstrated their robotics skills at Summer Conference as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Oklahoma FIRST Robotics.
The first day of the 49th annual CareerTech Summer Conference included a robot demonstration as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of FIRST Robotics in Oklahoma.

Nine teams re-enacted the March 2016 regional challenge, FIRST Stronghold. In 2.5 minutes, robots tried to defeat castle defenses and capture the castle.

Participating teams were Payne County Educators, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Oklahoma County 4-H, Mount St. Mary High School, Shawnee High School, MacArthur High School in Lawton, Mustang High School, Southwest Oklahoma City and Green Country Technology Center. Gordon Cooper Technology Center provided the scrimmage field.

Visitors in the exhibit hall also saw FIRST Tech Challenge teams and a national champion FIRST Lego League team from Grove School in Shawnee.

The FIRST Robotics competition focuses on team problem-solving and includes mentoring by working engineering and science professionals. The 2016 Oklahoma Regional served more than 1,200 students and mentors with more than 100 event volunteers.

The 10th Oklahoma Regional will be March 23-25, 2017, at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma CareerTech System’s support of the event includes providing portable machine shop equipment and event personnel.


New resources supplement OK Career Guide

The Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center -- a division of Oklahoma CareerTech -- has two titles to help teachers, counselors and students build upon the benefits of OK Career Guide, Oklahoma’s new online career exploration system.

CIMC’s “Career Exploration Guide” helps students in grades six through eight connect what they are learning to the world of work. “Navigating Your Future” takes students a step further with guidance for every step of their journey to employment.

“Navigating Your Future” includes current topics such as interviewing via electronic means like Skype and identifies opportunities for using OK Career Guide. Students work through the entire job search process from how to look for employment opportunities to how to successfully interview and respond to a job offer. Sample cover letters, resumes and thank you letters, along with activities on creating these documents, are included as well.

Visit the new CIMC Catalog at


CareerTech making a difference with companies

USG Southard employees train at Northwest Tech
Northwest Technology Center offers a variety of training to USG Southard employees, including a safe driving class using Autry Tech's driver simulator trailer.
A national company with a plant in Southard, Oklahoma, is lauding Northwest Technology Center and the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers for the training they offer.

“The OATC is easily our best source for economical training in a wide variety of education opportunities,” said Matt Huss, USG Corp. Southard plant manager.

The Southard team works closely with OATC to promote technology education in the area, the company said. The partnership has been so successful that the OATC honored the plant as a 2016 Oklahoma Partner for Progress. The annual award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to continuing technical education through cooperative programs and community outreach.

“USG and the Southard plant are truly agents for economic development and growth in our area and throughout Northwest Oklahoma. We’re honored to name them our 2016 Partner for Progress,” said Colt Shaw, assistant superintendent of Northwest Technology Center.

Southard team members are members of Northwest Tech’s advisory committee and participate in the technology center’s community outreach programs, promoting science, technology, engineering and math at a local school’s career day.

The plant also sends employees to Northwest Tech for safety and skill training programs, including soft skill courses like Managing a Hostile Workplace and advanced technical skill courses like Trenching and Shoring, along with a safe driving class Northwest Tech offered with the use of Autry Technology Center’s driver simulator trailer.


CareerTech making a difference in a student’s life

Amber Anthony at Metro Technology Centers
Amber Anthony is a drafting technician student at Metro Technology Centers' South Bryant Campus.
A high school dropout is making a comeback with the help of Metro Technology Centers.

Amber Anthony, a drafting technician student at Metro Tech’s South Bryant Campus, dropped out of high school during her junior year and then spent several years in and out of prison for drug charges.

She earned her high school diploma and completed two years of construction-related training in prison and, with the help of TEEM Ministries, moved to a sober-living house and found a job. Her skills and interest in interior design led her to Metro Tech, where her teacher, Russ Powers, said she’s one of the most exceptional students he’s ever had in class.

“Amber completed her first course in six weeks. It normally takes a student an entire semester. She works hard and is focused on creating a positive future,” he said.

From Metro Technology Centers


Oklahoma teachers and administrators attend SREB summer conference

Representatives of 10 Oklahoma high schools and 14 technology centers attended the 30th annual Southern Regional Education Board High Schools That Work/Tech Centers That Work Conference this summer in Louisville, Kentucky.

The conference, which focused on “Credentials for All: Preparing Students for College and Careers,” provided the 104 Oklahoma attendees innovative, proven strategies to prepare students in elementary, middle and high schools and technology centers with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in college and the 21st century workplace.

Each day participants had opportunity to choose sessions aligned to eight conference objectives and their sub-objectives. These objectives assisted attendees in choosing topics to explore during the conference.

Piedmont High School was recognized at the conference for developing a case study with SREB “raising rigor and expectations.” All attendees received the case study in their registration packets.

Before the conference started, Oklahoma had a state meeting to preview it. Those attending that meeting received an overview of TCTW/HSTW accomplishments in the past year and discussed goals for the coming year.


Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

Follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech.

For news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, subscribe to CareerTech communications.

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education

Adult Basic Education Foundations newsletters

Oklahoma Works

OK Career Guide

CareerTech Curriculum


CareerTech Events

OK Career Guide Training, Aug. 12-Sept. 30

Teacher Institute 2016-17 Cohort, Aug. 25

State Holiday -- Labor Day, Sept. 5

FCCLA Lead Conference, Sept. 7

FCCLA Oklahoma Challenge, Sept. 7

The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented. -- Dennis Gabor
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