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Director's Weekly Memo 2016-9-12

CareerTech Champion: Whitney Heer - Gordon Cooper Technology Center; CareerTech lottery grants making a difference; Project Lead The Way conference Oct. 27; CareerTech Champion: Kyle Price - Haworth High School and Kiamichi Technology Center; Re-Entry Job Fair planned for released offenders; CareerTech educators scholarships are available; useful links; and CareerTech events.

CareerTech Champion: Whitney Heer - Gordon Cooper Technology Center

Whitney Heer
Whitney Heer is a Gordon Cooper Technology Center pre-engineering graduate who is now a student at the U.S. Naval Academy's flight school.
THEN: An 8-year-old girl who took her first airplane ride at Sooner Flight Academy, a K-12 flight camp that promotes science, technology, engineering and math. When Whitney left camp, she told her mother she wanted to be an airplane pilot. Since that day, she has worked hard to achieve that goal.

Flight camp showed Whitney the importance of science and math in aviation careers. She enrolled in Gordon Cooper Technology Center’s pre-engineering program and joined SkillsUSA, competing with Gordon Cooper’s robotics team. She also competed in extemporaneous speaking at the national level, where she finished in the top 15. After graduation, she enrolled in a naval prep school. Whitney says SkillsUSA and the pre-engineering program gave her

  • A strong math and physics background that helped her get into the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Problem-solving and time-management skills she used in prep school.
  • Extemporaneous communication skills she used to speak on the fly in her prep school classes.
  • ACT preparation and guidance that helped boost her test scores.

NOW: Enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy’s flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and a mentor for Gordon Cooper’s robotics team. Her flight training will start with small aircraft, but her goal is to fly F-18s from aircraft carriers.

Whitney says her instructors were instrumental in her success, helping her manage her career and academic frustrations.

“Mrs. Frerichs kept me going,” she said. “I spent hours after school with her, practicing math problems for the ACT.”

Whitney Heer, U.S. Naval Academy


CareerTech lottery grants making a difference

Pioneer Tech lottery grant
Pioneer Technology Center bought this CNC mill for its machine tool program with funds from an Oklahoma CareerTech lottery grant.
Machine tool students at Pioneer Technology Center in Ponca City are benefiting from a CareerTech lottery grant.

The technology center received a lottery grant from the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech. One of the items purchased with the funds was a new CNC mill for the machine tool program.

“We must continually provide the most cutting edge training technology available to our students and to our business and industry clients,” said Bruce DeMuth, superintendent and CEO.

The technology center has also purchased 3-D printers for the industrial tech program and the Biomedical Sciences Academy.


Project Lead The Way conference Oct. 27

Registration for the OK Project Lead The Way State Conference is now live.

Project Lead The Way CEO Vince Bertram will be the keynote speaker this year, and the conference will expand to include sessions for current PLTW teachers in addition to administrators, counselors, STEM tours and schools new to PLTW. Current students will also share their STEM experiences and answer questions.

Please make plans to attend the OK PLTW State Conference. You can register for the conference at


CareerTech Champion: Kyle Price - Haworth High School and Kiamichi Technology Center

Kyle Price
Kyle Price, a graduate of Haworth High School and Kiamichi Technology Center, has written a book called Team Building Activities for STEM Groups.
THEN: A student at Haworth High School set to graduate in 2013. Kyle Price enrolled in the pre-engineering academy at Kiamichi Technology Center. His experience in that program spurred him on to an electrical engineering program at Texas A&M Texarkana. Kyle

  • Plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in 3.5 years.
  • Plans to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
  • Co-authored a book called “Team Building Activities for STEM Groups.”

NOW: Kyle travels around the country with the group Paradigm Shift, conducting STEM camps. His book is available on Amazon.

Kyle says he’s extremely grateful for the education he received in the pre-engineering program. He recently visited Kiamichi Tech’s Idabel campus to visit with current pre-engineering students and gave signed copies of his book to his former instructors, Ricky Alford and Kenny Dial.

“Pre-engineering equipped me with a solid foundation for math and science as well as the communication skills needed to thrive in an ever-connected world. The program is challenging, but well worth the time and effort.”

Kyle Price, Paradigm Shift


Re-Entry Job Fair planned for released offenders

Oklahoma CareerTech is joining with other organizations and government agencies to sponsor a Re-Entry Workshop and Job Fair for ex-offenders, felons, parolees and others from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

The job fair will be at Oklahoma City Community College in College Union Hall.

Workshops will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Topics scheduled are interviewing techniques, effective networking and resume building. Also, motivational speaker DePorres “Dee” Hopkins will present a workshop.

In addition to Oklahoma CareerTech, the event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Western District of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City mayor’s office, the Oklahoma City Urban League, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce.


CareerTech educators scholarships are available

Fall lottery scholarship applications are open until Sept. 20. To apply, click on the link for details.


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

Oklahoma Project Lead The Way Conference Registration Open, Sept. 9-Oct. 1

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

TechCAP VIII, Sept. 15

FCCLA Lead Conference, Sept. 20

FCCLA Oklahoma Challenge, Sept. 20

Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt. – William Van Horne


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