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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-1-23

CareerTech Champion: Maria Lopez – Autry Technology Center; Oklahoma CareerTech and the National Technical Honor Society honor students who achieve excellence; CIMC offers resource for CTE Month; Institute to address nontraditional careers; CareerTech Events; and useful links.

CareerTech Champion: Maria Lopez – Autry Technology Center

Maria Lopez
Maria Lopez
THEN: A little girl who loved to play with Barbie dolls, spending hours styling their hair. When Maria Lopez was a high school senior, she enrolled in Autry Technology Center’s cosmetology program. She returned the following year to finish the program and get her cosmetology license, competing in Oklahoma SkillsUSA. After completing the program she decided that although she loves working with hair, she wanted to try something different. Eligible for two more years of free tuition at Autry Tech, she enrolled in its graphic arts program, where she:

  • Competed in SkillsUSA in promotional bulletin boards and photography, helping her team earn national gold medals two years in a row.
  • Took advantage of networking opportunities and met new people.
  • Improved her public speaking skills and gained self-confidence.
  • Learned job skills such as interviewing and creating a resume, which helped her land a graphic arts job right after she completed the program.

NOW: A graphic designer in Autry Tech’s marketing department and a board member for SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends. Maria says she gets paid for doing everything she loved to do in the classroom.

“The SkillsUSA motto is preparing for leadership in a world of work, and I lived that every day…CareerTech prepared me for what comes after graduation.”

Maria Lopez


Oklahoma CareerTech and the National Technical Honor Society honor students who achieve excellence

The National Technical Honor Society honors excellence in workforce education. The society is the acknowledged leader in the recognition of outstanding student achievement in workforce education. Since 1984 more than 1,500 schools and colleges throughout the United States and its territories have affiliated with NTHS.

A few years later, Oklahoma established a State NTHS Advisory and Coordinating Council to bring Oklahoma CareerTech educators together for the common purpose of honoring students. Adherence to the NTHS Standards of Conducts is required for membership and serves to assure the public confidence in the integrity of the organization and the support of business and industry:

  • Maintain the highest standard of personal and professional conduct at all times.
  • Strive for excellence in all aspects of my education and employment.
  • Refuse to engage in or condone activities for my personal gain at the expense of my fellow students, my school or my employer.
  • Support the mission and purpose of NTHS while working to achieve the objectives and goals of the society.
  • Fulfill my obligations as a citizen of my community and of my country.

The CareerTech NTHS chapters agree that NTHS encourages higher scholastic achievement, cultivates a desire for personal excellence and helps top students find success in today's highly competitive workplace.

You can visit the National Technical Honor Society at

National Technical Honor Society, Oklahoma CareerTech, 3,207 members, 67 active chapters


CIMC offers resource for CTE Month

In its February issue of Techniques, the Association for Career and Technical Education celebrates the centennial of career and technology education in America.

The Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center, a division of Oklahoma CareerTech, can help students and educators to celebrate the origins of CTE in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma historian Danney Goble’s book “Learning to Earn: A History of Career and Technology Education in Oklahoma” traces the history of CTE in the state and describes the work of many of the state’s pioneering educators, legislators and residents as they established the nation’s premier CareerTech System. This paperback book, item TA1051, is available for purchase from the CIMC at

A free discussion guide is available to download from the CIMC at


Institute to address nontraditional careers

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education is partnering with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity to present the Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute this spring.

“The institute is open to secondary schools, technology centers and colleges to increase nontraditional student awareness and to encourage shared experiences of the participants,” said Jeremy Zweiacker, Carl Perkins monitoring and nontraditional coordinator with CareerTech. “The term nontraditional refers to those careers where 25 percent or less of one gender is represented, and our hope is to help educators remove barriers students may face when choosing these careers.”

The institute includes three components: regional sessions; follow-up conference calls and webinars; and a two-day summit.

Participants will begin at one-day professional development sessions at regional locations. The sessions will be facilitated by a NAPE trainer, and participants will use the Explore Nontraditional Careers Toolkit. After each regional workshop, participants will engage in a series of conference calls/webinars to provide support and expertise as they work on their final projects.

To conclude the institute, all participants will gather during the two-day Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Summit, which will bring all participants together to share and learn from each other. The summit will also feature an afternoon session on how sites can implement the strategies they have learned through the institute into the local Carl Perkins application.

Six regional workshops will be held:

  • Jan. 26 – Tulsa Technology Center, Owasso Campus.
  • Jan. 27 – Kiamichi Technology Centers, McAlester Campus.
  • Feb. 16 – Canadian Valley Technology Center, Chickasha Campus.
  • Feb. 17 – Northwest Technology Center, Fairview Campus.
  • Feb. 23 – Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus.
  • Feb. 24 – Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Cross Timbers Campus.

The two-day summit will be March 28-29 at Moore Norman Technology Center, Franklin Road Campus.

For more information about the institute, please visit


CareerTech Events

Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute - Owasso, Jan. 26

TechCAP VIII, Jan. 26

CareerTech Board Meeting, Jan. 26

Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute - McAlester, Jan. 27

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, Jan. 27


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

There are people in your life whom you unknowingly inspire simply by being you. - Unknown
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