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Director's Weekly Memo 2017-7-17

Central Technology Center names Stillwater Health Systems its Partner for Progress

Central Technology Center named Stillwater Health Systems its 2017 Partner for Progress.

Stillwater Health Systems provide clinical experiences, preceptor rotations, internships and tours for Central Tech students in surgical technology, medical assisting, practical nursing, health careers certifications, paramedic, phlebotomy and biomedical sciences programs. The training opportunities have resulted in employment for many Central Tech graduates.

Stillwater Health Systems employees also serve on Central Tech program advisory committees, offering their professional expertise and time. In addition, SHS provides employment opportunities for Central Tech graduates.


FFA’s patriotic vision comes to life at Camp Tulakogee

FFA’s patriotic vision comes to life at Camp Tulakogee


CareerTech Champion: Joana Pantoja -- Metro Technology Centers and HOSA

Joana Pantoja
Joana Pantoja
THEN: A soft-spoken first-generation American whose parents didn’t speak English. Joana Pantoja’s father was a roofer, her mother was a housekeeper, and they both worked hard to try to save enough money to send their children to college.

In middle school she wanted to be a lawyer, but by high school she realized she preferred science over social studies. When a Metro Technology Centers recruiter visited ASTEC Charter High School, Joana decided to enroll in the technology center’s Biomedical Sciences Academy, a Project Lead the Way program. After attending a classroom lecture about the eye, including a dissection, Joana discovered a passion for vision sciences. She also joined HOSA, the health occupations student organization, and excelled at state and national contests three years in a row.

After graduation she enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and biomedical sciences.

Joana credits Metro Tech and HOSA for:

  • Teaching her how to use lab equipment she would need to use in college.
  • Helping her improve her networking and communication skills, including how to write research manuscripts and lab reports.
  • Introducing her to notetaking and study methods that aligned with her learning style.
  • Writing letters of recommendation and offering resume guidance that led to several scholarships, including the first ever James D. Branscum Scholarship.

"I felt connected to my teachers at Metro Tech," she said. "I felt like I could talk to them, ask them anything, and they were there to give me advice and support me in anything I wanted to do."

Traveling to the national HOSA conference was Joana’s first airplane trip. Through HOSA activities she traveled to Disneyland, Disney World and Nashville, Tennessee. There were even more travel opportunities as an undergrad at UCO, where she presented her research at national conferences.

NOW: A confident, well-spoken first-generation college graduate, Joana will attend optometry school this fall at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She's helping her parents learn English, and she has motivated her little brother to set his sights on college as well. Her school and work connections recently got her a free eye exam, and she'll receive a free pair of eyeglasses when she gets to school. She's already been promised a residency with an ophthalmologist.

"My mentor at UCO said he was amazed at everything I already knew when I got to college."

Joana Pantoja


Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation dedicates 2017 Scramble Golf Tournament in memory of Danny Darrow

Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation dedicates 2017 Scramble Golf Tournament in memory of Danny Darrow. Lincoln Park Golf Course, Oklahoma City, July 31, four-person scramble, shotgun start. Cost is $90 per player, due July 22.

Small-town business creation seminar planned

Oklahoma CareerTech is joining the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a seminar about improving the economy of small towns.

“Creating Businesses and Jobs in Your Small Town” will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16 in the Cleveland Community Center, 203 W. Delaware. The cost is $25, which includes lunch and materials, and registration is available at

Becky McCray, a small-town business owner, author and community and small business development speaker, will present “Innovative Rural Business Models and Rural Jobs Creation Strategies. She will speak about how small towns are connecting small businesses and entrepreneurs with the support and networks they need to be successful and create jobs.

Dave Shideler, Oklahoma State University associate professor and community development specialist, will present “How to Attract the Right Businesses to Create Jobs in Your Small Town.” He will discuss tools and strategies that communities can use to create, attract, retain and expand businesses.


Summer Conference registration is open

Registration for the 50th annual Oklahoma CareerTech Summer conference is open at

The conference will be Aug. 1-2 at the Oklahoma City Cox Convention Center. For more information, visit


CareerTech events

2017 Summer Conference, Aug. 1-2

CareerTech Board Meeting, Aug. 17

Teacher Institute 2016-2017 Cohort, Aug. 24

ICBSShow 2017, Aug. 30-31

FCCLA Lead Conference, Sept. 6


Useful links

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

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

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Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. - Pele
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