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Sharonda Dennard

Sharonda Dennard

From left, Jim Struby, OKDHS; Janie Clay, OkCTEEC; Joe Robinson, ODCTE; Sharonda Dennard; Pat McGregor, OkACTE; and Kathy Quinn-Teague, OSRHE.

April 25, 2014

Hillcrest Medical Center Volunteer Coordinator Sharonda Dennard recently received the Outstanding Community/Agency Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.

Dennard was one of 25 people honored at the 20th annual Making It Work Day April 24 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students and members who received national honors for their efforts.

In 2011, Dennard began working with the Tulsa Technology Center HIRE Work Prep program to provide externships, internships and job opportunities for students in the medical office administrative services, office management and legal office management/project management programs, said Jeana Mitchell Cole, HIRE Work Prep program coordinator, who nominated her for the award.

“Sharonda is known for motivating and challenging our students to remain committed during times of adversity; seize the moment, meaning take advantage of the volunteer opportunity; and develop good work habits (being on time, courtesy to team members, meeting deadlines, positive attitude),” Cole said.

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“The mission of OkCTEEC is to serve as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents, teen parents, single pregnant teens and women, nontraditional students and at-risk females,” said Lou Ann Hargrave, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Sandy Elledge of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“State and federal programs often cannot remove all the obstacles facing those living in poverty,” said Janie Clay, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the Allied Jobs Program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. “Therefore, a strong community partnership is imperative among agencies, businesses and industries as the participants transition from education and training to employment and self-sufficiency. We rely heavily on our partners to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom.”

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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