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CareerTech System honors outstanding Oklahomans

CareerTech System honors outstanding Oklahomans

The 2017 inductees into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame are, from left, James Strate, Joan Welborn, Belinda Cole, Fern Green-Bowling and Tom Thomas.

Nov. 15, 2017

Oklahoma CareerTech inducted five new members into its Hall of Fame recently.

Inductees were Belinda Cole, Fern Green-Bowling, James Strate, Tom Thomas and Joan Welborn.

The 2017 class of inductees increased the Hall of Fame membership to 80. The Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Oklahoman Foundation for Career and Technology Education, was founded in 1990. Previous inductees include governors, college deans and professors, business and industry leaders, educators and CareerTech faculty, staff and agency members.

“The CareerTech Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor individuals with exemplary records of achievement, leadership and service to career and technology education in Oklahoma. It is the highest honor in the CareerTech System,” said Charlotte Edwards, president of the CareerTech Foundation.

Cole is a former state director of career and support services at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the first Francis Tuttle Endowed Chair for Occupational Education Studies at Oklahoma State University. Green-Bowling began her career as a business education and social studies teacher and retired as the ODCTE state equity coordinator.

Strate served for 10 years at Great Plains Area Vocational and Technical School (now Great Plains Technology Center), including as deputy superintendent, before becoming superintendent of Autry Technology Center, where he retired in 2015. Thomas began his CareerTech career in 1972 as a computer graphics instructor and retired in 2016 as superintendent at Great Plains Technology Center.

Welborn is the former owner, CEO and president of ADPC, a software development services company in Ponca City, which offers services to public schools and technology centers.

 “Each of these individuals is of the highest integrity, has given their lives to CareerTech and has made extraordinary contributions,” Edwards said. “They are exceptional motivators, visionaries and leaders. Each has created a legacy contributing to the unsurpassed performance of the CareerTech System. To them we are truly grateful.”

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 395 comprehensive school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 30 adult basic education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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