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More than 3,700 attend CareerTech Summer Conference

More than 3,700 CareerTech employees converged on the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City Aug. 1-2 for the 50th annual Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Summer Conference.

The conference is held annually in partnership with the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education.

“This annual professional development conference gives our CareerTech personnel the opportunity to learn about the latest technology, practices and resources to continue to provide excellent training and education throughout our system,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

Oklahoma CareerTech teachers, counselors, administrators and staff members met with colleagues from across the state to discuss ideas and advancements in CareerTech education and to learn what they can do to make the system even better.

“What makes this professional development conference such a success every year is the strength of the partnership between our state association and the state CareerTech staff. These two groups have worked together for many years to create this valuable learning experience for our CareerTech teachers and staff,” said Skye McNiel, executive director of OkACTE.

Mack and McNiel both spoke during the conference’s opening general session, along with Ben Glenn, a motivational speaker known as the Simple ADHD Expert and The Chalkguy, and Jeff Hume, vice chairman of strategic growth initiatives at Continental Resources Inc. Also, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister presented the State Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in CareerTech Education.

The CareerTech System also honored the Oklahoma CareerTech Teacher of the Year, the Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, the Outstanding New Teacher and the Support Staff Award winner, each of whom will receive a monetary award from Express Employment Professionals. A number of other awards were also  presented, including the Francis Tuttle, Arch Alexander and Gold Star awards.

In addition to division meetings and the CareerTech Expo, where educators learned about the latest products and services available, conference attendees had the opportunity to hear experts in six spotlight sessions.

CareerTech Equity and Diversity Specialist Quentin Sanders presented “Understanding and Embracing Diversity and Inclusion”; corporate trainer and cultural entrepreneur Jerrod Murr presented “From 8 Track to Emoji”; consultant, trainer and business coach Jan Spence presented “Dare to Be Different! A New Perspective on Goal-Setting”; college and career readiness and soft skills speaker Brooks Harper presented “Why Should We Hire YOUR Students?”; teacher Starla Ewan presented “Winners and Champions ... They Are Not the Same Thing!”; and Express Employment Professionals Marketing Special Projects Manager Mike Hoehner presented “Job Genius -- Insights on Entering the Workforce” and “Faces of Change: Understanding and Managing Generations in the Workplace.”

The conference is the major professional development activity for Oklahoma CareerTech teachers, counselors, administrators and staff members.

Winning awards at Summer Conference were the following:

  • Liz Dinkins, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, OkACTE Teacher of the Year.
  • Tanya Vasso, Meridian Technology Center, Postsecondary Teacher of the Year.
  • Cameron Dale, Elgin Public Schools, OkACTE New Teacher of the Year.
  • Jessica Kriegh, Northwest Technology Center, OkACTE Support Staff of the Year.
  • Doug Major, Meridian Technology Center, Francis Tuttle Award.
  • Ora Morgan, Autry Technology Center, Arch Alexander Award.
  • Teri Holle, Autry Technology Center, Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Kent Inouye, Tulsa Technology Center, National Technical Honor Society Stars of Excellence.
  • Metro Technology Center, Kaleidoscope Award.
  • Gay Pettit, Canadian Valley Technology Center -- Chickasha, Career Guidance Award.
  • Cheryl Cooksey, Autry Technology Center, Carl Perkins Community Service Award.
  • Angela Baker and Whitney Elmore, both of Southern Technology Center; Lynette Williams, Autry Technology Center; and Tyson Sullins, Kiamichi Technology Center, New Professional awards.
  • Mandy Mayberry, Autry Technology Center, Communications and Marketing Award.
  • Janet Strate, Administrator of the Year.
  • Autry Technology Center and Southern Technology Center, Distinguished Achievement awards.
  • Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, and Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs, Distinguished Service awards.
  • Broken Arrow Public Schools, State Superintendent’s Award.
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