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CareerTech employees honored for excellence

Sixteen Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education employees were honored for excellence during the department's annual state staff meeting.

Seven employees received individual awards, and one team received an award. Kathie Short and Lana Knott received Excellence in Customer Service awards. Tommi Leach and Marie Saatkamp received Above & Beyond awards. Jeff Huffman and Ruth Peace received Leadership in Achieving Excellence awards.

Brandon Tucker received an Innovation award for his work with the Carl Perkins. Members of the CareerTech Skills Centers School System received a Team Award for their work on the Serelda Cody Training Center at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility.

Kathie Short
Kathie Short, left, and Marcie Mack
Short, an administrative assistant in the Agricultural Education Division, was honored for her work with FFA and agricultural education. She helps manage a combined budget of nearly $1 million a year and has received perfect or near perfect audits for 17 years.

She led an overhaul of the National FFA membership roster, personally providing membership roster in-service training for all teachers at five separate conferences and providing in-service training to all instructors.

Knott, a senior accountant in the Financial Services Division, was honored for helping users and customers with Eventbrite, the platform Oklahoma CareerTech uses for event registration. She makes sure users and customers get the most out of Eventbrite, keeping up with its changes, showing others what she’s learned, and creating and updating user tip sheets. She answers external customers’ questions and helps schools with invoices.

Tommi Leach
Tommi Leach, left, and Marcie Mack
Leach, an academic coordinator in the Career and Academic Connections Division, was honored for her work to improve the process of tracking, transcripting and communicating CareerTech course OCAS codes.

She has built solid relationships with internal partners, higher education regents and members of the State Department of Education to make sure CareerTech courses are correctly valued and submitted a process for communicating OCAS changes to all parties.

Leach's efforts in identifying and communicating information have helped students get recognition for the courses they are taking.

Marie Saatkamp
Marie Saatkamp, left, and Marcie Mack
Saatkamp, a specialist in the Human Resources Division, was honored for her work coordinating ODCTE administrative rules updates. She works with employees, senior staff, the state director, the state board, the governor’s office and the secretary of state to ensure that changes in agency practices are incorporated into the annual rules review process.

She also makes sure proposed changes are correctly worded, placed correctly, vetted with the appropriate senior leader and submitted to the governor's office and secretary of state in a timely manner. Her efforts help CareerTech’s rules to go through the process more efficiently than most other agencies.

Jeff Huffman
Jeff Huffman, left, and Marcie Mack
Huffman, program manager in the Trade and Industrial Education Division, was honored for his work in technology center accreditation.

In addition to his daily management role and volunteering to assist in accreditation visits, he led an accreditation examiner boot camp team to develop the documentation list, interview list and onsite visit agenda.

Huffman also volunteered as an examiner for two tech center teams and set an expectation for his staff members to participate in accreditation visits, helping challenge schools to continuously improve.

Ruth Peace
Ruth Peace, left, and Marcie Mack
Peace, manager of the Information Management Division, was honored for her work with CTIMS, CareerTech's information management system.

She has worked with contractors, stakeholders, internal staff and customers throughout the process of designing the CTIMS software to ensure that Oklahoma CareerTech is meeting the needs of its customers.

Her work has helped to ensure that CareerTech has a high-quality product to present to customers and that we will receive high-quality data from schools and partners.

Brandon Tucker
Brandon Tucker, left, and Marcie Mack
Tucker, a regional coordinator in the Education Partnerships and Customized Services Division, served on the Carl Perkins monitoring committee for the past nine months. The team's goal was to develop an at-risk monitoring process that allows the agency to identify low-, medium- and high-risk sub-recipients before awarding grants.

Tucker designed a spreadsheet to better track risk scores for Carl Perkins applicants, which allows teams to identify problem areas at a glance. His efforts have contributed to more effective onsite monitoring and technical assistance that helps ensure schools are following federal regulations.

Skills Center Group
From left, Kevin Copeland, Greg Dewald, Corey Jones, Dustin Kays, Brandy Burns, Joey Nutley, Mike Stringfellow, Kent Roof, Avery Butler and Marcie Mack.
The Skills Center team put in extra hours away from families, classrooms and students to complete the Serelda Cody Training Center construction project for the Department of Corrections in a third of the estimated time.

They completed the training center, where inmates train rescue dogs before the dogs are adopted, in six months instead of the estimated time of 18 months.

Honored were Kent Roof, Dustin Kays, Mike Stringfellow, Cory Jones, Joey Nutley, Brandy Burns, Avery Butler, Kevin Copeland and Greg Dewald.

Oklahoma CareerTech also honored employees for five to 30 years of service and those who are retiring.

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