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CareerTech educators to hear from governor, Murakami exec

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Michael Rodenberg, CEO of Murakami Manufacturing USA Inc., will both speak to more than 3,300 CareerTech employees at the Oklahoma Summit, the 52nd annual CareerTech summer conference, Aug. 1-2 at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

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

“Oklahoma Summit brings together individuals from all facets of CareerTech: K-12 schools, technology centers, Skills Centers, adult basic education providers and a variety of business/educational partners. Oklahoma CareerTech provides a foundation of excellence in training and education so that Oklahoma has the most qualified workforce possible to power our economy. It is exciting to witness the dedication that all our CareerTech staff has for moving our system forward and driving workforce development for Oklahoma,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

In addition to serving as CEO of Murakami Manufacturing USA Inc., Rodenberg serves on the Murakami Corp. board of directors, representing North and South America. He has worked at automotive component suppliers for the past 25 years, with assignments in the United States, Japan and China.

Rodenberg says he enjoys bridging the gap between cultures, building strong teams and developing people. Since joining Murakami in 2011, he has taken a specific interest in helping young people make the jump from school to the workforce.

Oklahoma CareerTech teachers, counselors, administrators and staff members will also meet 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.

“Our mission is to provide quality leadership and professional development opportunities for our outstanding CareerTech educators, and our annual summer conference is the cornerstone of our gatherings,” said Skye McNiel, OkACTE executive director. “Members come away refreshed and learn new skills and techniques to help them in their careers. We also take the time to recognize excellence among the many outstanding educators who serve our state.”

Mack and McNiel will both speak during the conference’s opening general session. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister will present the State Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in CareerTech Education.

The CareerTech System will also honor 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 will also be presented, including the Francis Tuttle, Arch Alexander and Gold Star awards.

McNiel will also present the OkACTE Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award, named for Express Employment Professionals co-founder and president, Bob Funk Sr., who received the inaugural Advocate of Excellence Award last year.

In addition to division meetings and the CareerTech Expo, where educators can learn about the latest products and services available, conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear experts in spotlight sessions covering virtual reality in the classroom, coaching skills, adaptive cultures, soft skills and more.

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

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, 393 comprehensive school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 adult basic education sites.

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.

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