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Skills Centers Instructor Named Outstanding CareerTech Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Skills Centers Instructor Named Outstanding CareerTech Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year Cecil Wainscott.

Lexington Skills Centers instructor Cecil Wainscott was named Outstanding Postsecondary Teacher of the Year during the Oklahoma Summit, the 52nd annual CareerTech summer conference. Wainscott was presented with a check for $7,500 from Express Employment Professionals, who donated the funds for the award.

Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique or novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technology education.

“This award commemorates exceptional individuals who have contributed to the success of CareerTech education through the quality of their work and their involvement in the CareerTech community,” said Skye McNiel, OkACTE executive director.

Wainscott began his teaching career in 2001 as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration instructor in the HVAC/R License Trades Academy. There he taught incarcerated inmates to work in the maintenance departments at Lexington Skills Center and other Oklahoma Department of Corrections facilities statewide.

CareerTech Skills Centers Superintendent Greg Dewald said Wainscott has a passion for his work and the individuals he serves and understands the impact vocational education has on students and their families, as well as the state’s economy. This passion led Wainscott to implement a program that trains not only ODOC inmate maintenance workers, but also offenders who will be discharging their sentences and returning to their communities.

Since the inception of his innovative program in 2014, 129 graduates have received their journeyman’s licenses and 12 went on to receive their contractor licenses. For an inmate trying to re-enter society, this increased earning potential can mean the difference between successful reintegration and a return to prison. This program gives students a solid possibility of a successful future outside prison walls. In Oklahoma, the average hourly wage for a licensed apprentice is $12 to $14 an hour. Dewald said Wainscott’s graduates can earn an average starting salary of $18 to $22 an hour.

Wainscott uses his platform as a CareerTech instructor to mentor his students and inspire them to take on leadership roles while still incarcerated. He encourages students to be active and give back to their local communities, upon discharge, through the use of their trade expertise and abilities. In his own community, he is actively involved in the men’s ministry at Central Freewill Baptist Church, which offers free and low cost HVAC/R/electrical services to church members and disadvantaged individuals in the surrounding communities.

The Oklahoma Summit was presented by OkACTE and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Aug. 1-2 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. It attracts some 3,300 CareerTech educators from across the state and is one of the largest professional development educator conferences in the state. OkACTE is the professional organization for the state's CareerTech administrators, teachers and staff members.

For more information about the Oklahoma CareerTech System please visit

Connie Romans, communications and marketing coordinator

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