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Dusty Ricks receives Oklahoma CareerTech’s top award

Dusty Ricks, superintendent of Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne, received Oklahoma CareerTech's most prestigious award during the Oklahoma Summit, the 52nd annual CareerTech summer conference.

Ricks received the Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award from the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The award was presented by Chad Tuttle, grandson of the late Francis Tuttle.

Ricks, a longtime Blanchard resident, has devoted 36 years to education. An Oklahoma State University graduate, he began his vocational career as an agriculture instructor, teaching ag for 14 years. He took a break from CareerTech to continue his education at the University of Oklahoma.

After earning his master’s degree from OU, Ricks served as Blanchard Middle School principal.

He returned to his CareerTech roots shortly after, becoming director of operations at Mid-America Tech in 1998. He was promoted several times before taking the reins as superintendent in 2005. Today, he guides more than 12,000 staff, students and business partners in his leadership role at Mid-America.

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.

The Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award was established in 1985 in honor of Francis Tuttle, former state director of the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education and architect of what is now called the CareerTech System. The award recognizes individuals whose careers exemplify Tuttle's dedication to the development of people through career and technology education. It is given to a recipient who has made contributions of state or national significance.

 For more information about the Francis Tuttle Award and Oklahoma's CareerTech System, visit

Connie Romans, communications and marketing coordinator

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