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Norman Kiwanis Club Honors Students of the Month

(NORMAN, Okla.) April 22, 2014 – The Norman Kiwanis Club recognized two Moore Norman Technology Center students as April Students of the Month during their regular meeting yesterday. The students represent MNTC’s Business & Information Technology and Technical areas of study.

Moore High School senior Shallbe Minor is a first-year student enrolled in MNTC’s Computer Programming class. He is the vice president of his class’s chapter of the Business Professionals of America student organization and is a member of the National Technical Honor Society. He runs the open 400 and the 4x4 with MHS’s track team, is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club and is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. He volunteers at the Moore Food Bank and was a continual volunteer with the cleanup in Moore after the May 20 Tornado. He is an active member of the Praise Assembly Church in Del City and puts their youth newsletter together and assists with a collection and donation program.

Minor said he made the decision to attend MNTC because he has always been interested in how computers work and he thought it would help him both now and in future.

“I’ve always been somewhat of a video game and software geek, but I didn't know how the programs were developed or about the programming that makes the them work. But, I did know that computer programming is what I wanted my career to be,” Minor said.

Minor said he did not realize that while in high school he could get certified in Java, or earn a separate diploma. He was also excited about learning multiple programming languages such as Java, HTML and Java Script.

“We've taken on projects that were pretty big challenges. I had to focus on trial-and-error to make my programs work. This experience has made me feel more mature and this class has given me the chance to develop my social skills and experience working on teams and with true deadlines.

“I’ve also had to chance to experience failure when a program doesn’t work the way I thought. In regular classes in high school I can do a project, fail and not think about it much afterward but here, if I do something and it doesn't work, I have to do it over because I’d have to in my career. I really like that part about my class,” Minor said.

Minor plans to perform an internship with a local pharmacy group before graduation in May and said he hopes to apply for another internship with an internship program with Google for students with a 4.0 GPA and high ACT scores.

Minor has accepted an academic scholarship and will attend the University of Arizona this fall. He will run track while there and plans to accept a track scholarship with them once he completes a certain number of credit hours. He intends to seek a bachelor’s degree in computer science and will study to become a programmer or software developer.

Adult student Alejandro Martinez is a second-year student in the Carpentry class, with a focus on residential carpentry. He is a member of SkillsUSA and NTHS. He recently placed first in the district cabinet making competition and will compete in the state event next week in Tulsa.

Martinez enrolled in the Carpentry class while a senior at Norman High School and has continued to attend part-time to complete the program. He will graduate in May and plans to continue his education and also work in the carpentry industry. His long-term goal is to own a carpentry company of his own. He is bilingual and believes that will be a positive hiring point for him no matter where he decides to work.

Martinez and his family moved to Oklahoma from Mexico in 2009. While in Mexico, he had taken carpentry classes in school and found it to be a real interest area for learning and for a career.

“Because of this class, I know how to work smarter and with teams and how to be a better communicator. My instructor helps us understand about working hard independently and on teams and he really has us focus on working safely,” Martinez said.

Carpentry Instructor Mark Estell said, “Alejandro has become a leader in the classroom and has polished his work ethic so that he excels in any challenge he’s given. He masters the curriculum and is an outstanding student in the classroom and in the shop.”

One of the larger projects Martinez worked on was constructing a set of 10 bedroom dressers for the non-profit Bridges organization in Norman. More recently he and some classmates worked on the construction of large planter boxes for the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City.

“I cannot say enough about Alejandro. He has the desire and the motivation to be a great success in life and I am confident that he will succeed at everything he sets his mind to,” Estell said.

Martinez said, “I know I have a real understanding about construction because of this class. I know how to perform jobs like cabinet making, framing, sheeting, roofing and installation of different parts of homes. I’m glad I took this class.”

To learn more about MNTC’s Computer Programming or Carpentry classes visit or call 405-364-5763.

Anna Trowbridge, APR Media & Creative Coordinator
Moore Norman Technology Center
P: 405-364-5763, ext. 7575 E: W:

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