Stars of Excellence
The Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society (OkNTHS) members and advisors wish to recognize and honor the accomplishments and extraordinary contributions to the OkNTHS. In 2006, the OkNTHS Stars of Excellence was established to celebrate individuals who are making significant contributions.
Nominations are due March 1 annually. Nominate a deserving person today.
Stars of Excellence Inductees
Patricia Poteat - Inducted 2014
National Technical Honor Society
Patricia Poteat is the co-founder and associate director of the National Technical Honor Society. She graduated from Ruby High School and attended Chesterfield-Marlboro Technical College. Patricia owned an H & R Block franchise and was a small business account manager for six years. During this time she met and married Jon H. Poteat, an agricultural education teacher. In 1971, Pat and Jon moved from Ruby, SC to Spartanburg, SC where Jon took the guidance counselor position at the newly opened Swofford Vocational Center. Pat enjoyed her new role as a stay-at-home mom to their three daughters until 1985, when she took on full time duties managing the National Vocational-Technical Honor Society from a spare room in the basement of her home. She continued her education in business administration at Converse College, Blue Ridge Community College and earned a nonprofit management certificate from Duke University.
In the early 90s, Jon was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (Picks disease) and Patricia found herself balancing the role of caretaker and mother, all the while managing the financial health and stability of NTHS. In 1997, the NTHS Board of Directors voted to name a scholarship fund in honor of Jon, and Patricia added the title of scholarship director to her duties. After Jon passed away in 2000, Patricia was determined to grow a significant scholarship fund and in 2007, NTHS awarded the first Jon H. Poteat Scholarship.
Patricia leads a thriving organization with the same strength, love and dedication she felt 30 years ago when she answered calls, mailed membership packages and created every marketing piece in the basement of her home.
C. Allen Powell - Inducted 2014
National Technical Honor Society
Allen Powell is the co-founder and executive director of the National Technical Honor Society located in Flat Rock, N.C. A native of Union, S.C., Allen graduated from Union High School, earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and completed graduate studies at Clemson University.
A career educator in South Carolina for three decades, Allen began his teaching career in Anderson School District 5 at McDuffie High School. He served as a high school agriculture science teacher, coach, principal, career center director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in South Carolina schools.
In 1984, as the director of H.B. Swofford Career Center in Inman, S.C., Allen, Jon H. Poteat and Patricia Poteat founded the National Vocational-Technical Honor Society to promote a stronger image for their school and greater recognition to their students. In 1999, NTHS relocated its offices from Inman, S.C. to the campus of Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, N.C. In 2008, NTHS moved into its new headquarters near the community college.
Today, the society serves more than 3,600 schools and colleges. Through his innovation and determination, Allen has been a guiding force in leading the society from its inception to the national leader in recognition of excellence in career and technical education.
Allen and his wife Polly live in Greenville, S.C. and are the parents of three sons and six grandchildren.
Allen enjoys speaking at education conferences, schools, and colleges, and is the published author of numerous education articles and the book, Hog Farm Chronicles, the unthinkable but true stories of a rookie agriculture teacher/coach.
Brenda Cox - Inducted 2013
Central Technology Center
Brenda Cox was an educator for 44 years. She retired as a college and career counselor at Central Technology Center with 13 years of service. She has served as a counselor, business instructor at Utah Technical College, various high schools, and in adult education at Tulsa Technology Center. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and earned her master's degree in guidance and counseling from Northeastern State University.
Under her leadership, more than 1,000 students were inducted into National Technical Honor Society. She served on the Oklahoma NTHS coordinating council executive committee and in various capacities including assisting with the State Leadership Conference, Day at the Capitol and the NTHS booth at summer conference. Brenda initiated a national NTHS membership change in policy whereby when a student qualified to be a National member, the national headquarters now sends a letter of recommendation to each new inductee as part of their original membership.
Brenda feels it has been an honor and privilege to work with NTHS for the State of Oklahoma. She was quoted as saying, “We have outstanding students and I couldn’t be more proud to assist them in any way I could. Students are the most important asset in education.”
Rep. Skye McNiel - Inducted 2012
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Rep. Skye McNiel is a product of CareerTech education. A fifth-generation Oklahoman who graduated from Bristow Public Schools, she was a proud FFA member active in leadership activities, speeches and showing and won the State Star in Agribusiness.
After high school, Skye attended Oklahoma State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in both agriculture communications and animal science. Upon graduation, she returned home to work in the family business, Mid America Stockyards.
In 2006, at the age of 27, Skye was elected to represent the 29th District. She continues to work at her family’s livestock auction in Bristow.
Skye is a strong supporter of NTHS and has served as speaker for the NTHS Day at the Capitol several years, most recently in 2012.
Christy Morris - Inducted 2012
Pontotoc Technology Center
Christy Morris has been an educator for 11 years and started her career as a math and science teacher, as well as a basketball and softball coach. She has spent six of those years as the information technology instructor at Pontotoc Technology Center where she is an advisor for both Business Professionals of America and National Technical Honor Society.
She is a member of the NTHS coordinating and advisory council and her students have had the honor of implementing ideas and designing the t-shirts for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 State Leadership Conference.
Christy earned her bachelor's degree in education at East Central University and is the owner/operator of three small businesses in Ada and Sulphur, Oklahoma.
Sen. Josh Brecheen - Inducted 2011
Oklahoma State Senate
Sen. Josh Brecheen is a product of the Oklahoma CareerTech System and strong supporter of the National Technical Honor Society. Josh served as the keynote speaker for the 2006 and 2008 NTHS State Leadership Conferences, inspiring students to strive for excellence.
Josh served the Oklahoma FFA Association as Southeast District vice-president in 1997 and elected as state FFA president in 1998. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he earned a dual degree in agricultural communications and animal science in 2002.
Josh was elected to the state Senate in November 2010 and represents 6th District. Prior to his election to the Oklahoma legislature, Josh served almost six years as a field representative for U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.
Becky Trent - Inducted 2011
Western Technology Center
Becky Trent has been an educator and mentor for 33 years. Beginning her career in elementary education, Becky eventually turned her attention to the field of career education where she is still helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow. She has been employed for the past 20 years at Western Technology Center.
In her capacity at Western Technology Center, Becky served 10 years as the equity coordinator at the WTC/Burns Flat campus before focusing her skills as the student services counselor at WTC/ Sayre. Becky earned both her bachelor and master's degrees in education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Becky has been the chapter advisor of the Western Technology Center/ Sayre NTHS chapter since 2001 and served as chair of the Oklahoma NTHS coordinating and advisory council from 2008- 2009. She was instrumental in establishing the NTHS state leadership onference and has served on many planning committees for state NTHS events. Becky is proud to be associated with such a dynamic group of students and colleagues and encourages all to remember “You are successful the moment you start moving toward a worthwhile goal”.
Phil Berkenbile - Inducted 2010
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Phil Berkenbile, Ph.D. began his career as an agricultural education instructor. He joined the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech in 1988 as the agricultural education northwest district supervisor and curriculum specialist and served as the agricultural education assistant state supervisor. Berkenbile left the agency to become the superintendent of schools in Morrison and returned in 1999. He has served as the associate state director of educational services, chief of staff, interim state director and was named state director on Jan. 6, 2004.
Phil was the first state NTHS liaison and has been involved with the Oklahoma NTHS since 2002. As director of the state’s CareerTech System, he continues to be committed to its mission of promoting educational excellence and enhancing career opportunities.
Jeanne McClish - Inducted 2010
Moore Norman Technology Center
Jeanne McClish has been a CareerTech educator for more than 21 years. McClish began in the Moore Norman Technology Center academic resource center as the coordinator of pre-vocational training as the Language Specialist. Since 2005, she has served as the MNTC student organizations coordinator.
Jeanne has been involved with the Oklahoma NTHS coordinating and advisory council since the 2001 school year, serving as chair during the 2003 and 2007 school years. She has been involved with the NTHS Day at the Capitol since 2001, and has been involved with the NTHS state leadership conference since its inception, serving as the host school and on the planning committee.
“The NTHS is an outstanding tool used in honoring our students in their academics and skill areas within the Career Tech System,” McClish said. “I am glad to have had the opportunity to work in the Career Tech System in Oklahoma and to be a part of the Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society state advisory council.”
Sally Madden - Inducted 2009
Western Technology Center
Sally Madden has been employed at Western Technology Center for 17 years as the business technology instructor. She earned both a bachelor and master's degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She is a national board certified teacher.
Sally has been the advisor of Western Technology Center’s NTHS chapter since 1996. She has been the NTHS state Oklahoma advisory and coordinating council secretary since 2003. Sally is also very active in planning and implementing state NTHS activities each year.
Lanette Armentrout - Inducted 2009
Chisholm Trail Technology Center
Lanette Armentrout has been the chapter advisor of the Chisholm Trail Technology Center chapter since 1997. She has served two terms as state coordinating council chair, and has also served as a chapter advisor to the national student NTHS chair. Lanette has been the counselor and director of student services at Chisholm Trail for the past 12 years. In 1996-97, Lanette served as president of Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. She has also served as president of the family and consumer sciences division and the guidance division, as well as holding multiple additional positions in the state and national organization.
Patricia Kline - Inducted 2008
Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center
Patricia served as co-chair and was a founding member of the original Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society Executive-Advisory and Coordinating Council. Patricia also attended a national planning meeting for the NTHS in 1998.
Patricia was a part of the planning and implementation of the NTHS leadership ropes course/group activity and NTHS Day at the Capitol. Patricia retired from Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center in 2004 after teaching 14 years and being in the education profession for a total of 30 years.
Jana Gaddis - Inducted 2008
Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center
Jana served as co-chair and was a founding member of the original Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society Executive-Advisory and Coordinating Council. She was a part of the planning and implementation of the NTHS leadership ropes course/group activity and NTHS Day at the Capitol.
Jana has been at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center for 18 years and continues to chair a strong NTHS program at her school. She has held all offices throughout her tenure with the NTHS executive council. She has also helped plan the NTHS state conference each year since its inception in 2007.
Sandy Wachtstetter - Inducted 2007
Moore-Norman Technology Center
Sandy Wachtstetter was honored for her outstanding contributions to the success of the NTHS organization in the Oklahoma Career Tech System. In 1996, Sandy was instrumental in developing, planning and implementing the first NTHS Day at the Capitol in Oklahoma City. In February 2007, the 11th Annual NTHS Day at the Capitol was held. Sandy also served many years on the OK NTHS advisory and coordinating council, serving as the first chair when the council was formed.
Sandy worked at Moore Norman Technology Center for 21 years as the floral design Instructor and as a business and industry services evening supervisor.
Frank Coulter - Inducted 2006
Moore Norman Technology Center
Frank Coulter served as superintendent of Moore Norman Technology Center from 1979 to 2003.
While superintendent, Frank was involved in improving education through serving as president of the Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers, as a trustee of the Oklahoma Teacher’s Retirement System, the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Council and president of the Oklahoma CareerTech Superintendents Association.
Frank served on the Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society Advisory Council when the council was established in 1996 through 2003. He served in the capacity of administration on the Oklahoma advisory board, as a NTHS national board member, then as an ex-officio national board member. Moore Norman Technology Center chartered with NTHS (formerly the NVTHS) in 1991. He continued to be a strong supporter of NTHS on the state level and also on the national level until his retirement in 2003. He also helped with the start of the NTHS Day at the Capitol, seeing the importance of the NTHS being a face for the excellence in Career Tech Education.
Greg Winters - Inducted 2006
Kiamichi Technology Center
Greg Winters has been a career educator for 36 years serving the past 24 years as superintendent of three technology center districts across Oklahoma.
Greg served as superintendent at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center in Choctaw for 18 years, served three years as superintendent of Kiamichi Technology Center and is currently in his third year as superintendent of Canadian Valley Technology Center.
While serving as assistant superintendent at EOC he established the first chapter of National Technical Honor Society in Oklahoma in 1985. Greg was called to serve on the national board of directors in 1987 and still serves as the historian for the national board of directors. During his tenure on the national board of directors Greg has served as national president for the organization in 1991-1992 and again in 1997-1998.
Greg has a tremendous passion for the NTHS organization. He has seen firsthand the impact of the organization in the lives of students across America. He understands the power of lifting up and honoring students for a job well done. Without NTHS, thousands of deserving students would go unnoticed as they take their technical skills and move forward to help build a strong nation.