Oklahoma CareerTech celebrates educators’ perseverance

Oklahoma CareerTech’s 54th annual conference celebrated educators’ perseverance, said State Director Marcie Mack.

The Oklahoma Summit is a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. It provides professional development opportunities for CareerTech educators, administrators, school board members, support staff members and business partners.

Mack thanked Oklahoma CareerTech System employees for their commitment to continuing their work to educate Oklahomans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges you faced were unprecedented,” she said. “We could not have imagined the surmounting circumstances that would reconfigure our lives and that of our schools and classrooms. But your passion and dedication to educating students and meeting the companies’ needs in your community prevailed, and our system continued to progress amid these trying times.

“This event is a celebration of your perseverance in navigating the shifting landscape and reinforcing why Oklahoma CareerTech is the best in the nation.”

Oklahoma Summit celebrated several award winners, including Oklahoma CareerTech’s top two awards, the Francis Tuttle Award and the Arch Alexander Award.

Lindel Fields, who recently retired from Tri County Technology Center as superintendent, received the Francis Tuttle Award, which is named in honor of the former Oklahoma CareerTech state director and is given to someone who has made significant contributions at the state and national levels.

Jeanette Capshaw, who recently retired as deputy superintendent at Moore Norman Technology Center, received the Arch Alexander Award, named in honor of a longtime deputy state director of Oklahoma CareerTech and given to someone who has demonstrated the qualities Alexander shows in his work in the system.

Shelley Free, superintendent of Kiamichi Technology Centers, received the OkACTE Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award, and Daniel Tysor, Moore Norman Technology Center web design instructor, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob Funk Jr. of Express Employment Professionals was on hand to present checks from Express to four award winners: Lisa Symsack, Tulsa Technology Center, Support Staff Member of the Year, $5,000; Lorain McKay, Moore Norman Technology Center, New Teacher of the Year, $5,000; Nancy Howell, Great Plains Technology Center, Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, $7,500; and Leslie Powell, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Durant, Teacher of the Year, $10,000.

The following also received awards during Oklahoma Summit:

  • Joyce McClellan, Tulsa Technology Center chief development and diversity officer, Administrator of the Year.
  • Misty Bible, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Idabel counselor, Counseling and Career Development Professional Award.
  • Cody McPherson, Geary Public Schools technology engineering instructor, Carl Perkins Community Service Award.
  • Lucinda Francis, Moore Norman Technology Center literacy specialist/coach, Teacher Educator of the Year.
  • Eufaula Public Schools, State Superintendent’s Award of Excellence.
  • Teresa Abram, marketing and communications coordinator, Communications and Marketing Award.
  • Brian Ruttman, R.J. Curry, Athena Frank, Chelsey Graham, Elena Morales, Donna Lindly, Mikka House-Moore, Anita Parks, Ernie Gomez, Janet Portwood, Laura Manahan and Jodie Eiland, Dennis Portis Rising Star Award sponsored by American Fidelity.
  • Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber, OkACTE Distinguished Service.
  • Jerry McConnell, Moore Norman Technology Center director of safety and security, OkACTE Distinguished Achievement.
  • Allen Schneberger, Moore Norman Technology Center academic integration coordinator, Kaleidoscope Award.
  • Lamont Harris, Metro Technology Centers; Jessie Phillips, Kiamichi Technology Centers; Benjamin Evans, Pioneer Technology Center; Christie Rogers, Southwest Technology Center; and Matt Fix and Emily Brown, Moore Norman Technology Center, OkACTE Outstanding New Professional Award.

About Oklahoma CareerTech

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 59 campuses, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.

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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