The Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education accepted State Director Marcie Mack’s resignation, effective March 1, during its meeting Thursday and named Lee Denney as interim state director.
Mack submitted her resignation in January, when she announced she had accepted a position as manager of talent development with MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma.
“It’s been a true honor to be a part of the CareerTech System for almost 30 years,” Mack told the board.
Denney, a resident of Cushing, served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2004 to 2016, representing District 33. She served on various committees, including appropriations and budget; higher education career technology; energy; economic development and tourism; arts and culture, as chairman; and banking, as vice chairman. She also served as chairman of the appropriations and budget subcommittee on common education.
“Dr. Lee Denney is a fierce advocate for students and Oklahoma career technology education,” said Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of public instruction and chairperson of the board. “She’s a seasoned leader in both state and federal arenas with strong relationships and knowledge to lead through this transition and legislative session as the interim state director. I couldn’t be more excited to work together again with Lee serving students and communities across Oklahoma.”
After leaving the House, Denney served as department head of the veterinary technology program at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City in 2016-17 and then as Oklahoma state director for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2017 to 2021.
Denney earned both a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma State University.
“I’m looking forward to working with the talented staff at Oklahoma CareerTech” Denney said. “I would like to thank Dr. Mack for her dedicated service to CareerTech. She has been an outstanding director, and I am grateful to know she will be continuing her work in developing and improving Oklahoma’s workforce.”
In addition to her work as a veterinarian, Denney worked as a recruitment coordinator for the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and taught anatomy and physiology at Central Technology Center in Drumright.
Denney serves on the boards of directors of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Public Resource Center, Friends for Folks, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and Payne County Youth Services.
During its executive session, the board also discussed the procedure to hire a new state director. The board created a subcommittee to work with a search firm to pursue a national search for a new Oklahoma CareerTech state director. Members of the subcommittee are Randy Gilbert, Brian Bobek and Edward Hilliary Jr.
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, 394 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 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.