Oklahomans Honored for ‘Making It Work’

The Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council honored 17 Oklahomans and three businesses and organizations at the 29th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 6.

Making It Work Day recognizes nontraditional students and individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony was held in the rotunda at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Outstanding Graduate recipients were Myranda Strain, Northern Oklahoma College; Katelynn Jones, Tulsa Technology Center; and Rosebud Benally, Moore Norman Technology Center. Outstanding Non-Traditional Graduate recipients were Angel Rodriguez, Metro Technology Centers; and Alice Roughface, Caddo Kiowa Technology Center.

Making It Work Day Spotlight Award recipients were Deborah Morgan, OSU-OKC; Blake McCrabb, Mid-Del Technology Center; Ramona Smith, Carl Albert State College; and Dale Latham, Southwest Technology Center.

Outstanding Instructor recipients were Suzanne Damon, Mid-Del Tech; Leslie Pfrehm, Moore Norman Technology Center; and Mary Turner, Oklahoma City Community College. Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students recipient was Gail Sperry, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

Outstanding Business and Industry Partner recipients were Healing Hands Veterinary Wellness Center, Oklahoma City; Bo Gwin, Sharpe’s Department Store Okmulgee manager; Holly Lantagne, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma – Norman office; and Oklahoma City VA Healthcare System. Outstanding Community Partner recipients were Janna Pelletier, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Garfield County; Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma; and Carol Hinex, Oklahoma Department of Human Services – Region II, Shawnee.

“OkCTEEC is very excited this year to be able to host the Making It Work Day event once again at the Oklahoma state Capitol,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “It is the perfect venue to showcase the achievements of our students at both the CareerTech and community college level, as well as those community and business partners that have assisted our students in their educational and employment pursuits. The opportunity for legislators to be able to hear our students’ stories and see the difference our programs make is just priceless.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“OkCTEEC is delighted to host Making It Work Day for another year. We honor our remarkable awardees at the state Capitol for their tireless efforts, commitment and resilience. Our programs, students, graduates, instructors and business and community partners around Oklahoma strive to create a positive change in the lives of families in the state. We take immense pride in recognizing and celebrating their contributions,” said Kelly Vinson, OkCTEEC president and director of Project Achieve at Northern Oklahoma College.

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit https://www.okcteec.com/. For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit www.okcareertech.org.

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