Category Archives: Student Organizations

CareerTech Champions

Trevor Hughes – Meridian Technology Center, FFA, HOSA

FFA taught Morrison High School student a $60,000 lesson about hard work.

THEN: His father once told him, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re Hughesin the wrong room.” So,Trevor Hughes found a different room. The high school junior said he needed more challenging math and science classes than his small high school was able to offer him, so Hughes enrolled in Meridian Technology Center’s biomedical sciences program. There, the Morrison High School standout was able to take anatomy, physiology, precalculus and biomedical sciences.

Already a member of FFA, Hughes enrolled in HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education. At Meridian Tech, he said he learned about

  • Lab safety and procedures.
  • The body’s reactions to everything from diseases to open wounds.
  • The importance of homeostasis.

After a year at Meridian, Hughes took college and high school classes concurrently. Hughes said he knows the value of hard work, and he attributes that to his membership in FFA.

“I am forever in debt to the FFA,” he said. “I am thankful for every person who pushed me to better myself, and I hope to carry on the values of the organization for the rest of my life.”

In addition to classwork and involvement in CareerTech student organizations, Hughes played baseball, football and piano.

Still, he said, he found time to apply for numerous college scholarships, and one of those paid off in a big way. Hughes received the OG&E Positive Energy Scholarship. If he keeps his grades up, that scholarship will be worth $60,000 throughout his college career.

NOW: This fall, Hughes will major in engineering at Oklahoma State University. After graduation from OSU, he hopes to travel the world and inspect above-ground oil storage tanks.

“A life full of service rather than self-absorption is a life well lived.”

Trevor Hughes

 

CareerTech Champions

Dean Baker – Francis Tuttle Technology Center

It’s man over machine in this high-tech classroom.

Dean Baker didn’t want to teach the way he’d been taught. The manufacturing-Dean Bakermachining technology instructor at Francis Tuttle Technology Center said his instructor gave his students a blueprint and said, “Please write.” The students wrote code, and the instructor made corrections where they were needed.

That was 40 years ago, and today the self-proclaimed G-code guy is teaching his students to write similar G-codes that manipulate machines to perform tasks. But today’s students are working with a high-tech machine powered by the Siemens SINUMERIK 828D control, which is giving his students game-changing skills that employers seek.

The 828D has a conversational feature that teaches students what is happening behind the machines when they push a button. Conversational computer numerical control machines have come about as a result of a shortage of workers qualified to write code.

Baker serves on the SkillsUSA board of directors, and the forward-thinking instructor was recently highlighted in Technical Education Post, a journal for technical, technology and STEM education.

At Francis Tuttle, Dean stresses three things with his students:

  • Safety – the most important lesson he teaches.
  • Being mindful of others and their surroundings.
  • Problem-solving.

Dean said he borrowed his philosophy of teaching from Albert Einstein, who said, “Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.”

Related content: Tech Ed Magazine

 

Oklahoma CareerTech: Developing a World-Class Workforce

Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education System is focused on developing a world-class workforce. This comprehensive system delivers educational experiences through 394 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 Skills Centers sites and 32 adult basic education providers and to more than 6,900 businesses.

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CareerTech Champions

Steven Rogers – DECA, High Plains Technology Center

Technology center instructor literally grew up in the CareerTech family.

THEN: As a small child, Steven Rogers says, he ran the hallways of High Plains Technology Center while his dad taught in a classroom there. Having grown up on that campus, it wasn’t much of a stretch for him to take classes there as soon as he was old StevenRogersenough.

Steven chose marketing and management classes at High Plains Tech and joined DECA, the CareerTech student organization for marketing students.

He said his two years in DECA taught him:

  • Public speaking, through competitions and events.
  • The importance of good customer service.
  • How to be more self-confident, something his marketing instructor emphasized.
  • Business management skills.

After graduation, Steven used those management skills to open three businesses in five years.

I think students coming out of CareerTech have a better understanding of the mechanics of a business,” he said.

NOW: Steven needed to make a career change for personal reasons and decided to join the High Plains family once again, this time as an instructor. He was denied that opportunity three times, but he did not give up. With his fourth application, Steven was hired.

“I have a passion for teaching, and I love the CareerTech family as my own,” he said.

Steven is now the industrial coordinator at High Plains Tech. Also a fireman and EMT, Steven teaches fire, industrial and wind rescue classes.

“CareerTech helps students develop strong work ethics.”  Steven Rogers

 

CareerTech Champions

Hunter Poston – Meridian Technology Center and Central Technology Center

Paramedic chose CareerTech and higher ed in crafting his career plan.

THEN: A Perkins Tryon High School student whose CareerTech experiences began in HunterPostonhigh school and continued after college.

Hunter Poston started down his health care career path by enrolling in Meridian Technology Center’s pre-nursing program. He loved it enough to enroll in Northern Oklahoma College’s health services technology program after high school. Hunter left NOC with an Associate of Applied Science degree and a passion for emergency medicine.

He returned to Meridian Tech to get his EMT certification, then continued his CareerTech education at Central Technology Center’s paramedic program. At Central Tech, Hunter was active in HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education. His public health team took first place at HOSA’s international competition in 2019.

He said CareerTech taught him how to

  • Be a more confident public speaker.
  • Remain calm in chaotic situations.
  • Think critically.

“Speaking in front of a small audience is required of me on almost every emergency call I run,” he said. “I may have to speak with family and friends of my patient or give instruction to other health care providers.”

NOW: Hunter is a paramedic at LifeNet EMS. He has earned numerous professional certifications, including Emergency Medical Technician and National Registry Paramedic.

OK CareerTech and PK-12 Education

In 2019, more than 120,000 Oklahoma students in grades 6 through 12 were enrolled in an Oklahoma CareerTech program. These students explore and experience potential careers in hands-on learning environments in 394 PK-12 school districts across Oklahoma.

Oklahoma CareerTech Develops World-Class Workforce

Thelogo Oklahoma Career and Technology Education System focuses every day on developing a world-class workforce.

“Oklahoma CareerTech partners with business and educational institutions to enhance career awareness, increase educational attainment and meet the needs of our state,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education state director. “CareerTech is an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy.”

The Oklahoma CareerTech System is celebrating CareerTech Education Month in February. Gov. Kevin Stitt recently issued a proclamation declaring this month as Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month in Oklahoma.

Stitt has called Oklahoma CareerTech “a system that has been nimble and robust in helping us train the workforce.”

The CareerTech System delivers educational experiences through a network of 394 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 skills center sites in correctional facilities and 32 adult basic education providers. In fiscal year 2019, CareerTech’s enrollments totaled more than 550,000, and CareerTech System graduates added more than $3.5 billion to Oklahoma’s economy.

The 29 technology center districts have 58 campuses that offer career training to high school and adult students, along with training and assistance for Oklahoma’s businesses and industries.

High school students can attend the technology centers in their districts for free, learning skills that will help them land good jobs after school and also position them to continue their education after graduation. Certifications earned through CareerTech courses give students entrance into higher-paying careers, which can also help them pursue higher education without incurring excessive debt.

Adult students at technology centers can learn new skills and earn certificates and credentials to get jobs, change careers or advance in their current careers. In FY18, CareerTech students earned 19,566 industry-endorsed certificates, showing that they have the skills Oklahoma’s industries need.

In Oklahoma’s comprehensive school districts, 35 percent of sixth through 12th grade students — and almost half of ninth through 12th grade students — enrolled in CareerTech courses: agricultural education; business and information technology education; family and consumer sciences education; health careers education; marketing education; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and trade and industrial education.

More than 82,000 students also learned leadership skills as members of co-curricular CareerTech student organizations: FFA; Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America; SkillsUSA; Technology Student Association; Business Professionals of America; HOSA; and DECA.

In addition, 3,356 CareerTech students in comprehensive schools and technology centers were honored for their work be achieving membership in the National Technical Honor Society.

In 2019, CareerTech also expanded OK Career Guide, its statewide career development education system, to include Galaxy, which introduces career awareness to pre-K through fifth grade students.

Oklahoma CareerTech helps provide qualified employees for the state’s businesses and industries by preparing state residents for successful careers, but it also provides direct services business and industry.

CareerTech’s Business and Industry Services Division helped more than 8,000 companies increase their profitability in FY19 with increased sales, higher productivity, reduced costs and expanded operations and helped companies move to and start in Oklahoma and provided training for 2,527 new jobs. Also, the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network helped state companies secure more than $550 million in contracts.

CareerTech also has a presence in state correctional facilities through a partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Instructors in the Skills Centers School System teach inmates and juvenile offenders work and life skills that help keep them in the workforce and out of the corrections system after their release. In FY19, more than 2,000 people were enrolled in skills centers, and positive placement — employment, continuing education or military — was 89.21 percent.

The CareerTech System also helps those who dropped out of high school earn diplomas and gain skills to enter the workforce through the dropout recovery program. In FY19, 367 people earned a high school diploma through the program.

ODCTE also oversees Oklahoma’s adult basic education program, which includes 32 providers offering high school equivalency programs and tests along with English literacy and civics courses at 111 sites. In FY19, 12,647 students enrolled in CareerTech’s adult basic education programs.

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 58 campuses, 394 comprehensive school districts, 16 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.

EOC Tech Engine Build Team Members Place First in National Competition

 

EOCtech

EOC Tech’s engine build team placed first in the National Performing Racing Industry competition.

The automotive engine build team members in Jim LaFevers’ automotive program at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center gained national attention when they placed first in the National Performing Racing Industry competition Dec. 14-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Team members Trace Davidson, Collin Dobson, Brenton Price, Braden Springer and Tyler Wilson averaged the weekend with a 16:43 time, finishing the competition with a time of 16:11.  This marks the third year that EOC Tech students have left Indianapolis with the national title.

“Our first run was a 16:08 clean build, second run was a 17:54, third run was a 16:11,” LaFevers said. “Nobody else ran in the 17 minutes; they were 18 or higher.”

The persistent hard work and early morning practices gave students the confidence and skills to perform well at the national level.

“Students came to the shop every morning at 7:30 a.m. for the two weeks before the competition to practice and just really give it their all,” LaFevers said.

Although the team is back home in Oklahoma, members continue to work hard toward their goals, paving the way to their future careers. The team collectively earned $150,000 in scholarship funds, and each member received $30,000. With the money set aside toward their education, students are able to continue their training, if they choose to.

“I graduated from the Automotive program at EOC Tech last year, and I will start my training at the Universal Technical Institute in North Carolina in January,” team captain Collin Dobson said.

The $30,000 scholarship fund covers the cost and allows Dobson to study at UTI and focus on his future after he is finished with school.

“I want to eventually be a part of a NASCAR team pit crew after I finish school,” Dobson said.

The engine build team allowed students the opportunity to work as a team, perform under pressure and learn the importance of a hard work ethic, but students credit their success, love of their field and excitement for their future careers to Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center.

“Everything I know about the automotive field, I’ve learned here at EOC Tech,” Dobson said. “I’ve been able to be involved in SkillsUSA and UTI’s Top Tech Challenge in addition to the engine build team, and I have a full ride. I feel prepared for my future thanks to Mr. LaFevers and all the other staff members.”

The younger members of the team, like Trace Davidson and Tyler Wilson who will be returning to EOC Tech next year, look forward to being on campus and continuing their training.

“I like how the training in the program is hands-on and I get to go out in the shop. I’m not just sitting in a classroom,” Wilson said. “The teachers are professional and friendly.”

LaFevers said he is proud of this year’s team and their dedication to their trade.

“This Team and the automotive program in general set the students up for success,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group.”

CareerTech Champions

Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.

Tanner Thomas – Meridian Technology Center and TSA

TannerThomas

Tanner Thomas

Engineering student gets a head start on his college plans.

THEN: Engineering has been his passion since he joined the Technology Student Association as a sixth grader. By eighth grade, Tanner Thomas was already an officer, and he served at the state level for four years, including state president during his junior year at Stillwater High School.

When Tanner enrolled in Meridian Technology Center’s pre-engineering program, he combined his love of engineering with his love of chemistry and physics. But when he learned he would have to give up music to make it all fit, he signed up for online classes so he could continue to play saxophone in his high school band. Tanner received first chair honors in soprano, alto and baritone saxophone in the All-State band in his sophomore and junior years.

Through TSA’s many leadership activities, Tanner learned

  • How to work well with others.
  • Presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Valuable study skills.

Tanner said he used his presentation and public speaking skills to compete in essay and speech competitions. Last year, his essay for Oklahoma Electric Cooperative’s Youth Tour contest earned him a trip to Washington D.C. He also applied those skills to political campaigns for school clubs and organizations such as TSA.

“Learning to clearly and effectively communicate my ideas helped me not only as a state officer,” he said, “but also in school projects and life situations such as interviews, meetings and speeches.”

NOW: He is currently a National Merit Scholarship finalist, and was honored with Distinction in Advanced Placement/Project Lead The Way. His dream is to attend Northwestern University next year, double-majoring in saxophone performance and engineering.

“If you want to be successful, you have to start now. Opportunities don’t present themselves; you have to look for them.” Tanner Thomas

 

CareerTech Champions

Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.

Mick and Nancy German and Family – FFA

Cushing family has quite a collection of FFA jackets.

GermanFamily

Mick and Nancy German with two of their daughters, Leslie and Taylor.

Mick German was a third generation dairyman, heavily involved in FFA in high school. In 1975, he served as president of his FFA chapter.

Mick’s wife, Nancy, said she had wanted to enroll in agriculture in high school, but her mother said no, ag was for boys. By the time Nancy was a senior, her mother had softened her stance and allowed Nancy to enroll in FFA as an elective.

Soon, Nancy was showing lambs. Her love of animals grew, and after high school she went to Oklahoma State University, double majoring in animal science and ag education, with a minor in horticulture. After college she received her veterinary technician license.

Later, Mick’s daughter Amy got her own blue jacket. She was involved in FFA in high school, showing sheep and doing public speaking. (Amy’s daughter Destiny has also added an FFA blue jacket to her wardrobe and is showing goats.)

Mick and Nancy’s daughter Leslie joined FFA in eighth grade, competing at the state and national levels in several events. Like her father, she was president of her FFA chapter, serving in 2005-2006. FFA helped her get numerous college scholarships. She received a bachelor’s degree in animal science and ag communications and a master’s degree in ag education. She works for OSU Extension in Okmulgee County as an ag educator.

Nancy said their youngest daughter, Taylor, had no choice but to tag along with her sister, and by the eighth grade she too became involved FFA, raising cattle and chickens. Leadership was in her blood, and she was elected president of her FFA chapter in 2011. Taylor competed at state and national contests like her sister and received a full-ride scholarship to East Central University. She earned a degree in family and consumer sciences.

“Needless to say, FFA played a huge role in our kids’ lives,” Nancy said. She said FFA

  • Taught her children the value of hard work and responsibility.
  • Gave them valuable experience in public speaking and interpersonal communication.
  • Helped them finance their college educations.

“We bleed a little blue each day,” Nancy German

GermanGrandchildren

Mick and Nancy German’s grandchildren

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