Interim State Director of CareerTech
State Board of Career and Technology Education
Meet the Board
Members of the Oklahoma Career and Technology Education State Board of Education are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
The nine-member board is led by the state superintendent of public instruction, who serves as the chairperson. Two members of the State Board of Education* are appointed to the board along with a representative of each congressional district and one member at large.
Dr. Lee Denney, interim state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, 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. During her last two years in office, she served as speaker pro tempore.
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, who was born and raised in Cushing, earned both a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma State University. She practiced in a mixed animal practice for 35 years, mainly working on companion animals.
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.
She 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.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chairperson of the Board
Oliver Hodge Bldg, Room 121
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599
Ofc: (405) 521-3301 / Fax: (405) 521-6205
On January 12, 2015, Joy Hofmeister of Tulsa was sworn in as Oklahoma’s 14th State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In her first year and a half in office, Hofmeister has championed a host of education reforms, including a repeal of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, arguing against its “one-size-fits-all” approach to public education.
Those efforts were successful in December 2015, when Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), returning much of the authority for developing education policy to states and local districts. In February 2016, Hofmeister was one of four, and the only state education chief, invited to testify on ESSA before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, advocating for strengthened state accountability for student academic performance without excessive and unnecessary federal overreach. In addition, she is a stalwart advocate for increased teacher pay and increased time for teaching and learning for Oklahoma schoolchildren. In her first month in office, she proposed the #OKHigh5 plan to increase teacher compensation to the regional average and days of instruction to the national average.
In her two legislative sessions as state superintendent, Hofmeister has led a number of successful efforts to improve public education in Oklahoma despite steep revenue failures. In spring 2016, she piloted a plan to provide the ACT for every high school junior in Oklahoma at no cost to students or districts. She was a chief architect of House Bill 3218, now law, which mandated significant strengthening to the A-F school accountability system, repealed the seven End of Instruction (EOI) tests and replaced them with a new plan to ensure high-value assessment tools, less time testing, more time for rich instruction, personalized learning and multiple pathways to college and career readiness.
Hofmeister's strategic plan and state goals center on lowering remediation, raising graduation rates and lifting educational achievement for all students – from those with unique learning struggles to those in need of greater challenge – with a keen eye on closing opportunity and equity gaps individually.
Days after taking office in 2015, she moved to strengthen the standards-making process for mathematics and English language arts, insisting on greater transparency and wider collaboration with stakeholders. The new rigorous, inclusive and Oklahoma-centered academic standards were adopted in March and will be implemented and assessed in the 2016-2017 school year.
In addition, under Hofmeister’s leadership, new laws have been enacted that strengthen the Reading Sufficiency Act, improve student safety, reduce bureaucratic red tape and combat the teacher shortage.
Hofmeister is a former public school teacher and small business owner. As an appointee of Gov. Mary Fallin, she served on the Oklahoma State Board of Education from January 2012 through April 2013. In the private sector, Hofmeister spent 15 years as a business owner of Kumon Math & Reading Centers, which utilize parent partnerships to ensure high academic achievement for children. At Kumon, she personally worked with more than 4,000 students to improve their educational outcomes.
Hofmeister serves on dozens of commissions and state boards, chairs the State Board of Education and State Board of Career and Technology Education, is a regent for the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) and serves the Board of Equalization, Commission of the Land Office, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, and Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness/Smart Start Oklahoma, among others.
The mother of four graduates of Oklahoma’s public school system, Hofmeister maintains a residence in Tulsa with her husband of 31 years, the Honorable Gerald L. Hofmeister.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Brian is a product of Tulsa Public Schools. He received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Oklahoma.
Currently, he helps manage the fastest growing account in North America for BP Lubricants, where he has worked since 2000. Devoted to his work, Brian has fervently traveled The United States for a vast majority of his career, landing business in multiple regions.
In May 2019 Brian was one of five people appointed by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to the State Board of Education. He was also appointed to the Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Board.
Brian spearheads local High School outreach where he has assisted in starting their after-school meal program and hosts their annual All Sports Banquet. In addition, he created a free next steps night, providing awareness for career planning as well as higher education, open to any student in the area.
He devotes his time and resources to the community, by generating new opportunities to students who have been in the criminal justice system, homeless, addicted to drugs, abused, or need someone to assist them getting back on the right track.
Brian and his wife, Toni, reside in Oklahoma City; have four children and two grandchildren.
Estela Hernandez has been in the construction and real estate business for 15 years as a small business owner and licensed realtor with Keller Williams. Hernandez is also known for her role in Oklahoma politics, serving as vice president of engagement for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and vice chairwoman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. In March 2019, she was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.
Janet Smith is manager of economic development for Public Service Company of Oklahoma. She has more than 20 years of experience in economic development. She has been active in many boards and organizations, including the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, the Governor's Economic Development Marketing Team, the Oklahoma Economic Development Council, Oklahoma Southeast, Workforce Tulsa and the Utility Economic Development Association. She is also an active supporter of United Way.
A native of Arkansas, she graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism. She began her economic development career at the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission before joining the AEP-PSO system. Smith is a certified professional community economic developer and a graduate of the Economic Development Institute and the Community Development Institute. She frequently speaks at economic development and leadership forums. She lives in Tulsa.
District Number: 2
Term expires: 4/1/23
Pete Dillingham is an owner, manager and Chairman of the Board of No Man’s Land Foods, LLC and NML Holdings LLC (“No Man’s Land”). No Man’s Land currently employees 200 associates, operates three manufacturing facilities in Oklahoma and is the fastest growing beef jerky company in the country. Mr. Dillingham has served the company since 2015 in many of the functions typically performed by chief executive and chief financial officers.
Mr. Dillingham is also President of A & P Holdings, LLC. He is the former Vice President of Business Development and Sales Operations for Advance-Pierre Holdings and served in that role from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Dillingham also served as Chief Operating Officer of Advance Food Company from 2000 to 2010. He also served as Chief Executive Officer for Suits Rig Corporation from 1987 to 2000.
Mr. Dillingham currently serves on the board of governors for St. Marys Regional Medical Center in Enid, the Enid Higher Education Council and is Trustee of The Dillingham Foundation. Mr. Dillingham served from 2014 to 2017 as a member of the Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees as a Director for AdvancePierre Foods (NYSE:APHF). He has also served on the board of directors of the Denny Price Family YMCA (9 years), the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation (6 years), Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma (1 year), Leadership Oklahoma (4 years), REVx Technologies (6 years) and Integris Bass Hospital (5 years).
Mr. Dillingham graduated in 1987 from Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. He and his wife Annie live in Enid, OK and have three adult daughters.
Michael Brown is the president/owner of Chardon Builders of Lawton, a company specializing in design/build and construction management. He has an extensive background in business as owner/partner in many business endeavors.
Brown graduated from Oklahoma State University. He served two terms on the Lawton City Council, representing Ward 2, and two years as Lawton’s mayor pro tempore. He is involved in several professional and civic organizations, including Leadership Lawton/Fort Sill, Leadership Oklahoma and Lawton Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Brown also served on the Cameron University Foundation Board of Governors and the Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors.
Randy Gilbert graduated Tecumseh High School and earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University in 1983 and taught vocational agriculture at Lawton High School from 1983 to 1988. Since 1988, Gilbert has also been the operations manager and vice president of Gilbert & Sons Trucking Co. in Tecumseh. He is a member of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Tecumseh Growth and Development Authority and the Pottawatomie County Safety Center Trust and a lifetime member of the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Gilbert is also a licensed Oklahoma insurance agent and used motor vehicle salesman.
Gilbert is also a member of the Sirloin Club of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Limousin Breeders Association and the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.
Eddie Hilliary, Jr. is the managing partner of Hilliary Communications, the trade name for five regulated telephone companies (ILEC) in Oklahoma and Texas, covering 3,000 square miles, and three competitive broadband companies (CLEC) in Oklahoma and Texas, with operations in 22 counties. He is a graduate of Cameron University and is very active in community and national boards and activities.
Eddie is a member of the Elgin Library Board of Directors, and serves on the Armed Services YMCA in Lawton, which provides outreach, support, and social opportunities to military families in southwestern Oklahoma.
He is also involved in organizations like the Elgin Tip-in, Quarterback Clubs, and Elgin Schools Education Foundation.