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Carolyn Cotton

Carolyn (Hobbs) Cotton graduated as class salutatorian from Anadarko High School in 1970. Her first introduction to CTE was through the Anadarko vocational home economics programs in which she was an active member and officer in the local FHA organization in grades nine through 12. This involvement resulted in her decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree in vocational home economics from Oklahoma State University. At OSU, she was active in the President’s Leadership Council, Home Economics Clubs and Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

December 1973 was a busy month, as she completed student teaching, graduated from OSU, was hired as the spring semester vocational home economics teacher at Bristow High School and married her college sweetheart, Steve Cotton.

Cotton taught 31 years at Bristow High School from January 1974 to June 2004. While teaching full time, she advised an active and award winning FHA/FCCLA chapter, completed both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in education and earned numerous professional awards. Her awards included National AHEA New Achiever Award, Oklahoma Vocational Association Teacher of the Year, Governor of Oklahoma State of Excellence Award, 1989 National AVA Teacher of the Year, OSU Distinguished Human Sciences Alumni Award, OkACTE FACS Division Educator of the Year, ACTE FACS Division Roll of Honor Inductee and both state and national FCCLA Honorary Member awards. She was also one of 30 teachers in the United States selected to appear on the Disney Channel’s “Salute to the American Teacher” awards show.

She served as president of both the Oklahoma Association Vocational Home Economics Teachers and the National Association Vocational Home Economics Teachers. She also served on numerous state and national committees and was a member of 2001-02 Leadership CareerTech.

Cotton is often remembered as one of the first in Oklahoma and the nation to integrate computers into the FACS classroom. This led to her being pursued as a speaker and workshop presenter, not only in Oklahoma but across the country. Her passion and expertise in the use of computers and technology integration into the classroom carried over into her years (July 2004 to July 2015) as a program specialist in the Family and Consumer Sciences Division at the Oklahoma State Department of CareerTech. She developed and oversaw the state’s learning management system for the FACS Division/teachers and provided leadership and training to other CTE divisions.

Cotton has modeled the traits of an effective CTE teacher-leader throughout her career. After retiring after 42 years as a CTE educator, she remains active in professional organizations, her church, DAR and GWRRA and enjoys traveling with her husband, Steve, often on their Gold Wing motorcycle.

Carolyn Cotton was inducted into the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2022.

Last Modified on Jan 24, 2024
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