Dr. Phil Berkenbile
Phil Berkenbile was born in Torrance, Calif., and adopted by Melvin and Lucille Berkenbile. He grew up on a farm in Dover. He was active in Student Council, basketball and baseball teams, agricultural education and FFA at Dover High School. He received his State FFA Degree in 1968 and the American FFA Degree in 1971. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.
He became the agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Morrison Public Schools in 1972. For 16 years, he built a local, state and nationally recognized FFA chapter and Young Farmer program. It was a national gold emblem chapter and Building Our American Communities and national safety award winner and developed three state FFA officers and many competitive event winners and degree recipients.
In 1988, he became a program specialist at Oklahoma CareerTech in Stillwater. He completed a master’s degree at OSU and earned career and technology administrator, superintendent and principal certificates. As northwest and northeast district program specialist and assistant state supervisor, he helped update curriculum and deliver professional development. In June 1995, he became superintendent at Morrison. He completed his doctorate and in October 1999, became associate state director of educational services at CareerTech. He was named chief of staff in April 2003 and interim director in May 2003. In January 2004, he became the agency’s sixth state director, a position he held until retiring in February 2013.
His honors include the Francis Tuttle Leadership Award, National and State FFA VIP awards, National Technical Honor Society membership, Oklahoma Youth Expo Honoree, OSU Graduate of Distinction in Agricultural Education, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, Leadership Oklahoma Class 14 graduate, American Farmers and Ranchers Lifetime Achievement Award, National FCCLA Honorary Life Award, BPA Lifetime Achievement Award, DECA Lifetime Achievement Award and Outstanding Graduate of Dover High School.
He served as president of the National State CareerTech Directors Association; chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership and the High Schools That Work board; and on the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the American Farmers and Ranchers Policy Board and the SREB board. He is chairman of the Oklahoma Education Technology Trust and president of the Morrison Board of Education and serves on the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation boards and the Morrison Community Development Association.
He spends time with his wife, Linnie; his children, Jennifer and Bob; and son-in-law Erich; and his grandchildren.
Berkenbile was inducted into the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2015.