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Gail Sperry

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Gail Sperry, adult education instructor at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, recently received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Sperry was one of 17 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 29th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 6.

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

Sperry has worked in literacy and the adult education program for more than 22 years after retiring from teaching in public schools, said Mary Jordan, NEO Journey 2 Success coordinator, who nominated her for the award.

Sperry works hard to help students find resources they need, often staying late to do so, Jordan said. She is willing to do whatever is needed to help them, and students call her when they need something, even long after they have left the program, Jordan said.

“Gail does not look at being a GED instructor as just a job, but a chance to help people,” Jordan said. “She can see the potential in the student, and she is determined to help them get where they need to be for a better life and career.”

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 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’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 For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Last Modified on Oct 20, 2023
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