ODCTE employees earn Pinnacle Awards
Oklahoma CareerTech honored several employees with Pinnacle Awards during its summer 2020 all-staff meeting.
Leadership in Achieving Excellence - Gina Hubbard
This employee’s unwavering dedication to OEIP led her to organize her team of regional coordinators to host it online after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of in-person training. As she does with everything, she worked alongside her employees and provided the direction she needed to plan the event. She inspires her team to be better at their jobs and supports them in the most uncertain of times.
Leadership in Achieving Excellence - Melissa Sturgeon
This employee provided true leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. She developed policies and procedures for telework and FAQs for employees and spent countless hours helping employees with technology and other needs. She has provided exceptional leadership to the human resource team, including hosting the fun HR days.
Excellence in Customer Service - Sandra McKnight
During COVID-19 school closures, this employee worked diligently to provide clear, consistent and accurate information to financial aid officers concerning all aspects of student financial aid. She spent hours researching federal guidance, hosted numerous online meetings and made certain the answers she gave could withstand intense scrutiny. Her efforts helped hundreds, if not thousands, of students in Oklahoma be able to complete their CareerTech educational programs.
Excellence in Customer Service - Jerry Greenwood
This employee finds ways to go above and beyond for customers and co-workers. He doesn’t just deliver print jobs; he makes sure customers are happy before he leaves. He always arrives with a smile on his face and a happy greeting, and if the customer changes the delivery location after he’s arrived, he never complains about loading up the printing and delivering it to a new location. He goes out of his way to assure that customers are happy.
Excellence in Customer Service - Karen Talbott
This employee has consistently provided high level customer service in every role she has held at ODCTE. No matter the situation, she will bring the focus back to customers and students. She visits all of her schools at least once a year and includes sites that are not members of a tech center district. Her varied experience in the CareerTech System and her positive attitude and attention to detail has made her invaluable as a team member, field liaison and instructional leader adviser.
Above and Beyond - Kent Roof
This employee began his Skills Centers career as a vocational instructor for youthful offenders. He was soon promoted to a leadership role, where he has served for many years. He supervises the largest geographical area and the largest number of staff members. He oversees traditional Skills Centers programs and Dropout Recovery and has taken on onboarding and training new staff members and opening new sites in western Oklahoma. He steps up without complaint and is also the first to volunteer to help, showing up with his tools whenever something needs to be built.
Above and Beyond - Sharon Baker
This employee created a 60-page Special Populations Resource Guide that provides definitions, explanations, best practices and resource links. She expanded an existing guide she had created to include information for K-12 teachers and anyone who may be in contact with special populations students. She was ahead of legislation in listing and defining groups that now fall under special populations in nine categories and has made the guide relevant for all educators, not just CTE instructors. She spent many hours on the guide, researching legislation and working closely with Creative Services to make sure it is complete and up-to-date.
Innovation Award - Nathan Brubaker
This employee built curriculum and lessons for teachers using the Kuder Galaxy program. With the implementation of ICAP for grades six through 12, he built multiple lessons for using OK Career Guide to meet those requirements. He initiated the curriculum work to encourage more Oklahoma schools to use Galaxy and OK Career Guide. His ready-to-go lesson plans became more valuable when schools closed for COVID-19. His lessons were further recognized when Kuder asked to post them on its national website for educators across the country.
Team Award - Gary Flynn, Georganne Mackey, Brandy Burns, Christi Williams, Tiffany McCollum, Denice Thomas, Christi Pugh, Aubrey Metcalf, Paul Mode, Joshua Steele, Joey Nutley, Buffy Guthrie
This team has used the COVID-19 teleworking period to ensure that the Skills Centers operate better than ever. They launched a new initiative, “Focus on the Graduate,” and have collaborated to develop new processes that will better serve graduates; reduce barriers to reintegration; and improve communication, teamwork and probability of graduate success. Their work with distance technology will usher in new methods of collaboration that will save ODCTE time and money.
Team Award - Brian Bates, Brian Preston, Richard Curtis, Robin Herrod, Kris Watkins
When telework was implemented, this team continued to work in the ODCTE building to clean and sanitize it both inside and out. The team overhauled the central building first floor restrooms, updating the lighting, hardware and air vents and regrouting both restrooms. They also updated restrooms in the Perky Building by the kitchenette with new lighting and painted and power washed outside areas of the main building. Team members worked together to get the projects done and continued to go in daily to prepare the buildings for staff members to return.
Team Award - Tami Redus, Darren Gibson, Debbie Bennett, Denise Morris, Paxton Cavin, Trevor Lucas
These employees worked together to share ideas and support each other during the pandemic. They were forced to change plans weekly, daily and sometimes hourly to provide the best solutions for students and instructors. They shifted CTSO conferences online and are still working hard to continue training, elections and national events, all while supporting each other.
Team Award - Rob McClendon, Blane Singletary, Margi Cooper
To enhance CareerTech’s ability to inform Oklahomans, this team launched a new communications vehicle in October 2019. Team members work together to record and make available online a podcast focusing on CareerTech services that affect the Oklahoma workforce and economy. The podcasts support CareerTech’s mission of helping Oklahomans succeed in education, the workforce and life and also help inform Oklahomans about the value of the CareerTech System.