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Summer 2021 Pinnacle Awards

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


Innovation Pinnacle Award recipients were Angela Teeman, STEM program specialist, center, and Margi Cooper, digital delivery coordinator, right. With them is State Director Marcie Mack.

Margi Cooper spent countless hours creating a new place for internal content previously housed on the agency website. The project has made it easier for employees to find information and will save money by reducing the cost of the new agency website since it will hold less content than in the past. This employee also created and implement training for CareerTech Hub users who have editing rights and provides technical assistance to co-workers involved in the project. Microsoft contractors expressed interest in the innovative use of the format and have implemented some of the features she requested.

Angela Teeman has increased STEM programs in her region by more than 14% since August 2019, adding multiple programs in Broken Arrow, McAlester and Poteau. She finds innovative ways to work with schools to find pathways from middle school to 13th and 14th years involving all divisions of CareerTech. CareerTech’s educational attainment goals include increasing system enrollment and CTSO participation by 10% each. This employee’s work helps achieve both goals by adding programs and teachers and students who will participate in the Technology Student Association.

Above and Beyond

Recipients of the Above and Beyond Pinnacle Award were Tracy Boyington, instructional development specialist in the Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement, center, and Rhonda Foote, health careers education administrative assistant, right. With them is State Director Marcie Mack.

Rhonda Foote has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for CareerTech System support staff professionals, including taking steps to have support staff recognized as its own division of Oklahoma ACTE. Her guidance has given support staff members the chance to be part of the Support Staff Leadership Academy and to participate in specialized professional development meetings and conferences. They are better able to see how their work ties into the agency and how CareerTech is connected to Oklahoma’s workforce, and many have moved up into positions of authority at the technology centers where they work.

Tracy Boyington helped develop, deliver and receive surveys from four focus groups -- students, faculty/staff, parents and parents of students with disabilities -- to help agency employees conducting civil rights reviews limit their time on campuses during the pandemic. The surveys helped reviewers gather information from more people than in previous years and identify areas of concern to focus on when they visited sites. This employee helped build the surveys and the process from the ground up, helping write the questions, sending them out and helping gather results. In addition, she helped with CT Hub and provided exceptional work on it.

Excellence in Customer Service

Recipients of the Excellence in Customer Service PInnacle Awards were Melissa Sturgeon, human resources manager, left, and Connie Lewis, communications and marketing administrative assistant, right. With them is State Director Marcie Mack.

Connie Lewis kept her division on track this year through three different supervisors while staff members worked a variety of in-person and teleworking schedules. She always knows what’s going on, where staff members are and where they are supposed to be. Staff members rely on her for her knowledge of what the agency has done before and what it is doing now. She has cleaned out old files and items left behind while keeping up with her day-to-day work. During the United Way campaign, she set up meetings; kept meeting records; helped set up, operate and take down silent and live auctions; helped get items for auctions; helped decorate the admin area; stepped up to help anyone who needed it; and kept the campaign going where it needed to go. The campaign would not have been successful without her efforts.

Melissa Sturgeon has created an exciting work environment for agency employees. She has created fun holidays that give employees a new reason to visit HR and help them have fun and get to know each other. She has also created the monthly News You Can Use HR newsletter, which gives useful, interesting and timely information, including the HR Challenge of the Month. Her efforts have helped create a welcoming culture where employees can have fun and share ideas.

Leadership in Achieving Excellence

Kerri Watkins, information management manager, right, received the Leadership in Achieving Excellence Pinnacle Award. With her is State Director Marcie Mack.

Kerri Watkins leads by example and motivates and inspires her team by striving for excellence, accepting challenges and making a commitment to create a climate for continuous improvement. She works to make sure customers -- both at ODCTE and in the field -- get the help they need and deserve. She is careful to follow ethical guidelines in making data-driven decisions and continues to create innovative ways to accomplish agency goals and provide excellent customer service.

Team Award

The accreditation team received the Team Award. Pictured are, from left, State Director Marcie Mack, Craig Maile, Nancy Rodriguez, Tracy Boyington, Margi Cooper, Jessica Ventris, Kim Downey, Sandra McKnight and Justin Lockwood. Not pictured is Alan Nahs.

The accreditation team exhibited innovation, flexibility and accountability while providing service to customers and stakeholders during the pandemic. Division team members responded quickly to changing conditions and developed ways to conduct mandatory evaluations of technology centers through technology.

They redesigned team collaborations, stakeholder interviews, financial aid interviews and even walk-around interviews to work in a virtual environment. They also modified on-site visits to ensure examiners could get a valid picture of what was happening on main campuses while also keeping technology center staff members and students and the examiners safe. They worked together to plan and support the hybrid visits and were open to suggestions for process improvements. Their work to complete the reviews and reports to the state board meant that the agency’s mission of preparing Oklahomans for success in the workplace, in education and in life can continue at the eight technology centers scheduled for accreditation visits in the past year.

Last Modified on Oct 20, 2023
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