Winter 2021 Pinnacle Awards
Innovations Award winners were Krissy Miller, trade and industrial education program specialist; pictured at left with State Director Marcie Mack, left; Margi Cooper, ctYou.org digital delivery coordinator; and Tracy Boyington, Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement instructional development specialist. Miller consistently drives innovation in her division as well as throughout the CareerTech System.
She earned Google certification to help provide a platform where trade and industrial education programs throughout Oklahoma could share and collaborate on resources and sought strengths training so she could help fill voids in other divisions. She has also served as a mentor for new employees in the T&I division and throughout the agency. She constantly searches for ways to better herself and improve inside and outside the CareerTech System.
Cooper has streamlined technical processes for accreditation, creating a discussion database that significantly improved on-site productivity. Accreditation teams finisher earlier, and strength and opportunity for improvement statements have greater validity. Many longtime examiners have commented on how well the database works. This employee appears to be on call 24 hours a day during accreditation visits. She is a vital piece in making sure the accreditation process is efficient.
Boyington participates in every accreditation visit to make sure staff and examiners can navigate ctYOU and the discussion database successfully. She trains accreditation staff and examiners and can answer all questions about ctYOU during the visits. She also helped redesign the accreditation training series for technology centers so that it can be completed in ctYOU. She is committed to continuous improvement and to teamwork. She wants everyone she works with to be successful. She shows a commitment to excellence and makes data-driven decisions.
Above and Beyond
Above and Beyond Award recipients were Craig Maile, Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement manager, pictured at left with State Director Marcie Mack, and Tami Redus, STEM program specialist and state Technology Student Association adviser. Maile's work to produce feedback reports in a timely fashion has taken months off the accreditation cycle. He takes hundreds of examiner statements and turns them into reports in only a few weeks after the visits -- reducing the previously months-long turnaround time.
Without being asked, he also developed a guide for technology centers writing their applications. He is dedicated to serving our customers and is committed to excellence.
Redus changed two student organization events from something students and advisers have to attend to something they want to attend. First, she developed a day of leadership activities for Technology Student Association chapter officers and held the one-day conference in four different regions of the state every Wednesday in September. She also moved the TSA Fall Leadership Conference from a hotel to Oklahoma State University and worked with OSU to offer hands-on activities and a panel of professionals discussing their educational experiences that led to STEM employment. The conference went from a sedentary, schoollike event to a fun experience on a college campus.
Leadership in Achieving Excellence Award recipients were Brandy Burns, CareerTech Skills Centers instructor, pictured at left with State Director Marcie Mack, right, and Clark Long, agricultural education southeast district program specialist.
When another staff member retired, Burns took on additional duties without hesitation to keep Skills Centers student records accessible to instructors.
She shadowed the retiring staff member and then assumed the role of student records administrator. She uses the skills she has sharpened during her years with the Skills Centers School System to ensure that all staff members can access the information they need to provide support for students and the staff members who help students transition into the community.
Long took on additional responsibilities when he accepted the challenge to help high school agricultural education programs add meat processing workforce education. When the initial funds were used and more teachers were still interested, he helped them find grants for equipment and curriculum. He also helped deliver equipment to teachers. His leadership led to 11 active training programs in high schools and four more that are planned.
Excellence in Customer Service recipients were Nacoe Thomas, STEM program specialist, left; Sandy Patocka, health careers education program specialist, center; and Andrea Bradley, Education Partnerships and Customized Services senior secretary. With them is State Director Marcie Mack.
Thomas revamped the New Teacher Academy to include videos, activities and training materials that help new teachers understand what CareerTech is and how it helps Oklahoma’s economy grow. She spent hours researching and finding videos and activities that align with the New Teacher Academy units and with what teachers need to start the year successfully. She used recommendations of past participants to reorganize the training, which teachers have said was one of the most valuable training sessions they have attended.
Patocka has been with ODCTE only a short time, but she volunteered to work with a tech center instructor who had courses across two divisional areas. Since it was her area of expertise, she called and visited the campus multiple times to help the instructor with curriculum planning and instructional design. Her willingness to take on additional assignments to meet customer needs demonstrates the CareerTech mission of helping all Oklahomans succeed.
Bradley provides outstanding support to both the Education Partnerships and Customized Services and the Workforce and Economic Development divisions. She has seamlessly transitions and maintained high-quality work to support customers and stakeholders while the divisions underwent changes in structure. She has been recognized for processing a large number of travel claims with minimal errors, and her attention to detail ensures exceptional professional development and technical assistance. She takes on new tasks without hesitation. Most recently, she has been instrumental in supporting new activities for the CareerTech Foundation, including the Hall of Fame banquet and the Otha Grimes Scholarship process.
The STEM team provided high-quality educational experiences to STEM students and teachers by hosting the first Technology Student Association LEAD conferences in different regions of the state on four Wednesdays in September. More than 360 TSA chapter officers and advisers were trained to lead TSA chapters. Students learned about parliamentary procedures, programs of work, team-building, community service, officer responsibilities and more. Pictured are, from left, Nacoe Thomas, State Director Marcie Mack, Angela Teeman and Kristye O'Mealey. Not pictured is Tami Redus.
The Federal Programs team works together to provide excellence customer service to stakeholders by using each of their individual strengths. One writes and edits; two work well with technology and planning; one is exceptional with data; and one is great at customer service and training. Together, they help customers understand the accountabilities of a complex federal program. When Perkins V was developed, Perkins recipients needed additional guidance, and this team met the challenge. They use data in a variety of ways to meet federal compliance while also providing technical assistance and meeting professional needs. Pictured are, from left, Steve Robison, Debbie Hamble, Stephanie Hodges, Jill Reavis, Jordan Duck and State Director Marcie Mack.
The United Way committee worked together to provide a fun experience for CareerTech employees while also raising more than $22,000 for the United Way of Payne County. Team members planned the usual kick-off event, silent auction, live auction and chili and dessert cook-off and added other fun fundraisers, including a Hawaiian shirt coloring contest, bake sales, Halloween costume and office decorating contests, a traveling tiki mask and a spelling bee. They set a goal of $20,000, and agency employees surpassed it by more than $2,000. Pictured are, from left, State Director Marcie Mack, Russell Ray, Kylie Moulton, Connie Romans, Blane Singletary, Connie Lewis, Melissa Sturgeon, Melanie Goodner, Karen Hart, Gunner Fullbright and Laura Wilson. Not pictured are Kyla Trammell, Andrea Hancock, Margi Cooper and Marissa Villones.