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Pinnacle Awards Spring 2022

Friday, June 17, 2022


Two Oklahoma CareerTech employees received Innovation awards: Paxton Cavin and Jill Reavis.

Paxton Cavin implemented an innovative and robust five-step plan to enhance competitive event resources for Oklahoma DECA chapters and students. Chapters had access to Teach DECA, and students had access to free online practice exams. She planned a virtual practice competition with awards and recognition in the fall semester and hosted a free DECA Champ Camp at ODCTE after the DECA State Conference. Cavin remains steadfast in her dedication to enhancing the CTSO experience for all students and to pushing all students to maximize their potential.

Jill Reavis refined the process for sending Perkins allocation option notices with Adobe Sign, transitioning from a massive mail-out to PK-12 schools, technology centers and college partners to contacting the schools electronically. Notices go out to approximately 450 schools, who have to complete the forms, sign them and return them to the agency. Replacing the paper mail-out makes the process easier to manage and more timely and accurate for everyone. Reavis has greatly improved the process for interacting with the schools.

Above and Beyond

Four employees received Above and Beyond awards: Renae Burke, Steve Robison, Blane Singletary and James Gordon.

Renae Burke is always willing to help others by answering office phones during meetings, grabbing lunch or doing anything else that will help co-workers in the office or the field. Along with her daily workload, she puts time into working on a system to get earned certificates quickly to students who have graduated from skills centers across the state. She tackles change head-on and helps others understand changes by helping with spreadsheets and instructions.

Steve Robison serves as the point of contact for anything concerning data on the Perkins team. Each year, he compiles data for the Perkins Consolidated Annual Report. He collaborates with many internal and external teams, including IMD, finance and administration divisions and the Oklahoma State Department of education and the State Regents for Higher Education. He worked countless hours on the project, staying late and even coming in on his Fridays off to make sure ODCTE met the deadline.

Blane Singletary took on the task of filming the FCCLA State Convention skits. Before the shoot, he broke down the script to make sure he would get the best shots. For the shoot itself, he traveled to the location site in Guthrie and worked from 9 a.m. until past 5 p.m. to get the best angles and shots. He made special graphics and detailed sounds for the video to make sure it carried the retro video game theme. His outstanding videography and editing skills made the convention’s theme, Level Up, come to life. Many people said they were the best videos they had ever seen at a State Convention, and the videos encouraged younger members to run for district offices.

James Gordon regularly goes beyond his normal scope of work to help other divisions advance the mission of Oklahoma CareerTech. In the past six months, he has been an integral part of the CTSO conferences hosted by the BMITE and health divisions. He helped unload and load pallets, set up and tear down rooms, register attendees, run errands, integrate technology and more. He is always reliable, shows up with a positive attitude and takes initiative to do things before being asked. In addition, he often fills in at the switchboard, where he once again provides exceptional customer service.

Leadership in Achieving Excellence

Six employees received Leadership in Achieving Excellence awards: Debbie Hamble; Becki Foster, Cori Gray and Justin Lockwood; Trevor Lucas; and Karen Hart.

In the past few years, the entire Perkins team has turned over except for Debbie Hamble. She has shared her knowledge and coached new team members, modeling a collaborative approach with the team to explain not only how things are done but why they are done. She has been instrumental in getting the new Perkins team up to speed. Her skills are unique and complementary to other members of the team, resulting in efficient and high quality work.

Becki Foster, Cori Gray and Justin Lockwood have continually promoted an inclusive culture for all staff, along with personal and professional growth. They have provided opportunities for agency employees to serve on committees and listened to feedback and acted on suggestions made by the committees. They have also dedicated personal time to serve as mentors to further employee education and strengthen the probability of internal promotion. During the state director transition period, they have become voices for agency staff members and have implemented process improvements and have also included agency staff members in discussions on policy and building revisions. The growth opportunities they have offered staff members will create the next generation of leadership in the Oklahoma CareerTech System.

As the person responsible for planning the annual State FFA Convention, Trevor Lucas coordinated COVID adjustments to the 2021 convention in Oklahoma City and the relocation of the convention to Tulsa in 2022 after 41 years in Oklahoma City. He met with employees of BOK and Cox Business Center, city of Tulsa, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and Visit Tulsa many times to make the move. He also communicated with the FFA Foundation board of directors, ag ed division staff members, teachers and FFA sponsors and partners. He is also responsible for scheduling events, assigning venue space and coordinating all volunteer assignments. His work ensures that the convention will continue to be the premier event for Oklahoma FFA members.

Karen Hart’s tenacity, leadership and expertise resulted in the successful migration and redesign of the Oklahoma CareerTech website. When the project vendor failed to meet expectations, she kept the vendor accountable for the quality of its work and demanded better performance and attention to detail. She devoted long hours to compiling, verifying and correcting data used to migrate content from the old site to the new one. In addition, she oversaw much of the training provided to web techs. Thanks to her leadership, we have a powerful and flexible tool to reach students, parents and educators.

Excellence in Customer Service

Three employees received Excellence in Customer Service awards: Jordan Duck, Tiffany McCollum and Cara Pattison.

Jordan Duck’s work helps get innovative technology and projects into the hands of CareerTech instructors across Oklahoma. She promote s the Perkins innovative grants to the schools, making online and in-person presentations to explain grant opportunities to PK-12 schools and technology centers. The process can be complicated, especially for smaller schools who may benefit the most from it, but she has made a name for herself as the go-to person who can help schools navigate the process. She is an invaluable asset to the Perkins team and the agency.

Tiffany McCollum is instrumental in finding students to participate in the three Skills Centers programs at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite. She screens all applications for eligibility for the programs and makes sure proper documents are in place for students who are interested. She works with the deputy warden and with each instructor concerning each application. She also teaches the Career Ready course to the students. In 2021, she worked with Western Technology Center to become a health and safety institute basic life support instructor and now gives Granite Skills Center students the opportunity to earn basic first aid and CPR credentials. As students transition back into the community, she continues to provide support.

Cara Pattison provides excellent customer service to field and agency staff members as a regional coordinator. She works with agency staff members to gather information and shares it with other regional coordinators and with her schools through emails, meetings and school visits. Her efforts ensure that field employees receive the same information from each regional coordinator. She has built relationships across the state and works to bring CareerTech to the forefront in technology centers and PK-12 schools. In addition, she helps coordinate the technology center lottery grant process, providing clear instructions to grant reviewers and offering training to technology center personnel.

Team Awards

Six Oklahoma CareerTech employee teams received Team Pinnacle Awards: Facility Services, Skills Centers Life Skills Curriculum, Human Resources, Hall of Fame, Instructional Framework Review and Teaching to Lead Instructional Coaching.

The Facility Services team has worked hard to enable all agency staff members affected by the water line break to continue their work without interruption to our customers. They possess the technical skills required for any job and exemplify the interpersonal skills that industry tells us are so often lacking in their labor forces. Team members are Brian Bates, Allen Bateson, Robert Bergbower, Tom Casey, Richard Curtis, Robin Herrod, Renae Lomenick and Brian Preston.

The Skills Centers Life Skills Curriculum team worked many hours to overhaul the life skills curriculum to make it relevant to students. The team reviewed hundreds of pages of curriculum and modified it to create a curriculum that can be used for years at every Skills Centers training site. Team members had different ideas, but worked together to achieve a common goal. Team members are Christi Pugh, Stacy Sexton, Lisa Pamplin, Aubrey Metcalf, Vernon Thompson, Denice Thomas, Tiffany McCollum, Darlene Staples, Ralph Perdue, Tracy Boyington, Craig Maile and Josh Steele.

The Human Resources team is helping the agency update and harmonize HR processes and procedures as requested by the state of Oklahoma to implement the Workday system. They have attended multiple Teams meetings each day, tested payroll data file conversions, tested user tasks within the system for validity and returned the audited test files to OMES within tight deadlines. Two members of the team have traveled to Oklahoma City to make sure data is correct, and the team is helping other state agencies with their testing processes. Team members are Marie Saatkamp, Lee Ann Gregory, Rebecca Clapp and Melissa Sturgeon.

The Hall of Fame team spent numerous hours working with the CareerTech Foundation to present the CareerTech Hall of Fame banquet recognizing the honorees. The team worked on videos, programs, photography, registration, set-up, billing and more. Team members are Gina Hubbard, Andrea Bradley, Karen Talbott, Cara Pattison, Brian Campbell, Blane Singletary, Connie Romans, Russell Ray, Tim Hodges, Corey Haynes, Robin Herrod, Marissa Villones, Laura Wilson, Margi Cooper, Tony Croff and Melanie Goodner.

This cross-divisional Instructional Framework Review team conducted the first formal review of the instructional framework since its inclusion in CTIMS five years ago. The team mapped every tech center program to an OCAS subject code, CIP/SOC code and certification. The team’s efforts created a solid foundation for the student data transfer process required for the Oklahoma eTranscript initiative. Program managers received CTIMS training and saved the IMD team hours of data entry by reviewing and mapping data elements. Without team members’ collaboration, CareerTech would not be ready for the new eTranscript process. Team members are Carol Hall, Andra Beyer, Rebecca Thacker, Mika Hickman, Mark Burch, Shawna Nord, Holly Hanan, Lara Morris, Tonja Norwood, John Day, Lisa Batchelder and Cori Gray.

The Teaching to Lead Instructional Coaching team provided instructional coaching to 27 new CareerTech teachers. Team members observed each new teacher and gave feedback four to six times during the academic year. They spent time outside their regular work forming relationships with the new teachers and their campus administrators. Some even attended professional development with their teachers. Because of this team’s work, teacher retention and teacher quality will improve in 15 of the technology centers we serve. Team members are Angela Teeman, Brian Campbell, Cara Pattison, Gina Hubbard, Jeanette Blevins, John Day, Karen Talbott, Krissy Miller, Letha Bauter and Mitchell Thomas.

Last Modified on Aug 21, 2023