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2023 Fall Awards

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Above and Beyond

Nancy Cejka, employment and transition coordinator with CareerTech's Skills Centers, received the Above and Beyond Award.

She began her career with CareerTech’s Skills Centers in October 2021 and from the start threw herself into her new position as employment and transition coordinator, helping graduates when they were released from prison.

She continues to develop industry relationships and partnerships with those who can help with jobs and other resources need for student success.

Her continued efforts on one partnership with Red Wing Shoes resulted in a donation of dozens of new and slightly used work boots for students -- something that can be the difference in whether or not a graduate finds work.

Excellence in Customer Service

Valerie McBane, senior accountant in the Financial Services Division, received the Excellence in Customer Service Award.

McBane always has a smile on her face and a can-do attitude. She does a fantastic job in her daily duties, but is also willing to step outside her normal duties to help co-workers with tasks. A co-worker in a different division asked for help with a large mail merge file after being advised McBane might have experience with it. It wasn’t something she did every day, but she jumped at the chance to help.

McBane researched the difficulties her co-worker was having and patiently trained her co-worker, even following up to make sure the job was completed. Her kindness, expertise and willingness to help saved a lot of time and frustration in completing this task.

Leadership in Achieving Excellence

Shawna Nord, manager of the Counseling and Career Development Division, received the Leadership in Achieving Excellence Award.

Nord is the linchpin for collaboration and innovation among CareerTech’s educational partners. She consistently goes above and beyond for CareerTech students in Oklahoma. Through her innovative ideas and support and through her role as a bridge between counselors and career development leaders across the state, she consistently demonstrates her dedication to putting students first.

She and her team tirelessly provide clarity for CareerTech delivery. She's the go-to expert for counseling, career guidance and mental health resources. Her expertise and ability to connect individuals and resources make her invaluable to the agency.

She has profoundly affected countless students and the education community in Oklahoma, embodying the qualities this award seeks to honor.

Team Award

Shelley Dawson, Andria Henderson and Andrea Hancock received the Team Award for their work planning the ICBS conference.

They prepared the conference for more than 150 people -- the workshops, speakers, food, hotel, venue and registration -- while also closing out the prior year’s grant and uploading a new grant into a new system for the Department of Defense.

They also dealt with new guidelines for the next cycle of government contracting assistance in Oklahoma, which created much more work, and did all of this while handling all of their regular work.

Hancock helped negotiate the contract for Metro Tech’s new business center and attended the event to work on a plan to expand next year.

More than 20 federal, state and tribal agencies participated, and many small Oklahoma companies were able to connect with them to promote products and services.

Last Modified on Jan 03, 2024
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