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2023 Spring Awards

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Above and Beyond

Craig Maile, manager of the Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement, received the Above and Beyond Award.

If you want to know about Oklahoma CareerTech’s history, he is the go-to person. He has always gone above and beyond to protect and share our history. His efforts have included an online course, a board game, presentations and, most recently, a book, “The Hidden History of Career and Technology Education in Oklahoma: A Treasury of Stories.”

He is always finding ways to make sure we preserve and honor the work of the Oklahoma CareerTech founders and those who have worked to ensure its continued success.

Excellence in Customer Service

Mika Hickman, administrative assistant in the Information Management Division, received the Excellence in Customer Service Award.

She embodies the true spirit of what should be the face of CareerTech. She always has a smile on her face and is always ready to help out in any situation. She welcomes everyone who enters the South Building and helps configure the conference room for meetings and clean up afterward. Her sweet spirit and infectious attitude spills over to other staff members.


Mark Burch, Business, Marketing and Information Technology Education Division program manager, received the Innovation Award.

He saw a need for a user-friendly, online, customizable form to track BMITE instructors’ professional development hours on the second day of Oklahoma Summit. He created a simplified version of a tracking template and shared it with the occupational managers. Leaders at OkACTE heard about the form and requested a demo.

OkACTE adopted the template, saving members thousands of dollars and app programmers countless hours. The template solved many unexpected issues with digitally verifying professional development hours and will be used again at Summit. Participation verification will no longer require the tricolor triplicate paper form.

Leadership in Achieving Excellence

Mary Jane Grayson, Family and Consumer Sciences Education Division program specialist and instructional coach, received the Leadership in Achieving Excellence Award.

She has taken on new responsibilities in the past few years, working as an instructional coach with new and nearly new family and consumer sciences teachers while still serving as an FCS program specialist and curriculum specialist. She has spent one-on-one time with teachers struggling with new curriculum, classroom management and supervising an FCCLA chapter. Her encouragement to newer teachers has played a significant role in teacher retention.

In addition, she has helped improve the FCS mentorship program, partnering with a university professor to help mentors and mentees understand their roles. She facilitates a session for them at Oklahoma Summit and also follows up several times throughout the year. She is dedicated to helping FCS teachers have the best experience possible.

Team Award

The Teaching to Lead Instructional Coaching Team, composed of Steven Aragon, Brian Campbell, Virginia Oden, Cara Pattison, Renee Reed, Karen Talbott, Mitchell Thomas and the late Tessa Lazor, received the Team Award.

This team has provided instructional coaching to 24 new CareerTech teachers. Coaches observe and provide feedback to teachers several times throughout the academic year, in addition to their regular work. They form relationships with the new teachers and campus administrators to help the teachers become confident and effective in their classrooms.

Most of the teachers come from industry and have alternate educational certifications, so this team plays a major role in their efforts to help their students succeed. Because of the work from this team, teacher retention and teacher quality will improve in 10 of Oklahoma CareerTech’s technology centers we serve.

Last Modified on Oct 20, 2023