Fort Cobb, OK – April 19, 2013 – Marisa Halbrooks and Dennis Ruttman joined 23 other Oklahomans who were honored at the 19th Annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol. The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council, was held on April 10 at the Oklahoma State Capitol Blue Room.
Halbrooks, a student at Caddo Kiowa Technology Center and Redlands Community College, received the Outstanding Student Award. Ruttman, CKTC superintendent, received the OkCTEEC Outstanding Leadership Award. Recipients are current administrators of a CareerTech center or community college.
“Making It Work Day” recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. Special recognition is also given to non-traditional students and members who received acknowledgment for their efforts on a national level.
OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing non-traditional careers and the use of resources for the education of single parents.
“Students were recognized for their successful efforts to obtain education, training and employment amid the struggles faced by striving to rise above poverty and overcoming biases,” said Lou Ann Hargrave. Hargrave is the OkCTEEC advisor and CareerTech state coordinator for Work Prep.
“These students are learning methods to independently continue their education while working to further improve the lives of their families,” Hargrave said.
Halbrooks completed the Legal Office Assistant program and became employed as an executive secretary last spring. She is earning the highest wage of last year’s Business and Information Technology Education graduates from Caddo Kiowa, according to Ronda Weaver. Weaver is ADVANCE/Work Prep coordinator at CKTC and OkCTEEC president.
Halbrooks is a single mother of two daughters; one is special needs having been recently diagnosed with autism. Prior to coming to CKTC, Halbrooks lived in a camper trailer with her daughter when she was pregnant with her second. She is now on schedule to graduate with an associate degree in December.
OkCTEEC also creates linkages between students, educators, community partners, and business/industry leaders.
Ruttman has been a support to the ADVANCE/Work Prep Program at CKTC.
“Mr. Ruttman has directed numerous changes and improvements including moving the program to the ideal location on campus,” Weaver said. “His passion is economic development. He has made Caddo Kiowa Technology Center a key player in economic development in Caddo County and the surrounding area.”
Educators and professional partners play an important role in “making it work.”
“It’s vitally important that a strong partnership is maintained between programs, agencies, businesses and industries as our participants pursue educational training and gain employment,” Weaver said. “We rely heavily on our partners to provide exceptional learning opportunities outside of the classroom.”
The purposes of OKCTEEC are to increase effectiveness of education, promote research and strategies in education and educational equity, develop leadership, and provide advocacy for equity and diversity.
“By contributing to the professional development of students in poverty, we are able to improve the economic outlook for the future,” Hargrave said.
For more information about OKCTEEC, call Lou Ann Hargrave at 405-743-5128 or visit www.cteec.org. For more information about the Oklahoma CareerTech System visit www.okcareertech.org. More information about CKTC is available online at www.caddokiowa.com or by calling 405.643.5511.
From left to right are OKCTEEC President Ronda Weaver; Rep. David Perryman; Outstanding Graduate Award Recipient Marisa Halbrooks; Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient Dennis Ruttman; Debbie Ruttman; ODCTE State Director Dr. Robert Sommers; and Rep. Joe Dorman.
Posted on Fri, April 19, 2013
by Susan McElhaney