Tom joined Francis Tuttle in 1997 after having served 19 years in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, where he held numerous positions including Curriculum Specialist, State DECA Advisor, State Coordinator for Technology Centers, and Assistant State Director for the agency. While at the state CareerTech department, he was responsible for the development of ten new technology centers located in Ada, Okmulgee, Wetumka, Omega, Altus, Stigler, Tahlequah, Kansas, Sayre and Frederick. Additionally, he was the designer of the Oklahoma Technology Center Gold Star School Program and the CareerTech Public Information Council. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Superintendent at Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, OK. He began his career as a Marketing Education teacher at Putnam City West High School, where his DECA chapters continually received state and national honors.
He has authored numerous manuscripts on careertech education that have been featured in state, national and international publications and is a sought after speaker on careertech. He has served as President of the National Council of Local Administrators, the Oklahoma Council of Local Administrators, the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation, Inc., the Administration Division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education, and the Oklahoma Technology Centers Superintendents’ Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Oklahoma City, the Educators’ Leadership Academy, and Duke University’s Executive Education for Government Officials Academy. Tom has a master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and both bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University, where his dissertation on correctional education was recognized by the graduate college for research excellence and used as justification for expanding Oklahoma’s system of inmate training centers.
For his outstanding contributions to the field of career and technology education, Tom received the Arch Alexander Award in 2009. Presented by the University of Oklahoma, the award is one of the most prestigious given in career and technology education. In 2012, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of Local Administrators (NCLA). In 2013, Tom received the Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award, which recognizes individuals whose contributions have been of state and national significance. It is the highest honor one can receive from Career Tech.