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OkACTE recognizes Kiamichi Tech’s Shelley Free with statewide Excellence Award

Posted Date: 08/25/2021

OkACTE recognizes Kiamichi Tech’s Shelley Free with statewide Excellence Award

WILBURTON, Okla. – Kiamichi Tech received state awards and recognition for commitment to career and technical education during Oklahoma Summit, CareerTech’s annual conference, in Oklahoma City on August 1-3, 2021. Kiamichi Tech Superintendent Shelley Free received the 2021 OkACTE Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award during the opening session of the conference.

“Ms. Free is respected by her CareerTech peers and educators across the state,” said Dr. Phil Chitwood, President of the Board of Education for Kiamichi Tech. “Her dedication to Kiamichi Tech is embodied in her philosophy: ‘A Tradition of Excellence, With a Vision for Tomorrow’.”

The Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award honors those in the Oklahoma CareerTech system who have proven to be a true champion on many levels. This award was introduced to celebrate the efforts of those who advocate for, promote and support educators, administrators, and staff within career and technology education.

Free has been an educator for over 35 years, working at the elementary, middle school, high school, and postsecondary levels. She began her career in 1985 as a business teacher and coach for Talihina Public Schools. In 1997, she joined the Kiamichi Tech team as the Business and Information Technology Instructor and later served as Talihina Campus Director. In 2008, Free began serving in the role of Deputy Superintendent for Kiamichi Tech and was selected as the first female and fifth Superintendent of the District in 2014.

Additionally, Kiamichi Tech was recognized as an OkACTE Gold Star School. This is the 15th year the District has been recognized for exemplary programs designed to meet a broad spectrum of community needs.

The Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) provides professional and leadership development to membership, communicates and builds relationships with public policy makers and creates partnerships between education and industry. Every Kiamichi Tech employee is a member of this professional organization.