Three employees at Autry Technology Center were honored for their work Monday at the 49th annual Career and Technology Education Conference in Oklahoma City.

Carol Colwell, assistant superintendent at Autry, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Career and Technical Education. The award recognizes members who have dedicated “an extended period of time” to the work and purposes of the association, according to a press release from Autry.

Autry Superintendent Brady McCullough said Colwell has devoted her professional career to Career and Technical Education.

“From student to teacher to administrator, she has seen CTE from all aspects,” he said. “That experience has catapulted her to multiple leadership positions within our professional organization. Carol is deserving and worthy of this prestigious award.”

Colwell attended Central Technology Center in Drumright, where she later taught for almost two decades. She worked as director of long-term majors at Moore Norman Technology Center before coming to Autry in 2013 to serve as assistant superintendent.

Traci Gosney, dental assistant instructor at Autry, received the Carl Perkins Community Service Award in the Health Careers Division from the association. The award recognizes members who have displayed a dedication to CTE’s impact on lives and communities.

Gosney worked in the dental industry for 17 years before coming to Autry in 2008, according to the release.

Gosney and her students volunteer at various community service events on and off campus, including the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen food drive, Christmas shopping and wrapping for te YWCA, Adopt-An-Angel Christmas presents, making Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for needy families, Mobile Smiles Oklahoma Dental Unit, pre-dental screenings for day care centers and elementary schools, and Oklahoma Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic, according to the release.

Each year, Gosney works one month in the industry to help validate curriculum, assess potential equipment needs and find student placement opportunities.

“By encouraging students to get involved in volunteering, students not only practice their trade, but they are also building employability and life skills,” she said. “These skills include problem solving, conflict resolution, communication and teamwork.”

Cheryl Cooksey, a graphics arts instructor at Autry, was named the Trade and Industrial Education Division Teacher of the Year at the conference. The award recognizes teachers who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Cooksey worked in the graphics and printing industry for 16 years before coming to Autry in 1993.

Janet Strate, director of student activities at Autry, said Cooksey has committed her heart and soul to teaching.

“Her character is lined with trustworthiness, excellent work ethic, sincere interest in students, complete responsibility for all within her charge, and grand contributions to our school,” Strate said.

Story provided by:  Enid News & Eagle

Written by:  Sally Asher