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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

ACTE Announces Oklahoma Instructor as National Award Finalist

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Stewart HeadshotFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 25, 2017 

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka 
jnagurka@acteonline.org, 703-683-9312 


ACTE Announces Oklahoma Instructor as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Richard Stewart, Instructor of Tulsa Technology Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the recipient of the 2017 ACTE Region IV Carl Perkins Community Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have used CTE to make a significant impact on their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service. 

“In twenty-one years of service in public education, I have never encountered an educator more passionate about giving back to the community than Richard Stewart,” says Randy Craven, Director of Tulsa Technology Center-Peoria Campus. Personal loss and family hardships inspired Richard Stewart to devote his life to helping others, from his early career as a deputy sheriff to his current role as a criminal justice instructor at Tulsa Technology Center. Over the last six years, Stewart has immersed his students in community service projects and industry partnerships through his SkillsUSA chapter, which has been one of the highest ranked in the nation for the last three years. Since 2011 his program has produced 100 state medalists, 24 national champions, fifteen district officers, and three state officers. Stewart has helped place over 90 students directly into the industry after school.

In 2011, Stewart’s class adopted Hawthorne Elementary, a Title I school in North Tulsa. Each year his students volunteer hundreds of hours to raise funds and equipment for the school, mentor students, provide safety education, read with students, and sponsor holiday activities. Stewart’s SkillsUSA chapter is also recognized as one of the top fundraisers in the state for the Special Olympics of Oklahoma and has raised $12,000 and volunteered over 1,000 hours to fundraising efforts. After conducting a study that correlated high crime rates with low quality of life, Stewart’s class partnered with local charities to revitalize a city park and memorial garden in a depressed area of the community. On Saturdays, Stewart’s chapter members can be found packing thousands of backpacks with healthy meals for children for the Community Food Bank of Oklahoma and feeding the homeless alongside the Salvation Army. To date, Stewart’s criminal justice program has raised over $50,000 and volunteered over 30,000 hours to various community service and service learning projects.

Stewart is one of five finalists for the 2018 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.

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About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.

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