Oklahoma Educator a Finalist for Teacher of the Year Award
October 9, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education announces Fiona McAlister of Ardmore, Oklahoma, is a finalist for the ACTE Teacher of the Year award. McAlister is a biotechnology instructor at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center. As the Region IV winner of ACTE's Teacher of the Year award, McAlister is one of five finalists competing for the national title of 2014 Teacher of the Year, which recognizes educators who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education. The ACTE Teacher of the Year award is sponsored by Cisco.
The winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country, which will take place on Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, 2013, at CareerTech VISION 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fiona McAlister is an instructor at the Biotechnology Academy at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, which she pioneered seven years ago. This academy, the first of its type in the state of Oklahoma, provides high school students with training in biotechnology theory and lab skills, as well as preparation for university or the biotechnology workforce. McAlister personally wrote four successful grants totaling $700,000 for the construction of the facility and equipment. She developed and designed the biotechnology course curriculum, through which students receive four science and four elective credits and also receive Advanced Placement Biology and Environmental Science credits, which can transfer over into college. McAlister currently advises five other technology centers on establishing and improving their biotechnology academies and has been featured twice on a nationally televised local program for her work's contribution to Oklahoma's workforce development.
The Academy's students study the use of biotechnology in four major areas that include medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental disciplines. Students participate in real-world, lab-oriented curricula covering a variety of topics, effectively training them for diverse career opportunities in the STEM pathway. McAlister's passion for her field has done more than lead the way to creating the Biotechnology Academy; it has motivated her students to discover hidden potential. A former graduate said of McAlister, "any teacher can help their students pass tests, but a great teacher gives them something more than a letter grade on their transcripts. Dr. Mac has left a handprint on our hearts."
The ACTE Awards Banquet is sponsored by Cisco, Kuder Inc., Stratasys, CEV Multimedia Ltd. and Certiport. For more information about the Awards Banquet at CareerTech VISION 2013: www.acteonline.org/vision_banquet
For more information about the Awards Program: www.acteonline.org/awards
The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation's largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.
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