I had the pleasure of interviewing my past fellow mentor, Audrey Lee, Assistant Director at the Francis Tuttle Reno campus in Oklahoma City. Audrey has an interesting background and career path. She graduated with a degree in Health Sciences and planned to go into public health. Instead, she and her husband moved to Florida to open up a business in cheerleading/gymnastics and then they moved back to Oklahoma to start a family. She started her Master’s program in Hospital Administration and was introduced into the Francis Tuttle family by working off campus at one of the area high schools in their biomedical Infusion program. At this point in time she fell in love with Career Tech and knew if she was going to further her career she needed to get a degree in education and has just finished her Doctorate degree!
Audrey had just moved back to Oklahoma and was spending time with her mother by going along with her to the hair dresser. The hair dresser played a significant role in her life by connecting her to Career Tech by telling her to apply for positions within the Francis Tuttle CT organization. Since then she has been affiliated with OkACTE, VP Central OK Stem Alliance, serves on the NW Chamber, OKC Chamber, and Edmond Chamber, along with belonging to the Women in Technology Group in Oklahoma.
Things she finds rewarding are being able to work with all the different programs at the Francis Tuttle-Reno campus, overcoming student challenges, and getting to see the excitement/sense of accomplishment of the students when they succeed in programs by being proud of what they are learning and by obtaining certifications so they can improve their life. Frustrations occur when legislators do not truly know and/or fully understand what CTE is about and how it can impact the lives of others.
If she had to start her career over again she would not do anything differently. All of her past experiences have been lessons learned in being able to serve others through customer service. However, she would have become more involved in CTE earlier on in her career. If her job were eliminated she would either go into public education administration or become an advocate working with legislators to teach them how CTE functions.
She believes that networking plays a crucial role in collaboration and growth in becoming a leader. You become a better professional by making networking contacts within your district, state, and nation. The field of CTE has changed in the overall delivery of programs by utilizing technology. Challenges that she has faced are being mindful of relationships of those she encounters. As you become a better leader you gain more responsibility and have to ensure you spend time with others to help promote, influence, and grow others leadership. What she values the most about CTE is the advocacy and how they let our voice be heard. CTE advocacy provides opportunity to create awareness and start the talks about the benefits of CTE.
Overall, I am in awe of all she as accomplished during her short tenure with Francis Tuttle TC-Reno campus. She is full of insight and has a servant’s heart to want to help others achieve their goals. Audrey has a leadership style all her own that creates confidence in those around her. Thanks for being my mentor.