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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Career Tech chief stepping down

  • Director leaving posts Aug. 15.
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  • Robert Sommers, secretary of education and workforce development and state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology education, announced he is resigning both posts effective Aug. 15.
     
    Citing personal family responsibilities in Ohio, Sommers said he has considered it an honor to lead the Oklahoma CareerTech System.
     
    “My tenure has been personally rewarding and I have worked with some exceptional educators and political leaders,” Sommers said. “I’ve grown to genuinely appreciate the governor’s commitment to Oklahoma and the desire to assure Oklahomans are well-educated and economically productive.”
     
    Sommers applauded the governor’s initiative as chairwoman of the National Governor’s Association, “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow's Jobs,” which is about preparing people through postsecondary education and workforce training.
     
    “CareerTech’s work is about ensuring a job for every Oklahoman and a workforce for every company,” he said. “That is the value proposition for CareerTech, and I feel confident the great work of this system will continue.”
     
    Sommers was named to the state director post Jan. 30, 2013, and joined the department April 1. In July 2013 he was named to the governor’s cabinet as secretary of education and workforce development.
     
    For nine years, Sommers was CEO/superintendent of an Ohio career-technical district, Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, in Hamilton, Ohio, where the district doubled in size, became the highest performing career-technical district in Ohio. He also held leadership roles in Ohio's career-technical education. He collaborated with Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the creation and passage of major educational reforms for improved student performance and cost effectiveness.
     
    For 15 years, Sommers served in several capacities with the Ohio Department of Education, including agricultural supervisor, state adviser for FFA, assistant director of program evaluation services and associate director overseeing federal career-technical funding programs and the creation of a new Ohio career-technical funding system.
    For more information, please contact Paula Bowles, chief communications and marketing officer for the CareerTech System, at pbowl@okcareertech.org, 405.743.5108 (office) or 405.240.7324 (cell).
     
     
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