Excellence and innovation are two of the leadership traits that mark the tenure of Marty Lewis as CEO/Superintendent of Gordon Cooper Technology Center. During the past 13 years Lewis provided leadership in the areas of innovative delivery of career and technical education, student success, economic development, community development, and effective partnerships with a variety of public and private entities.
In recognition of those efforts, Lewis was selected as state Career Tech Administrator of the Year at the state Career Tech summer conference in Oklahoma City earlier this month.
Even before taking the reins of Gordon Cooper Technology Center in February of 2005, Lewis was supportive of the technology center. As superintendent of Bethel Public Schools he helped implement imbedded math instruction and academic credit for course work at GCTC.
Lewis began his tenure at Gordon Cooper Technology Center with impeccable relationships and credibility with all of the district’s partner sending schools. He taught school finance at East Central University for many years and is regarded as the “go-to expert” on school finance and school management. Lewis also brought strong relationships with many of the communities served by Gordon Cooper Technology Center and has continued to build those partnerships.
Soon after taking on the responsibility as superintendent, Lewis developed district targets and an accompanying incentive program for all technology center employees. He also embarked on implanting “Baldridge Principles” of continuous improvement into the operation and leadership of the school. The associated staff development helped transform the school’s outcomes and served as the foundation for future improvement. In his tenure, Lewis also established salary schedules for all staff, supported professional development, and instituted a leadership development program called “The Right Stuff.”
Some of Lewis’ innovations to programming include development of an on-line consortium that provides 30 area schools access to affordable and flexible on-line instruction for academic credit. He is also an advocate for one of the first STEM regions in the state by helping draft legislation and providing staff dedicated to promoting STEM instruction in the region. He also supported development of a flex-track health certification program and a flex-track machining program that provides flexible, blended instruction for adult students upgrading workplace skills.
Lewis also served the region by negotiating a lease on an unused manufacturing facility in Seminole County that was transformed into an instruction training space, which resulted in the school’s ability to offer four fulltime programs and enhanced business and industry services for that area.
Additionally, Lewis has proven to be an effective legislative voice for Career Tech and holds influence with several legislators based on his connection with technology centers, partner schools, and other educational stakeholders. Beyond statewide leadership, he has been a strong advocate and community leader for Career Tech in all of the communities within the large Gordon Cooper district. He serves on many boards including the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, Pottawatomie County Development Foundation, Salvation Army Board, and many local chamber of commerce and civic organizations.
Marty Lewis has consistently demonstrated the highest ethical leadership, tremendous decision-making abilities, and the ability to partner with diverse public and private entities, all while advocating for a better quality of life for Oklahomans.