Carol Gittinger of Great Oaks Career Campuses was honored by her colleagues and the Ohio Association of Career Technical Education (OACTE) in April with the Bill Ruth Award, an annual award given to the outstanding adult education professional in Ohio.
Gittinger has been an adult education instructor, supervisor and director for over 30 years. Currently the Director of Adult Workforce Development for Great Oaks, she led the department through the accreditation process and the launch of a new student information system, began new programs including Heavy Equipment Operations and CNC Manufacturing, as well as numerous short-term health care programs to meet regional needs, and positioned the department and district for the future.
She is respected by her staff and colleagues, who in the award nomination said, “Carol is the type of director who is in the trenches with the rest of us. She volunteers to help at Information Sessions, to be in on planning meetings and volunteer in the community. She will do duty at the front desk if needed. Carol walks around to classrooms and introduces herself. She is a visible leader!”
The award was presented at the OACTE PACE conference in Columbus.
The award was named for educator Bill Ruth who, in 1970, was given the task of building Ohio’s first adult vocational education system. He carried out the vision of using the facilities of the new career centers around the state so adult learners could receive career training in the evening after high school students finished their school day.
When Ruth retired in 1984 as State Supervisor for Adult Education with the Ohio Department of Education, an award was created in his honor through OACTE. Since then, the award has been given annually to an Ohio educator with the same ethics, values, determination, and passion for adult education.