Two Great Oaks associates and a Board member were honored in July by the Ohio Association of Career and Technical Education.
Rebecca McGowan a Great Oaks business instructor at Princeton High School, was named Outstanding New Career-Technical Instructor
Rebecca McCowan has been instrumental in helping to develop an business partnership for Princeton High School and its community. She and her students assist the superintendent in hosting regular breakfast meetings throughout the school year. In just three years at Princeton, she organized one of the largest DECA student business chapters in Ohio. She has also developed a closet of dress clothes for her students who are unable to purchase their own so they can wear professional apparel at competitions. In 2019, Rebecca held a summer leadership program for 12 Princeton students. The students worked to establish goals for the DECA chapter, many of which have been achieved this year. She has e
stablished her CTE program as a valued part of the Princeton High School community through the program’s work in managing the school’s spirit shop and numerous other areas of service to the community.
McCowan won the award in 2020, but the pandemic prevented her from being honored last year.
Missy Robbins, Technology Integration Specialist, received the Ambassador Award for her work in helping instructors use technology in the classroom.
A former classroom teacher, Missy Robbins has been serving in her current role for more than a decade. She assists teachers with understanding and using the hardware and software they need in their roles. She researches and evaluates software, creates professional development, works one-on-one with teachers on both software and hardware issues, and even answers student and parent questions. It’s a huge responsibility during the best of times in a district with four campuses, hundreds of teaching staff, and thousands of students. During the pandemic, though, Missy’s talents shone through. There was a high volume of people – including students, parents, high school and adult education instructors, administrators, and even technicians–who needed a calm, friendly, knowledgeable professional to walk them through technical issues and help them to be productive and effective.
Bill Ferguson, Great Oaks Board member, received the Outstanding School Board Member Award.
Bill Ferguson is an advocate for career-technical education. As a member of the Hamilton County ESC Board and an 11-year member of the Great Oaks Board of Directors, Bill uses his visibility in the region to extoll the benefits of CTE in general and Great Oaks in particular.
As a writer and journalist, he helps business leaders and community members understand the value of career-technical education.
Since his appointment to the Great Oaks Board in 2009, he has been involved in leading the district. He became Chair of the Finance and investment Committee in 2016 and has held Board leadership roles since then, becoming the Board Chair in January 2021.
He also represents Great Oaks and Ohio career-technical education through other organizations, and has been a member of the Ohio School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network for the past six years, traveling to Washington to meet with legislators on behalf of Ohio schools.