New Green Country Tech director is Lions’ guest

Pictured from left are President Lion James Thompson, Lion Dean Craig, Margaret Hess, Roger King, and Program Chair Lion Kyle Powell. (Dean Craig/Okmulgee Lions)

By DEAN CRAIG

Okmulgee Lions

 

What a mind-boggling and information-packed update on our own Green Country Technology Center, brought to the Okmulgee Lions Club by the new Superintendent/CEO Roger King.  

During his presentation, which was almost "Bible-like" on the value of education, my mind kept wandering to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-- "But I would not have you to be ignorant, Brethren,’ ... whoa, wait a minute, I know that was not the context meant for that scripture, but for those of you mumbling about the high cost of education, try ignorance. Pardon the editorializing!

The new superintendent is no stranger to this area nor education, having been raised in the Morris area by Carl King (his dad was a farmer) and Mary (his mother was a Morris School teacher).  In fact, Roger was a Vo-Ag teacher (now called Ag-Ed) for 15 of his 24 years spent in education, first in Morris, then Fort Gibson, and the last seven years at Muskogee's Indian Capital Vo-Tech.  The last four years, he served as Assistant Superintendent at Indian Capital under another Okmulgee Countian, Tom Stiles, from the Preston area.  So, King brings a lot of experience and, coupled with his passion for education, should prove to be an excellent choice to lead Green Country.

King referred back to the 1960s where statistics show that 66 percent of high school seniors beat a path to college, even though some of them were not college material, and only 25 percent completed a bachelor's degree (or higher), and almost 50 percent of those were underemployed.  Thus, the emergence of Tech/Trade schools.  Have you recently hired a plumber, electrician, or heating/air-conditioning repairman?  I think you get the point. And, of course, there's that old joke about a doctor having plumbing repairs and complaining about the exorbitant expense, adding "and I'm a doctor"!  To which the plumber nonchalantly replied, "so was I until I switched.”

King alluded to the fact that Green Country's main support is through ad valorem taxes, so they don't have to depend upon Common Ed. or Higher Ed. appropriations like the schools do.  That's why high school juniors and seniors can take classes for free of charge, and even earn college credit hours.  What a waste of opportunity for any of our young students not to avail themselves of this golden goose egg.  But do not think for one moment that adults are left out of this equation.

In fact, when Anita and I got our first computer, we took an Intro to Computers class at Green Country to learn how to turn it on.  Then, later when she bought me a Canon camera to take pictures at our Lions Club meetings, back out to Green Country (Intro to Photography) to learn how to turn it on.  So, you see, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.  Of course, it is aggravating as all "git-out" when our young great-grandkids walk around using I-Pods or I-Pads (??), and I'm still an 8-track person in an I-Pod world.  But this was just the point that King was making.  Even for adults, there are all kinds of classes available.  And if a business like Covington Aircraft, for instance, need some specialized training, classes can be developed.  And there are always safety issues with a lot of companies that can also be developed.  So, we citizens are really getting a good "bang for our buck".

Classes offered: Carpentry, cabinet making, C and C machine, health careers, LPN, Pre-nursing, welding, Intro to Photography, cake decorating, sewing, security guard, bus driving, and so much more.  If you can dream it, Green Country can do it.  Welcome home, Roger King, and thank you for an outstanding program.  We Okmulgee Countians don't take a back seat to anybody!

A special guest was Margaret Hess, who is employed by Green Country, and she works with these special programs.

Again, need I remind you that I can not cover these programs nearly as well as they are presented to the Lions?  Check out our calendar for more outstanding upcoming programs and give us a visit. 

 "WE SERVE".

 

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