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Oklahoma Education Leaders List Challenges And Goals During Norman State Of Schools

Moore Norman Technology Center Superintendent Jane Bowen speaks during the 2014 Norman State of Schools luncheon.
Norman Chamber of Commerce

Norman community and business leaders heard presentations on the current state of affairs, growing challenges, and future plans for both Norman Public Schools system and the Moore Norman Technology Center during Friday’s annual Norman State of Schools luncheon at the Marriott Conference Center at NCED.

Moore Norman Technology Center Superintendent Jane Bowen cited statistics showing a growing gap between employer’s needs and workforce skill sets and preparation.  

“What we don’t have is a mesh between those two groups,” Bowen said. “We have a skills gap.”

Bowen stressed MNTC's curriculum and offerings, highlighted recent accolades and achievements, and encouraged the audience of business leaders to dispel any stigma associated with technical and trade careers like those catered to throughout Oklahoma’s 29 CareerTech centers.

“Everyone has different gifts,” Bowen said. “If they like to work with their hands, if they like to tinker with automobiles, if they like to weld, let’s find those careers for those students.”

Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joe Siano details NPS initiatives during Norman State of Schools luncheon.
Credit Norman Chamber of Commerce
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joe Siano details NPS initiatives during Norman State of Schools luncheon.

  Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joe Siano spent his portion of the address to  Norman Chamber of Commerce members primarily looking forward - focusing on initiatives linked to a recent voter-approved $126 million bond.

“It certainly is about investment and capital needs," Siano said. "But really what it’s more about is instructional opportunities to engage kids and change the way we teach, and transform what our high schools look like as we go forward."

Siano championed and explained the three main initiatives funded by bond money: high school transformation, technology, and early childhood learning.

"The areas that we have focused on have all been built on research that says, ‘If you invest in these areas, if you make a difference in these areas, you will make a difference in the structure of the public schools for all kids',” Siano concluded. 

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Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma who has been a life-long radio listener and enthusiast.
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