National Award Finalist

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Cody W. McPherson M.Ed., former Technology Engineering Instructor at Geary Middle & High School in Geary, Oklahoma, and current Safety Instructor at Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as the 2022 ACTE Region IV Carl Perkins Community Service Award recipient. This award recognizes the finest Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students, and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Cody W. McPherson has served the Oklahoma CareerTech system as a Technology Engineering Instructor, CTE Director, and SkillsUSA & TSA Advisor to Geary Middle and High School. He has been a CTE employee and instructor for fourteen years. Mr. McPherson started the SkillsUSA Chapter at Geary in 2018, which produced eight district officers, three state officer candidates, over fifty state medalists, six national medalists, and the chapter was the first SkillsUSA Oklahoma Chapter to be named the Chapter Model of Excellence in Workplace Skills at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Skill and Leadership Conference.

SWOT analysis and SMART goals

With his students, he uses SWOT analysis and SMART goals to determine the feasibility of each of their projects. As the pandemic was beginning to wear on everyone’s emotions in the small town of Geary, OK and quarantines were common. The annual Geary Tri-County Fair was going to be canceled.  They knew they couldn’t have the crowds gather for a parade and carnival, so his students organized several events.  A dragging main event where everything from classic cars to riding lawnmowers paraded up and down every block in the small town, entertaining even those in quarantine.  They had a drive-in movie and projected the film on the wall of a building in the city, they held drive-by birthday greetings, and with a 70-percent poverty rate, his students provided a Christmas gift for each child, hat, and gloves, and a STEM gift from pre-K to 6th grade for four years.

CTE Region IV Carl Perkins Community Service Award recipient
CTE Region IV Carl Perkins Community Service Award recipient

McPherson is a passionate CTE educator and sees his service as a way to pay it forward. He attended CTE as an Agriculture Education student throughout his time at Drummond High School and continued as a welding student at Autry Technology Center during his junior and senior year of high school, and he served as an Oklahoma State and National Officer for SkillsUSA. Cody earned his FFA State Degree, SkillsUSA American Degree, and was a three-time state champion in SkillsUSA. McPherson is a third-generation SkillsUSA Alumni; his Grandfather and Father are both VICA Alumni.

McPherson serves on the OKACTE STEM Board of Directors and is a SkillsUSA Northwest District Advisor. This tireless advisor trains and mentors the team based on his experience as a past officer. He serves on the SkillsUSA Oklahoma Alumni Board and the SkillsUSA Oklahoma Alumni and Friends Association.

Accomplishments

Other recognitions McPherson has earned include being named a Newman Civic Fellow for his community service work and one of the NextGen Oklahomans 30 under 30 for his accomplishments. In 2020 he was named the SkillsUSA Region IV National Advisor of the Year and was named the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technical Education (OKACTE) STEM New Teacher of the Year in 2021.

Cody is an active member in the community where his fiancée Melissa, son Clem and he moved in 2017. He is a volunteer firefighter and training captain with a local fire department and volunteers as an Emergency Manager. Mr. McPherson volunteers to respond to emergencies in his community, so when his students or their families are in crisis, there is a familiar face there to help. His goal is to serve his community and lead by example to develop more servant leaders.

McPherson is one of five finalists for the 2023 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on November 30, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.

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About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association. Committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals, and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness, and access to resources, professional development, and leadership opportunities.

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