The Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education has selected Brent Haken as the ninth state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Haken will begin his official duties as state director in January. He comes to Oklahoma CareerTech from Morrison Public Schools, where he has served as superintendent since 2019.
“Oklahoma has the nation’s premier system for career and technology education because of the foundation laid by passionate and dedicated Oklahomans and the continued efforts of our state’s best team members,” Haken said. “My desire has always been to be in a position that helps people make a positive impact on their family, community and state. Empowering people through education moves Oklahoma forward!
“I could not be more excited to serve as part of the Oklahoma CareerTech team. Our role of serving the state with innovative workforce development that meets the needs of our communities proves to be more essential now than ever before. Many of my greatest experiences have been as a CareerTech student and teacher. I am honored to be in a position to give back to our state by working with all arms of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, unifying our efforts to better the lives of Oklahomans.”
Haken became elementary assistant principal and special education director in Morrison Public Schools in July 2015 and high school principal in July 2016. He also served as testing coordinator. Before moving to Morrison, he taught agricultural education in Wellston and Stillwater.
“Mr. Haken brings both classroom and administrative experience to the director position,” said Lee Denney, who has been serving as Oklahoma CareerTech’s interim state director. “As a former agricultural education instructor, school principal and superintendent, his familiarity with Oklahoma’s vocational education system will definitely be an asset in his new leadership role. We are confident he will hit the ground running as CareerTech’s ninth state director.”
Haken received the 2022 Superintendents Chairman’s Award from the Oklahoma Youth Expo and was the Oklahoma Association of Superintendents District 4 Superintendent of the Year for 2022. He is a member of the Oklahoma State Professional Education Council and the Cooperative Council for Secondary Administrators.
He has been a member of the Oklahoma Career Technology Master Teacher Committee, the National Association of Agriculture Educators and the Association of Career Technical Educators and served on the board and as vice president of the Oklahoma Agriculture Education Teachers Association.
“Brent Haken will be a strong advocate for CareerTech students and Oklahoma career and technology education,” said Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of public instruction and chairperson of the Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education. “His experience in educational leadership and administration will serve Oklahoma CareerTech students, faculty and staff well as he leads the CareerTech System into a bright new era.”
Haken earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 60 campuses, 391 PK-12 school districts, 15 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult education and family literacy providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.