Claremore Daily Progress

February 9, 2014

NTC school board candidates discuss priorities

Mark Friedel
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —

Northeast Technology Center school board candidates Justin Miller and Johnny Morgan have similar mindsets when it comes to serving as vice president for the school board. Both share an interest in continuing the quality of education at NTC, where students currently experience a 90 percent job placement rate after graduation. 
Incumbent Justin Miller has served as vice president on the NTC school board for more than three years and said he has witnessed significant expansion across the four campuses in Claremore, Pryor, Afton and Kansas during that time.
“NTC is constantly expanding and I’ve been supportive of it all. Right now we’re in the process of building a new central office, and recently completed the new diesel welding building, as well as renovation of our culinary department at the Pryor campus,” Miller said. “Each expansion comes with the addition of innovative technology, which provides beneficial training for students in their particular professions. The expansions have shown to be cost effective after looking at how much these students are making upon graduation, compared to how much is spent on program additions.”
Two of the newest programs picked up by NTC Claremore are the pre-engineering courses taught at Claremore High School. The courses provide interested high school students the opportunity to receive knowledge and experience in the engineering field early on in their academic career.
“The amount of growth we are experiencing is motivation in itself to remain on the school board,” Miller said. “I’d like to make sure our new programs remain available, allowing an opportunity for every type of student, young or old, to be successful.”
Miller currently runs his cattle and pecan business of 20 years near Miami.
Candidate Johnny Morgan is a former member of the NTC school board, and has seen first hand the amount of success students earn in the NTC programs.
Morgan has taught in the public school system for nearly 40 years. He said he has encountered students who were unmotivated and/or struggled in school, graduate from NTC in the top of their class because they obtained hands-on knowledge in a highly-skilled profession they were interested in.
“Student success is something that is very important to me. I know the challenges students and adults sometimes face in this difficult job environment, and I want to be a part of the solutions,” Morgan said. “I care about people. I feel that I am a leader who can bring groups together by letting everyone feel ownership. After all, I have been a best man in a Catholic, Methodist and Baptist church — all different, but yet all have the same goal.”
Morgan earned his Bachelor of Science degree as well as his master’s in education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He is currently principal and a math teacher at South Coffeyville Elementary where he will retire at the end of this year.
Annual school elections for Rogers County will take place Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For information on precinct polling locations, call the Rogers County Election Board at (918) 341-2965 or visit rogerscountyelectionboard.org.