Fortney and Bailey named to lead Great Plains.
Clarence Fortney, a 1977 graduate of Great Plains Technology Center, became the school’s seventh superintendent on July 1st. Fortney succeeds Dr. Tom Thomas who retired on June 30th.
Fortney attended Great Plains welding program as a high school student. He was a teacher’s aide for the welding program and was the lead welding instructor before serving several administrative roles at the technology center.
“Great Plains holds a special place in my life as I’ve either gone to school or worked here for 40 years”, Fortney said. “I’ve been fortunate to have learned from several Great Plains superintendents, especially the past three superintendents, Kenneth Bridges, the late Jim Nisbett and Dr. Thomas. They were all fiscally conservative, student centered and focused on economic development. I highly value those same traits.”
Fortney served as Deputy Superintendent since 2009. He previously served as Director of Instruction, Director of Secondary Education and Director of Adult Training and Development.
Fortney has served as Chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, President of the Lawton Fort Sill United Way Board of Directors and President of the Lawton Fort Sill Community Education Council. He is currently a member of the Lawton Economic Development Corporation. He was appointed by former Gov. Brad Henry to serve on the Oklahoma Emergency Medical Services Council. He was named the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education “Educator of the Year” for the Administrative Division in 2010.
Karen Bailey succeeded Fortney as Deputy Superintendent. She served as Director Academic Affairs and External Relations since 2006. Bailey previously served as Student Communications Coordinator and as a high school and adult counselor. She has been employed at Great Plains since 1989.