Clarence Fortney became Great Plains Technology Center’s 7th superintendent on July 1, 2016. He succeeded Dr. Tom Thomas who served as superintendent for six years. During Dr. Thomas time at the helm Mr. Fortney served as Deputy Superintendent. He previously served as Director of Instruction, Director of Secondary Education and Director of Adult Career and Development. Mr. Fortney graduated from Great Plains high school welding program. He then became a teacher’s aide and lead welding instructor at GPTC before moving to the administration.
“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 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 board 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. He is an avid bicyclist and immensely enjoys his grandchildren. He and his wife are active in their local church.
Director, Instructional Support Services
Cindy is in her 23rd year of service at Great Plains. She previously worked at GPTC as a Multimedia Instructor and as an Instructional Technology Specialist. Cindy earned her Masters degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her BS degree is from Austin Peay State University. She is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. She is very active in her church.
Director, Adult Career Development
John has been employed at Great Plains since 1990. Prior to serving as ACD Director John served as ACD Assistant Director, Adult Coordinator, Computer Technician and Instructor. He earned his Master of Education degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2002 after earning his BS degree from Cameron University. John has served as president of the Lawton-Fort Sill United Way Board and remains active in many local, state and national organizations.
Karen Bailey succeeded Clarence Fortney as Deputy Superintendent in July of 2016. She had served as Director Academic Affairs and External Relations since 2006. She previously served as Student Communications Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Coordinator and as a high school and adult counselor. She has been employed at Great Plains since 1989. She shepherded Great Plains trail blazing efforts in developing two award winning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs: Pre-Engineering and Biomedical Sciences and Medicine. She earned her bachelor degree at Cameron University and her master degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Prior to working at Great Plains she worked as an instructor at Walters Public Schools. Karen is actively involved in the AUSA organization that supports the U.S. Army. Karen and her family are active in their local church.
Assistant Superintendent Tillman-Kiowa Campus
Gary became Assistant Superintendent of Great Plains campus at Frederick in 1995. He previously served as superintendent at Mangum, Indiahoma and Weaver public schools. He is a graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He previously attended both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. He has been active in numerous civic, economic development and community service organizations at Frederick.
Director of Instruction
James has been employed at GPTC since 1997. He previously taught Game Design and 3D Animation and E-Commerce Web Services at Great Plains. His bachelor degree is from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He has also earned a Master of Science degree in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is active in his church and numerous civic organizations.
Director, Marketing and Communication
Glen joined Great Plains Technology Center in June of 1992. He is nationally Accredited in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He earned his Master of Science and Business degree from Cameron University and previously attended Oklahoma State University. Glen has served as President of the board for both the Lawton Salvation Army and the Great Plains Chapter of American Red Cross. He and his wife are active in their local church.
Director, Economic Development
Keith has led Great Plains economic development support efforts since 1993. He previously served as GPTC’s Director of Business and Industry Recruitment. Prior to working at Great Plains Keith served as CEO of the Tinney Corporation. He earned a bachelor degree from Cameron University. He has earned numerous state and national economic development certifications including the National Development Council Finance Certification. He has served on the Governor’s Economic Development Team since 1999. Keith has also held leadership positions in numerous local leadership, civic, arts and economic development organizations, including two terms as Chairman of the Lawton Airport Authority. He is currently a board member of both the Lawton Public Schools Foundation and the Comanche County Memorial Hospital “Starlight” Foundation. He is an avid golfer and is active in his local church.
Director, Information Technology
Kevin is in his 6th year as Great Plains I.T. Director. He previously worked at both Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Cameron University. He earned his bachelor degree from Cameron. His favorite hobby is supporting Great Plains Robotics Team. His daughter is a member of the team. Kevin has served in leadership positions for both CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Leadership Lawton-Fort Sill.
Director, Business and Industry Services
Bill rejoined the Great Plains staff this school year after being employed for several years as a Manufacturing Extension Agent for the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance of which Great Plains was a member. He was previously employed at Great Plains as a Corporate Training instructor and at Northrop Grumman as a manager. His bachelor degree is from the University of Tulsa. Bill has served many years as chief of the Meers Volunteer Fire Department. He is active in his local church.
Leah is in her 20th year at Great Plains Technology Year. She began her career at GPTC in the Marketing Department and then became the Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant before assuming the treasurer’s position. She attended Cameron University. Leah is an accomplished photographer.
Rhonda has been employed as either the Business Manager or Assistant Business Manager at Great Plains for 31 years. She previously worked as a CPA at Stanfield and O’Dell Certified Public Accountants and as an accountant at the Kerr McGee Corporation. She is a graduate of Great Plains Technology Center’s high school business office program. She also earned degrees at both the University of Oklahoma and Cameron University.
Director, Student Support Services
Joelle is in her 12th year of employment at Great Plains. She previously worked as Great Plains Employment Advisor. Prior to Great Plains she served as Senior Director of Operations at the Marie Detty Youth and Family Services organization. She earned her bachelor degree at Colorado State University. She is an avid music lover and a supporter of local arts organizations.
William (Bill) Matthey
Bill was originally employed at Great Plains as a Desktop Support (I.T.) instructor in 2010. He was previously employed in public education in Idaho. Bill earned his BBA from Baylor University and his Master of Education Leadership at Idaho State University. He is an accomplished photographer and a member of the Wichita Wild Light Photographic Society. He is active in his church at Elgin.
Justin came to Great Plains this school year after serving as Assistant Senior Principal at Lawton High School. He has earned degrees from both Cameron University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He is an avid outdoorsman.
Director, Health Sciences and STEM and ABE
Mike is in his 13th year of employment at Great Plains where he began as an instructor. He previously taught at Lawton Public Schools and was employed at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.
He earned his bachelor and master degrees from Cameron University. He is active in his local church and in many Lawton area civic and service organizations.
Director, Purchasing and Maintenance
Jack Whiteman began his employment with Great Plains in June of 1997 when he was employed as the Residential and Commercial Electrical Instructor. He was then promoted to Director, Purchasing and Maintenance. Prior to his employment with GPTC Jack as co-owner of Pat and Jack’s Electrical Contractors of Lawton. Jack holds an Oklahoma Contractor’s License as an electrician. He attended Cameron University. Jack enjoys golf and spending time with his grandchildren. He and his wife are active in their church.