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Agricultural News

Phil Berkenbile Honored as One of Five Inductees into CareerTech Hall of Fame

Thu, 22 Oct 2015 06:19:45 CDT

Phil Berkenbile Honored as One of Five Inductees into CareerTech Hall of Fame A full house gathered Wednesday evening, October 21st at Francis Tuttle's School of Culinary Arts' Restaurant, District 21, for the 2015 CareerTech Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. Phil Berkenbile, retired state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, is one of five 2015 inductees into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame.

After the presentation, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked briefly with Berkenbile about the honor and what he sees for the future of Ag Education and FFA. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

Berkenbile entered the CareerTech System at Dover High School, where he was active in the agricultural education program and FFA, a CareerTech student organization. He received his State FFA Degree in 1968 and the American FFA Degree in 1971. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural education.

He became the agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Morrison Public Schools in 1972 and for the next 16 years, built a local, state and nationally recognized FFA chapter and Young Farmer program. It was a national gold emblem chapter and Building Our American Communities and national safety award winner and developed three state FFA officers and numerous competitive event winners and degree recipients.

"He had a passion with the young people that you don't find in everybody," said Brian Campbell, one of his former students who is now the agricultural education instructor in Depew.

In 1988, Berkenbile became a program specialist at ODCTE in Stillwater. He completed a master's degree at OSU and earned career and technology administrator, superintendent and principal certificates. As northwest and northeast district program specialist and assistant state supervisor, he helped update curriculum and deliver professional development.

In June 1995, he became superintendent at Morrison, a position he held for more than four years. He completed his doctorate in that time. In October 1999, he became associate state director of educational services at Oklahoma CareerTech. He was named chief of staff in April 2003 and interim director in May 2003. In January 2004, he became the agency's sixth state director, a position he held until his retirement in February 2013.

His honors included the Francis Tuttle Leadership Award, National and State FFA VIP awards, National Technical Honor Society membership, Oklahoma Youth Expo Honoree, OSU Graduate of Distinction in Agricultural Education, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, Leadership Oklahoma Class 14 graduate, American Farmers and Ranchers Lifetime Achievement Award, National FCCLA Honorary Life Award, BPA Lifetime Achievement Award, DECA Lifetime Achievment Award and Outstanding Graduate of Dover High School.

He served as president of the National State CareerTech Directors Association; chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership and the High Schools That Work board; and on the Oklahoma Manufacturer's Alliance, the Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the American Farmers and Ranchers Policy Board and the SREB Board.

He is chairman of the Oklahoma Education Technology Trust and president of the Morrison Board of Education and serves on the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation boards and the Morrison Community Development Association.

Berkenbile was one of three 2015 Hall of Fame inductees that began their professional career as an instructor of Ag Education.


Ron Hays talks with Phil Berkenbile about his days as Ag Teacher in Morrison, Oklahoma
right-click to download mp3


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