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History of SouthernTech

In August of 1966, Southern Oklahoma Area Vocational and Technical Center opened as a part of Ardmore Public School District I-19. It was governed by the Ardmore Board of Education through June of 1977, when the district was formed into a separate vocational-technical school district (VT-20).

The original five board members of Ardmore Public School District I-19 who voted in 1965 to establish the center included: R.W. Colvert, Roy F. Worley, Guy Givens, Bob J. Downing and John F. Snodgrass. Jack Stone was employed as the first administrator of the center, serving in the position of Principal/Director. Stone later became the Superintendent of the district when it became a separate vocational-technical school district, and continued in that position until his retirement in June of 1996.

SouthernTech recognizes that the success of local economic development efforts is directly connected with the area's ability to supply the technically trained workforce required. The center continues to serve both high school students and adults. High school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in full-time day programs spend half of the day at the technology center and the other half at their home high school.

At the center, the students participate in a program pertaining to their chosen career field. At the home school, the student continues in academic preparation. Upon graduation, the student is then prepared to enter the world of work, continue in a program of advanced study at the technology center and/or enter college (often with articulated credit hours that are applied to a related college degree).

Adult students attend on a half-day basis similar to the schedule available to high school students or they may accelerate their technology education by attending SouthernTech on an all day basis.

The center continues to grow in enrollment and expand program offerings. In addition to full time day programs, SouthernTech offers additional programs and services to in-district students, employers, and customers that includes adult training and development classes, safety classes and customized business and industry training designed to meet the needs of local employers. The needs of the district continue to be the driving force of SouthernTech's growth.