PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. (KTEN) — Byng Public Schools is the recipient of the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s State Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Career and Technology Education. 

The district’s career and technology programs let students start training for a career before they graduate. 

“Having him go through the process has been great, knowing he’s setting himself up for success,” said Gaytha McReynolds, whose child is a Byng High School CTE student.

Career and technology education is something Byng administrators have prioritized for years. 

“Career tech programs go way back to long-time superintendent Mr. Stokes, who was the superintendent for 32 years, and he really invested in career tech education,” said current Superintendent Kevin Wilson. “Not everyone wants to go to college, and not everyone should have to go, but our kids can go through our career tech programs, and when they graduate, they are ready for jobs.”

The training McReynolds' son received before graduation prepared him to take the next step toward a job in the medical field.

“He continued his senior year at Byng and concurrently did the classes at the votech.  He finished all of that and graduated, and then last May he received his CNA license," Mc Reynolds said. "Since then he has worked at Mercy Hospital as a certified nursing assistant.”

The recognition comes after years of expanding career training opportunities for students. 

“We know that everyone has different interests, so the more we can do to find what appeals to a kid so they can leave here and be successful adults, that is what we are all about,” Wilson said.

Byng students can learn various skills, including culinary arts and robotics.

“They’ve done a great job supporting all kinds of different trades and skills, so it's fantastic,” McReynolds said.