When school started at Meridian Technology Center on August 11, there were more than new student faces walking up and down the halls. Meridian has several new instructors and student support staff who will bring their industry experience to the classroom.
New teachers include Travis Williams and Andrea Turlington-Richmond.
Williams joins Meridian as a Culinary Arts instructor, teaching second-year students and adult students in the program. Williams brings more than a decade of experience to the program. Before coming to Meridian, he worked at Metro Technology Centers, where he helped launch the Culinary Arts program at the school’s Springlake campus. Williams has worked in hotels, country clubs, restaurants, and other venues with catering services throughout his culinary career. He describes his passion for Culinary Arts as traveling with his taste buds, and he is looking forward to sharing this experience with students at Meridian.
Turlington-Richmond is beginning her fifteenth year in the classroom as a new STEM Academy instructor. She has taught at the college and middle school levels, most recently at Stillwater Middle School. As a lifelong lover of math, Turlington-Richmond is looking forward to empowering students to develop their problem-solving skills. At Meridian, Turlington-Richmond will teach pre-calculus, introduction to engineering design and principles of engineering to students in the school’s Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Engineering programs.
Sara Collins, Alton Carter and Mona Autry each have roles that support staff and students in their education and career development.
Collins serves as a Director of Instruction for programs in Meridian’s professional services small learning community. In this role, she will work closely with students and instructors in the Biomedical Sciences STEM Academy, Business Technology, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Information Technology and the Pre-Engineering STEM Academy. Collins has worked in public education for 25 years, working with high school students and adults through Oklahoma City Public Schools and Metro Technology Centers. Her area of interest in education centers around social-emotional learning, which involves students applying knowledge to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
Carter has joined Meridian’s Career Planning Center as a Career Development Specialist, where he will coordinate and assist with recruiting efforts across the Meridian district. Carter brings 13 years of experience working with students as the former youth pastor at Stillwater’s First United Methodist Church. He has always wanted to work with young adults and sees his role at Meridian as a new opportunity to give students the skills and hope they need to plan for their future. Carter will spend the majority of his time at Tech in classrooms across campus and in the Meridian district working with students on career development activities that include preparing for college, creating resumes or practicing for interviews. He will also serve as a liaison between Meridian and state colleges to oversee post-secondary student enrollment.
Autry is returning to Meridian as the Adult Basic Education instructor/coordinator. In this role, she will teach and oversee Meridian’s GED and HiSET prep courses at the Stillwater campus and off-site locations. She worked at Meridian during the late 80s and early 90s as a Home Business Services instructor before taking a job with what is now Pearson VUE, the software company that is used in Meridian’s Educational Enhancement Center and in the school’s career training programs when students test for their industry certifications. Autry’s passion is empowering students with the skills they need for their dream job, and she is looking forward to working with students to help them prepare for their high school equivalency exams.
“We are fortunate to have this talented group of individuals join Meridian,” said Meridian Superintendent/CEO Doug Major. “We pride ourselves in having the best of each industry in our classrooms to teach the next generation of employees. The latest additions to our staff are no exception. They each bring years of expertise into the classroom and their position at Meridian.”