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Joe Booker and Cory Salazar Earn SOKC Chamber Teacher & Student of the Year Honors

Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Instructor Joe Booker was named the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Technology Schools Teacher of the Year from Moore Norman Technology Center and MNTC Graphic Design student Cory Salazar was selected as the MNTC Technology Student of the Year. Booker, Salazar and many others who work in public and technical education took honors in multiple categories and received their awards during SOKC Chamber’s annual Excellence in Education awards banquet held at MNTC’s South Penn Campus this week.

Teacher of the Year Joe Booker.

ACCR Instructor Joe Booker

Booker has worked in Oklahoma's CareerTech system and at Moore Norman Technology Center for 22 years. Prior to MNTC, he worked in the auto collision industry for 19 years. He holds an associate degree from Murray State College and his bachelor's degree in Trade & Industrial Education from Oklahoma State University. 

Booker also holds a Master Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification and is certified through the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and the American Welding Society. 

Booker began his journey with Oklahoma's CareerTech system in 1980 as a student enrolled at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center. He said,

It is satisfying and rewarding to be a former student of CareerTech, and teaching collision and refinishing at MNTC only adds to this feeling of satisfaction. I'm grateful to be an educator in one of the best career and technical education systems in the country, and to have daily opportunities for interaction with other instructors both at Moore Norman and from across the state.

The student-development goals that are stressed in Booker's program are to have graduates prepared to succeed in the workforce, maintain a positive attitude and always be considerate of others.  

Student of the Year Cory Salazar

MNTC Graphic Design student Cory Salazar

Salazar is a student in the Graphic Design program and will graduate in May. He’s an active member of SkillsUSA and has served as an officer for two years. He's a member of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) and has earned the Adobe Illustrator certification. In 2020 he placed first in the district SkillsUSA Job Skills Demo and Advertising Layout Design competitions. He was selected as the Norman Kiwanis Club January 2021 Student of the Month.

Salazar has a background in Jazz music and attended the University of Central Oklahoma. He said graphic design, like music, allows him another outlet for creativity and lets him move and flow between the notes and lines. He is performing a paid internship with Waggoner Heat & Air doing graphic design and managing their social media accounts. He also volunteers to drive another student to MNTC for class because they have no transportation.

Salazar wants to work in graphic design for an athletic team or in the sports industry. He also plans to stay connected to MNTC through the SkillsUSA Alumni Board, helping with skills competitions and leadership programs. 

Additionally, Moore Public Schools VISTA senior and MNTC Nurse Aide student Ramijah Johnson earned a full-tuition scholarship from Oklahoma City Community College. She earned an additional OCCC Scholarship of $1,000 and also a $500 Walmart Scholarship.

Learn more about MNTC’s Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing or Graphic Design programs. To learn more about other full or part-time career options, visit MNTC's Career Program page, or call 405-801-5000.