Robert Sommers, who became Oklahoma's seventh CareerTech director in April, serves on the governor's Cabinet as secretary of education and workforce development.
Before coming to Oklahoma, Sommers was chief executive officer and managing member of Carpe Diem Learning Systems, a charter school management company that strives to ensure students will be career-ready and prepared for college.
He served as CEO and superintendent of Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, a career-technical district in Hamilton, Ohio. Under his leadership, the district doubled in size, became the highest performing career-technical district in Ohio and became known for creative educational programs. The district served more than 26,000 students and provided customized training to companies.
Sommers worked for the Ohio Department of Education for 15 years, serving as an agricultural supervisor, state adviser for the FFA, assistant director of program evaluation services and associate director for career-technical education.
He served as Ohio Gov. John Kasich's education policy adviser, covering elementary through university education policy. During his tenure, Ohio implemented reforms for increased school performance transparency, teacher evaluation, school choice, digital education options and failing school transformation.
Sommers earned a doctorate in educational administration and leadership from Ohio State University, Columbus, where he also completed his master's degree in agricultural education. He earned a bachelor's degree in education at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He has served in numerous leadership positions, including chairman of the Performance Taskforce for the National Association of Career and Technical Education.
K.S. McNutt, Staff Writer