STILLWATER — An Ohio education services executive will be the next director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, officials announced.
Bob Sommers, of Middletown, Ohio, will begin work with CareerTech in April. Sommers is the chief executive officer of Carpe Diem Learning Systems, a learning services company.
Before going to work for Carpe Diem, Sommers served in several capacities with the Ohio Department of Education from 1986-2001. Before that, he served as superintendent of Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, a career-technical school district based in Hamilton, Ohio.
When he arrives, Sommers will replace former director Phil Berkenbile, who steps down Thursday. Kay Martin, former superintendent of Francis Tuttle Technology Center, will serve as interim director.
Sommers steps into his new role amid a major degree-completion effort that includes the department, as well as public and private colleges and universities across the state. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has called for a 67 percent increase in the number of college degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by 2023.
Higher education officials announced in September the state had surpassed its goal during the 2011-2012 academic year. The state's public colleges and universities produced an additional 1,934 degrees and certificates that year compared to the year before, topping the goal of 1,700 degrees and certificates for all public and private colleges and universities, as well as CareerTech centers.