Board names new facility in honor of long-time board member Joe Hutchison

Board names new facility in honor of long-time board member Joe Hutchison
Posted on 10/18/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Board names new facility in honor of long-time board member Joe HutchisonAt their most recent meeting, members of Northeast Tech’s Board of Education approved the renaming of the district’s newest multipurpose meeting facility in honor of long-time board member, Joe Hutchison. Hutchison recently resigned from the board after 12 years of service.

“Joe was one of the people who made the Kansas Campus a reality,” said Northeast Tech Superintendent Fred Probis in his remarks to the board. “He was part of the group of community leaders who saw a need for education and training in Delaware County, and it’s thanks to his efforts that we’re all sitting here today.”

Hutchison was born and raised in Eucha, Okla. He attended elementary school at Eucha, went to Jay High School and then graduated from Eastern A&M College in Wilburton. In 1957 he signed a contract to play professional baseball with the Milwaukee Braves – today’s Atlanta Braves – but chose not to pursue a baseball career. Instead, he began a long career of service to his community by accepting a job with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, where he worked for 32 years.

“During that time I created a program to serve high school dropouts in Kenwood,” Hutchison said. “I’d hire the young men and women to perform odd jobs for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, and through a partnership with Kenwood Public Schools, more than 100 students obtained their GED. Several even went on to enroll in the CareerTech system.”

This was but one of many acts of service to his community. From 1992 to 2004 Hutchison also served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives for District 5 which includes Delaware, Craig and Mayes Counties. In 2005, Hutchison was appointed to the Zone 5 seat on the Northeast Tech Board of Education. After fulfilling his appointed term, Hutchison was elected for three consecutive terms of service, resigning in September of 2017.

“It has been a true pleasure to serve alongside Joe,” said Northeast Tech Board Member Rosalie Griffith. “His experience has been invaluable, and his vision for this campus led to the improvement of countless lives in this community. He will be deeply missed, and I’m glad we can honor him in this way.”

The facility that will bear Hutchison’s name is currently under construction at the Kansas Campus. The 15,000 square foot addition includes space for a Cosmetology Program, as well as a much-needed multipurpose meeting space for the community.

“We’d like to name the multipurpose space in Joe’s honor,” Probis said. “It seems only fitting that when the community gathers on our campus, they do so in a room named in honor of one of the people who made it possible.”

Funding for the project comes from the district’s building fund, monies which are collected primarily through local ad valorem taxes, and the estimated price tag on the addition is $3.2 million. The construction timeline for the project has a targeted completion date of Fall of 2018.

“I have always supported the technology schools and the opportunities they provided our young and adult students, and just because I’m not on the board, it doesn’t mean I won’t be here to support the district,” Hutchison said. “I want Northeast Tech to continue in the direction we are going – training in new programs as the industry changes.”

At the same meeting in which the board took action to officially name the Joe J. Hutchison Multipurpose Facility, they also took action to appoint his successor. Steve Lane of Eucha was appointed to fulfill the remainder of Hutchison’s term on the Northeast Tech Board. The term expires in 2020.
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