Path Home Shows 2015 Show Archive November 2015 Show 1547 Francis Tuttle - Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Francis Tuttle - Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee Francis Tuttle was instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of Oklahomans through education.
Francis Tuttle - Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Francis Tuttle - Oklahoma Hall of Fame

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Oklahoma Hall of Fame


Oklahoma Department of Education

Show Details

Show 1547: Francis Tuttle - Oklahoma Hall of Fame
Air Date: November 22, 2015



Rob McClendon: Well, some familiar faces were inducted into Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame this year – Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, legendary musical promoter Jim Halsey and the first executive director of the College Football Playoff Bill Hancock were among eight honorees, one of whom you may recognize the name of, but not know the person even though he was instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of Oklahomans.

Female Announcer: Educators called the man who will be inducted posthumously in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Mr. Vo-Tech, Francis Tuttle, who would leave an indelible mark on the history of Oklahoma. He grew up as a farm kid in overalls in Wellston, Oklahoma. He learned hard work and teamwork. In 1938, he was senior class president. He went on to Oklahoma A&M, graduating in 1942 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture education. After serving his country in World War II, he eventually became superintendent in the small town of Gotebo, Oklahoma.

Tom Friedemann: Not everybody is going to college, and there’s this mass of really bright, intelligent folks there that have this ability but we just weren’t putting enough resources. I think he was always frustrated as a superintendent of public education that he couldn’t provide those kind of facilities. So when he got this opportunity to design a system from scratch, he jumped all over on that. It was so innovative it took a constitutional amendment to even make it legal. And that’s the kind of vision he had.

Announcer: He and Gov. Dewey Bartlett worked as a team to create a unique concept that would become the envy of every other state in the nation.

Dewey Bartlett Jr: He not only was a good man and a good visionary man, he was the father of the vo-tech system. Dad did a lot of things, but without Dr. Tuttle it would not have happened. It absolutely would not have happened. They made a great team, and they became, and they really were, true friends.

Roy Peters: He and I were lobbying for money, and we walked into a senator’s office and the secretary was typing. She said, “Well, can I tell him who’s here to see him?” And he said, “Yes, this is Roy Peters, and I’m Francis Tuttle.” And she stopped typing and for the first time, she looked up, and she said, “Francis Tuttle!” He said, “Yes, ma’am.” And she said, “I take night classes at Francis Tuttle.” And he said, “Yes, my mother named me after that school.”

Friedemann: Well, you know, just, just think about it, if Dr. Tuttle hadn’t of come onto the scene, there wouldn’t be 29 CareerTech center districts right now with 59 campuses covering 98 percent of the state. And that only happened because he was the right man at the right time to be here.

Announcer: Now, people who weren’t typical college-bound students could have professional instruction to help them get good paying jobs right here at home. It was a game changer for Oklahoma. In 1982, the Francis Tuttle Vo-Tech Center was dedicated to the people in its district. His visionary ideas live on.

Male Voice: I think that the strategy for tomorrow is going to be that a greater requirement, a greater emphasis is going to be put on the more technical aspect of vocational training.

Friedemann: Our mission here is that we prepare our students for success in the workplace.

Mary Fallin: We know there’s some great paying jobs, especially as you look into the aerospace industry, the energy sector which are top industries in our state that pay really well. That a welder can make, you know, $70,000, $80,000, $90,000 a year; an electrician, same thing; plumber, same thing; a computer technician, same thing. You know, those are all good paying jobs for Oklahomans in need of jobs.

Friedemann: He was just so concentrated on making Oklahomans productive. And in many cases, you know, turning tax users into taxpayers.

Announcer: Francis Tuttle was dedicated to enriching the lives of people in Oklahoma. He was also a dedicated family man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren.

Ryan Tuttle: The most amazing thing is, is when, every time we go to an event that has anything to do with the CareerTech System, you know, we come away amazed with how strongly those people feel about my grandfather. They, I mean, they idolize him, and they think they just can’t say enough about a wonderful guy he is. And I think they, they all worked so hard to make a lot of this stuff happen.

Announcer: Dr. Tuttle, a man revered in his field, retired in 1986 but his legacy lives on.

Male Voice: I don’t see anything but a tremendous future. Thank you [applause].