Francis Theodore Tuttle

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Francis Theodore Tuttle

Francis Theodore Tuttle

"Dr. Tuttle played a major role in making the career technology system in Oklahoma a model for the rest of the country. This is evidenced by the number of states that are continually traveling to Oklahoma to better understand the system in place; thus Dr. Francis Tuttle pioneered the way for career and technical education nationwide."
Willard R. Daggett


Born in 1920 on a small farm in Wellston, Oklahoma, Francis Theodore Tuttle became the architect of Oklahoma’s Career & Technology Education System. In the early 1960s he determined that Oklahoma was not meeting the needs of all children as many were falling by the wayside.

His concerns led him to develop a bold vision for a system that would provide services to high school and adult students, as well as businesses, which would directly secure the state’s economic future. Governors and key stakeholders embraced his philosophy. With his supporters, Tuttle evaluated what was and was not working in vocational systems across the country. He was determined that Oklahoma was going to do it better than any other state.

Tuttle’s passion to make a difference in the lives of young people led him and his supporters to persuade citizens of Oklahoma to pass State Question 434 in 1966 to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to provide for the creation of a Career Tech system. Citizens in local school districts voted to increase their ad valorem taxes to form area vocational-technology school districts, known today as technology centers.

Tuttle, who served as director of the State Department of Vocational and Technical Education in Oklahoma from 1967 until his retirement in 1986, distinguished himself internationally as an innovator and pacesetter in vocational education. He realized that a positive relationship between industry and education was vital for the success of both, as well as providing for a strong and diverse economic infrastructure. His progressive ideas about vocational education helped Oklahoma become a model for other states to follow.

Fun fact

Tuttle pioneered the Vo Tech system throughout the state of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma connections

Tuttle was born and raised in Oklahoma.









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