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Drake State Administrator and Faculty Recognized at Alabama Education Week Luncheon


(Huntsville, Alabama)- Dr. Helen McAlpine, President and faculty members, Mr. Karl Henry and Mr. Fred Pruitt were recognized for their contributions to education. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the Educational Summit held on the University of Alabama – Huntsville Campus.

Dr. Helen McAlpine received the prestigious Education Leadership award. This award recognized McAlpine for her contributions to the state’s educational system and service to the community. McAlpine has spent nearly forty years as an educator having served as a high school guidance counselor, administrator and now President of J.F. Drake State Technical College. She is the third President of Drake State and the first female to hold this position. During her tenure, the college’s student population has doubled and the college has added two class locations. Mr. James Foster of Virginia College was also honored.

Mr. Karl Henry received recognition for his contributions to the development of course curriculum, community involvement and campus leadership. Henry has provided instructional training at Drake State since 1993. During his sixteen year tenure, Henry has progressed from instructor to division chair. Additionally, his program has been nationally recognized by the Historically Black Colleges and University Research Conference for the use of grant funding for research and course development.

Mr. Fred Pruitt has served as the department head of the Drake State Welding Department for the last five years. Under Pruitt’s direction, the program’s enrollment has increased incrementally each year by 70%. The increase in enrollment moved the program from one of the smallest on campus to the top three for student enrollment. Pruitt was a former Drake State student who worked in industry for several years before returning to the college as an instructor.

All three area school systems recognized their Teacher of the Year winners as well as other notable contributions in the area of Higher Education.

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