Heather Gottsch, Cherokee FCS Teacher and FCCLA Adviser, is one of 29 women who recently completed the Oklahoma CareerTech Women in Leadership Program. The purpose of the CareerTech Women in Leadership program is to create a professional learning community that will maximize leadership opportunities for women in CareerTech education.

The founding women of this program believe that women in leadership roles have a desire and obligation to demonstrate leadership behaviors to their peers. In addition, they believe women leaders have a responsibility to assist in the development of leadership behaviors in their colleagues. Finally, they believe in creating a culture of courageous leaders; these leaders are the backbone of sustainable organizations.

The objectives of the program are to empower women in CTE to develop the strategies and skills to be more effective leaders; provide opportunities to share leadership insights and compare experiences with women in CTE and their champions; and address organizational and personal challenges by women leaders.

The program spanned over four months and included sessions led by women like Dr. Kayse Shrum, Oklahoma State University President; Breea Clark, Mayor of the City of Norman; Chancellor Allison Garrett, chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education; and Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Sessions were held at Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton; Oklahoma State Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater; Kiamichi Technology Center in Durant; and Moore Norman Technology Center in Norman.

Gottsch, who holds a Master of Education degree in Education Administration, currently serves in leadership positions in numerous professional and civic organizations. She is a member of the CareerTech Administrative Council, Past-President of the Oklahoma Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences, Chair-Elect of the Oklahoma FCCLA Alumni and Associates Board of Directors, President of the Cherokee Education Association, a member of the Cherokee Public Schools Federal Programs Consultation Team, and serves as a mentor teacher for the FCS Division of ODCTE. In addition, Gottsch is the treasurer of the Beta Phi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha and treasurer and founding member of the Cherokee Rural League Association. 

By completing Class XII of the Women in Leadership Program, Gottsch joins approximately 150 other women across the state of Oklahoma who graduated from this program.