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Meet Denise Burns, MHR, Special Needs Counselor Assessment Coordinator – at Canadian Valley Technology Center at Chickasha, OK.

Denise Burns has been a school counselor for 26 years. She came to Canadian Valley Technology Center/Chickasha campus in August 2021 in the role of Special Needs Counselor/Assessment Center Coordinator. She absolutely loves her job! Denise is the counselor for our Service Careers Programs: Building & Grounds Maintenance and new Hospitality Program.

Denise grew up in Anadarko Oklahoma in a third generation farming family. She participated in 4-H, FFA, student council, basketball and softball. Denise was fortunate enough to attend college on a dual sports scholarship where she attended Sterling College in Sterling Kansas. After an injury, she attended the University of Oklahoma where Denise received her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in social work and a master's degree in human relations.

Shortly after graduation, Denise married her best friend and high school sweetheart. They have been married for 33 years. They have two grown children, Blake and Brooklin, two bonus children, Rachael and Clayton and two loves of their lives, their new grandbabies- Wright Ray and Huntleigh Grace. They live in the small community of Amber where, in their spare time, they run a cow calf operation.

Denise's favorite thing to do is play with her grandchildren. They are six and seven months old and doing the cutest things. She loves being their Lolli! When she is not helping her husband on the ranch or taking care of grandbabies, Denise enjoys gardening, home decorating, traveling and attending OU football and softball games.

After coming to CVTech, Denise feels like she has found her forever work home. Denise absolutely loves her job! Being a seasoned school counselor, working with littles to bigs, she has always found the most rewarding time is working with her special populations: connecting students and families to needed resources and assisting in eliminating barriers to learning and success. Denise loves seeing students recognize and develop their special gifts and talents and find ways to incorporate those in the world of work.

Denise also appreciate different aspects of her job from recruitment to assessment. She says "It's rewarding, helping student ambassadors grow in their roles and watch them share their stories and passion for their programs". CVTech has also installed a student advisory team composed of all student representation on the campus. Through this program they have identified student needs and concerns. One of the most impactful endeavors has been the implementation of the "Snack Shack." The snack shack is accessible daily in the commons area, with meal assistance during long breaks/holidays. It was initially funded with the help of CVTech staff, it has since grown with the support of their local foundation and other community resources. Their student advisory has been very powerful and instrumental in identifying student needs/concerns and making improvements for a better learning environment.

Denise Burns emphasized that she is proud to be a member of ESSPOK!

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