When Congress passed legislation in 1963 providing for area vo-tech schools, Oklahoma qualified for five schools. The Duncan Board of Education unanimously supported a vo-tech. Duncan requested a vo-tech in 1965 and became the fourth vo-tech site in Oklahoma. The “Duncan Area Vocational-Technical Center” opened its doors in the fall of 1966, with Hoyt Sandlin serving as its first director.
The original vo-tech building, now the West Building on the Duncan High School campus, opened with 10 programs and 301 students.
Delbert Morrison was named superintendent in 1973 and under his leadership, the voters in the Bray, Central, Comanche, Duncan, Empire, Grandview, Pernell, Temple, Terral, Velma-Alma, Walters and Waurika school districts voted a $1.4 million bond issue on February 4, 1975, to form the Red River Area Vocational-Technical district.
A 10-year plan was adopted to retire the bond. Sixteen full-time programs were offered when the 113,000-square foot facility opened its doors at 3300 W. Bois D’Arc in Duncan in the fall of 1977. The building was formally dedicated on June 4, 1978.
The 13 schools which now comprise the Red River district include: Bray-Doyle; Central High; Comanche; Duncan; Empire; Grandview; Marlow; Ryan; Temple; Terral; Velma-Alma; Walters; and Waurika.
Red River Area Vocational-Technical School has now become the Red River Technology Center. The school has been fortunate to have longevity and continuity in its leadership. There have been only four superintendents.
Jerry Morris, the deputy superintendent for over 20 years, became superintendent in September 1995 upon the retirement of Delbert Morrison. Morris served as Superintendent until January 2008. Superintendent Ken Layn served from March 2008 through his retirement in December 2012. Current Superintendent Dennis Loafman replaced Layn in January 2013.
Since becoming an area school, 21 people, including current members, have served on the board of Red River Technology Center. Current members are Dee Williams, Ricky Sanders, Kristie Gaines, Sam Porter, and Lance Strickland.
As we head into the 21st century, Red River Technology Center continues to offer quality education. By continuing to build on the strength of its past, Red River Technology Center will continue to serve its communities and meet the challenges of the future.