Mother Follows in Daughter’s Footsteps as a CV Tech Student


Kellie Burgess, left, followed daughter, Peyton, to CV Tech’s Chickasha Campus and to the school’s Early Care and Education program.

CHICKASHA – Peyton Burgess believes she began carving a personal niche when she enrolled last year in Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Early Care and Education program. She admits to being happy that she found a career pursuit that interested her.

Burgess, 17, and a senior at Ninnekah High School, got involved right away. She competed in the state contest for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Conference. She also serves as president of CV Tech’s FCCLA chapter, which is a student organization for future industry professionals.

Burgess said she made an unexpected impression upon her mother, Kellie, who was thinking about re-entering the workforce after a 10-year hiatus. She applied for a job at a local childcare center, which was familiar territory since she had previously worked six years at one. She got the job but discovered that credentials, such as Master Teacher certification, provide CV Tech graduates with elevated hiring status.

“What’s a mom to do,” she asked herself. Kellie Burgess, a Class of 1996 graduate at Bray-Doyle High School, followed in her daughter’s footsteps and enrolled last August in CV Tech’s afternoon Early Care and Education class. Her daughter was in the morning class.

“I chose the 12 (p.m.) to 3 timeframe since my daughter was in the morning,” she said. “I knew I would be the mom who was checking up on her if I enrolled at the same time. It was important to me, because I was that kid in school who never did her homework and just skated by.”

Due to her prior experience working with young children, Kellie Burgess, completed the program’s preparation for the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in just six months and is now considered a program graduate. A CDA is based on core competency standards for teachers of young children.

She is also now ready to take the Master Teacher certification exam.

As for her daughter, Peyton Burgess, graduation is in May. High school students must complete 1,050 hours within a program to be considered completers. Adults can finish quicker, depending on the program.

That suits Peyton Burgess fine.

“When I enrolled, I was still trying to figure out for sure what I want to do as a career,” she said. “I believed working with children was where I wanted to start.”

CV Tech has a nationally-accredited on-site childcare facility rated a state-best three stars. Children within the center are observed and cared for by CV Tech students in rotations throughout the week.

“It has been a great experience for me,” Peyton Burgess said. “All the children and teachers are amazing. They are really helpful when I don’t know what to do in a situation.”

Immediate future plans include enrolling at a community college and perhaps studying Psychology, she said. Long-range plans include potentially working for the Department of Human Services.

“We used to provide foster care for children who were in emergency care because they were removed from a dangerous family situation,” she said. “The kids would usually stay with us for a week.

“I have also thought about the mission field. I have been to Honduras three times with my church (The Chickasha Christian Center), and that type of work appeals to me too.”


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