Automotive Technology Department Head
Shannon Fargo is from Kellyville, Oklahoma learning the ins and outs of racecars. He attended Lincoln Technical Institute’s Diesel Program. Fargo spent years working for trucking companies before going back to Lincoln Tech to teach. He then went on to teach at Fort Worth Independent School District as an Automotive Instructor before creating a new curriculum and training techs for Peterbilt across 33 states and 4 countries. Fargo taught at North Central Texas College before moving back to Kellyville to lead the Automotive Technology Department at Oklahoma Technical College.
Diesel Department Head
Brett Ritchey is the Diesel Technology Department Head at Oklahoma Technical College, and teaches the AM diesel class. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology and Diesel and Heavy Equipment from Pittsburg State University. Brett also is an ASE certified Master Technician with years of experience in the trucking industry, agricultural industry, construction equipment, and automotive industry. In his spare time he likes to hunt, fish, and work on anything that has an engine.
Electrical Technology Department Head
Michael Bavuso began his electrical career in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California in 1973. He attended Electrician’s Mate A School and was assigned to U.S.S. Berkeley DDG-15. He attended Pittsburg State University’s Vocational Electrical Program and earned an associate degree in Electronics from Olympic College. Bavuso received a Certificate of Completion in the Air Conditioning & Heating program at Tulsa Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and a Journeyman Electrician license and his Electrical Contractor License from the state of Oklahoma. He joins Oklahoma Technical College as the Electrical Technology Department Head with 40+ years of experience in the field.
Welding Department Head
Rod Riggs has 17 years of experience in the Welding Field and retired from the US Navy after 20 years of service. During his 17 years as a Professional Code Welder, he has worked in multiple Fabrication Shops as well as field welding and most recently worked all over the U.S. as a Cross Country Pipeline/Rig Welder.
Rod has an Associate of Science degree in Welding Technology and Industry
Management from Oklahoma Technical College. He is also an Executive board
member of the Tulsa Section of the American Welding Society. Rod has been at OTC for the past nine years, serving as the Welding Department Head for six of those years.
Rod is from Catoosa. He has identical twin sons who are both serving in the U.S. Army. He is a grandfather with three grandchildren and another on the way. Rod enjoys the outdoors and has a passion for welding even in his spare time.
Patrick Whelpley has been working in higher education for 6 years and enjoys being in this life changing field. Before higher education, he spent 7 years in banking, finance and mortgage industries. A graduate of Southwestern College in Kansas, he is most proud of his two young daughters and being a part of the excellent team here at OTC.
Loimata (Maka) Tupuola
Financial Aid Specialist and Veterans School Certifying Official
Loimata Tupuola has been working with Community Higher Education for almost a year. She has 9 years of Financial Aid experience before joining our team. Loimata has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and plans to continue her education in the near future. Loimata comes from a big family with 6 siblings. She is originally from Hawaii but moved around a bit due to her dad being in the military. She enjoys traveling, swimming, and spending time with her family.
Leonda Clements has over 25 years of experience working in business and finance. She has a passion for education and its ability to change people’s lives for the better. Leonda has a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a Masters in Science Management both from Southern Nazarene University. Leonda served as Senior Financial Aid Specialist / School Certifying Official at both Oklahoma Technical College and Community Care College for 12 years prior to being promoted to Campus Director of Oklahoma Technical College. Leonda will continue to serve as the Veteran Coordinator for Community HigherEd, representing our three colleges and our military-connected students throughout the state of Oklahoma. In her spare time, she is active in her church, loves music, reading and enjoys cooking for her family.
Dr. Kevin Kirk
Kevin Kirk is President of Community Care College, Clary Sage College and Oklahoma Technical College, where he has served for nearly 17 years. Prior to his current position, Kevin worked as a learning performance consultant for IBM. Dr. Kirk was also employed by the Mayo Clinic as Chair of the Division of Education Services. He also served as Director of Continuing Education at Utah State University. Dr. Kirk has also been employed by the University of Phoenix and three public Community Colleges.
With a professional career focused on helping others achieve success, Kevin firmly believes that education opens doors for opportunity and he loves teaching and helping others achieve their dreams.
Kevin served as President of the Adult Education Association of Utah and was a Board member of the Utah Community Education Association and Mountain Plains Adult Education Association. He also served as the president of the Western Kansas Community College Consortium. Kevin was elected as a two-term commissioner with the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Dr. Kirk also chaired The National Awards Committee for CCA and APSCU from 2006-2012.
Teresa Knox and Kevin are two time recipients of the Tulsa Business and Economic Development Commission’s “Small Business of the Year Award”.
Kevin is the father of four children. He holds a BS, Master’s and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University. In graduate school, Kevin was a recipient of the C.S. Mott Foundation Fellowship as well as being the awardee of the Mountain Plains Adult Education Scholarship. Kevin has served as Assistant Scoutmaster and enjoys golf, fly fishing, hunting, gardening, and playing with his grandchildren.
Chief Financial Officer
Pallavi “Polly” Agarwal serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Community Care College, Clary Sage College, and Oklahoma Technical College. Polly is a true servant leader and loves the college’s CARES culture. Polly has her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a major in Accounts/Finance. While pursuing her bachelors, she worked as an intern at a CPA firm for several years. A few years later she earned her Master’s in Business Administration at Oral Roberts University (ORU), Tulsa OK. During her M.B.A. program, she started working at Community Care College as an Accountant, and was then promoted to the Accounting Manager position. Polly has been serving as the CFO of the colleges since January of 2016. Throughout her 10+ years with the colleges Polly has been dedicated to serving others and developing leaders.
Career Life and Development Department Head
Estrella Ramírez is a seasoned educator with over a decade of experience in education impacting thousands of students’ lives over the course of her career. She earned an Associates degree in Pre-Education from Tulsa Community College in 2013, a Bachelor’s degree from ORU in Modern Foreign Language Education in 2015 (Spanish Education), and a Dual Master’s degree in Administration of Education and Curriculum and Instruction in 2022 from Emporia State University. Estrella loves education and believes teaching to be her divine calling so she is very passionate about it. She personally used education to transform her life and has a desire to instill the importance of education in as many people’s lives as possible. She believes education to be the key to unlocking countless opportunities and is determined to help put the key of education into the hands of every student she is blessed to teach.