NORMAN — Frank Coulter, former longtime superintendent at the Moore Norman Technology Center and a community leader, died Wednesday after a lengthy illness. He was 75.
Services are pending.
After serving in the U.S. Army, including serving as a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he became an educator, teaching and coaching at several schools in Kansas. His master’s degree was in guidance and counseling, and he earned school administration certification hours at the University of Oklahoma and Wichita State University.
Coulter was director of student services at Liberal Area Vo-Tech Center in Kansas when he was offered the job of assistant superintendent at the newly formed Moore Norman Vocational Technical School district in 1974. He later was named to the position of superintendent and, in the next 24 years, he guided the school in unprecedented growth and development.
The vocational education center developed a reputation as a premier technology center, serving students of all ages and the business community. Major expansions to the facilities and development of the South Penn Campus were hallmarks of the viability and growth of the school.
John Hunter, who followed Coulter as superintendent, said, “Frank’s leadership at Moore Norman and in Oklahoma career tech was exemplary. The reputation of the school made me want to be a part of it.”
Hunter reflected on Coulter’s commitment to counseling and guidance for students.
“He was ahead of his time, and most of the Oklahoma Technology Centers followed his lead in providing these services to students,” Hunter said.
Norman banker Charles Hollingsworth, who has known Coulter since he came to Norman and serves on the Moore Norman Technology Center Foundation board of directors, said, “The Norman community is deeply saddened by the passing of Frank Coulter. Frank was brave enough to think differently, bold enough to lean forward with this thinking and talented enough to get the job done.”
Speaking of Coulter’s “humanity and humility,” Hollingsworth said “those qualities, along with the experience and brilliance, combined to make things happen, not only in his professional life but as a community member.
Speaking of Coulter’s ability to make people laugh, Hollingsworth said, “He captured the imagination of those he touched. Even though we grieve his death, those who knew him best will also find a respectful moment for a smile on their face as they remember all the good times that were shared with our friend.”
Coulter is survived by his wife, Sheryl, three sons and five grandchildren.