On Monday, October 29th, Rogers County Health Department will be celebrating the long and impactful career of Trena Hickinbotham. After spending the last four years successfully implementing Project LAUNCH, Trena will be retiring from the Health Department with over 30 years of service to families in Oklahoma.This event to honor her will be at Rogers County Health Department, 2664 N. Hwy 88, Claremore, OK, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and is open to all who want to congratulate and wish Trena a happy retirement.
Trena began her illustrious career after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Elementary-Early Childhood Education from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR in 1987 and her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR in 1988. Her first position after college was withthe Child Guidance Program as a Child Development Specialist at Comanche County Health Department in Lawton, OK.In 1989, Trena transferred to Mayes County Health Department in Pryor to be closer to family. In 1991 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) Part C went into effect and the Health Department started serving families of children birth-3 years old with special needs, therefore Trena split her time between the early intervention program, SoonerStart, and Child Guidance.
In 1992, Trena transferred to Tulsa County to work fulltime in SoonerStart. During her time there she worked with many families and served as Lead Clinician for the west team until 1994 when she was promoted to Technical Supervisor for other Child Development Specialists. Trena then served families through the Child Guidance Program at the Tulsa City-County Health Department and mentored Child Development Specialists in both SoonerStart and Child Guidance programs in northeast and central Oklahoma. She spent a total of 22 years in Tulsa before taking a position as the Community Coordinator of Project LAUNCH, a four million dollar early childhood grant at the Rogers County Health Department. As a Child Development Specialist, Trena has provided parenting and developmental information to professionals and families with children birth – 8 years old for over 30 years.
Trena’s service has included many awards and has positively impacted early childhood education and understanding. She is a founding member of the Oklahoma Family Resource Coalition which has set a standard and provides a credential for parent educators in Oklahoma. Her work and dedication has been acknowledged by receiving both the Oklahoma Family Matters Award and the National Linda Johnston Administrator of the Year award from Practical Parent Education.Trena states she has been honored to work with so many wonderful families in Oklahoma as well as outstanding colleagues that have become dear friends. “Both the families and my colleagues have taught me so much and I will forever be grateful to them. I have loved my time with the Health Department and my work in Rogers County. I have found the community to be very caring and willing to work together for the betterment of families.”
This wonderful staff member of Rogers County Health Department has touched her fellow co-workers as much as she has Oklahoma families. All have great things to say about working with Trena, a few comments are:
“Trena has been my mentor here and has given me a love and passion for young children. She has impacted my life both personally and professionally.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with such an outstanding, dedicated, wonderful professional. Trena came to work every day with a passion for improving the lives of children of all ages and helping the providers who care for them. We wish her the very best in retirement.”
“Trena is not only a passionate and dedicated co-worker, she is a caring individual who truly makes everyone around her feel special and appreciated. She will be missed.”
After retiring, Trena plans to move back to her home state of Arkansas and spend time with her family.
Please join us in celebrating Trena’s career by attending her retirement party on October 29that Rogers County Health Department from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. Come and go as you are able.