Nick Gaunt acceptss AFA Award

Updated September 1, 2023

Nick Gaunt, the esteemed Network Security & Administration instructor at Central Tech, continues to make waves in the world of education and cybersecurity. Following his recent recognition as the AFA Teacher of the Year by the Gerrity Chapter, Gaunt’s exceptional commitment to fostering student success and advancing cybersecurity education has propelled him to new heights. 

Gaunt’s dedication to his craft was reaffirmed when he was announced as the recipient of the prestigious Oklahoma AFA Teacher of the Year award. The announcement was made at the annual awards banquet held on August 17, 2023, at Rose State College in Midwest City, OK. Gaunt’s passion for cybersecurity education and his remarkable contributions to student development and competitive cybersecurity learning were key factors in securing this accolade. 

As a result of his recent accomplishments, Gaunt is now positioned to compete for the national AFA Teacher of the Year award. His exemplary teaching methods, leadership in cybersecurity education, and enduring impact on students make him a strong contender for this prestigious national recognition. 

LaDonna Gear, assistant superintendent for Central Tech, commented, “Nick Gaunt’s journey from the Gerrity Chapter award to the Oklahoma AFA Teacher of the Year is an inspiring testament to his dedication and excellence in education. His contributions inspire educators and students alike, making him a true role model.” 

Central Tech congratulates Nick Gaunt on this exceptional achievement and wishes him the best as he advances to the national competition for the AFA Teacher of the Year award. 

Nick Gaunt acceptss AFA Award
Nick Gaunt Award at OK AFA Luncheon

June 26, 2023

The Gerrity Air Force Association (AFA) announced Nick Gaunt as the recipient of the prestigious AFA Teacher of the Year award at the annual AFA Gerrity Chapter Awards Breakfast in Midwest City on June 6, 2023. Gaunt, Network Security & Administration‘s instructor for Central Tech and an esteemed educator with 23 years of teaching experience, was recognized for his exceptional dedication to student success and his significant contributions to the field of competitive cybersecurity education. 

Gaunt’s commitment to fostering a positive learning environment and cultivating a passion for knowledge, problem-solving, and teamwork among his students set him apart as an outstanding educator. His extensive experience and expertise have made a lasting impact on the lives of countless students throughout his career. 

Since 2012, Gaunt has served as a CyberPatriot coach, nurturing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. His unwavering dedication to the program has yielded remarkable results, with four of his teams reaching the national CyberPatriot competition. Notably, Gaunt’s coached teams have consistently advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious platinum division each year. 

Gaunt’s passion for cybersecurity education extends beyond coaching. He has collaborated with other educators to develop the Oklahoma Cup, a state-wide competition that provides students with invaluable opportunities to test their cybersecurity skills and learn from one another. Now in its third year, the Oklahoma Cup has experienced exponential growth, with over 70 participating teams and more than 350 competitors. 

“I am truly honored to receive the AFA Teacher of the Year award,” said Gaunt. “It is a testament to the dedication of my students and the support of my colleagues. I hope this recognition shines a spotlight on the importance of cybersecurity education and inspires other educators to foster a passion for this critical field.” 

Gaunt’s impact extends beyond his own students. All five of the CyberPatriot semi-final teams this year participated in the Oklahoma Cup, highlighting the invaluable experience and opportunities this competition offers to budding cybersecurity enthusiasts. 

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Gaunt is currently collaborating with fellow educators to develop a comprehensive curriculum for future CyberPatriot coaches. This initiative aims to provide a standardized framework for training teams, ensuring students across different schools and districts receive the same high-quality education and preparation for competitions. 

“We congratulate Nick Gaunt on this well-deserved recognition,” said Shane Bruce, Drumright campus director for Central Tech. “His dedication to cybersecurity education and his commitment to empowering students are commendable. Gaunt is an inspiration to educators and students alike, and we are proud to honor his outstanding achievements.” 

Gaunt’s passion for teaching and his relentless pursuit of excellence make him a fitting recipient of the AFA Teacher of the Year award. Central Tech congratulates Gaunt on this prestigious honor and extends its gratitude for his contributions to the field of cybersecurity education. 

Learn more about the Network Security & Administration class here.