Carri Risner, director of the Boonslick Technical Education Center, was awarded New Administrator of the Year from the Missouri Council of Career and Technical Education Administrators last week.

Risner is in her second year as administrator of the BTEC, and she said she’s tried to make the school a more visible option to high school students in Cooper County. She’s focused on communicating with the sending schools outside Boonville to bring in more students from Blackwater, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home and Bunceton.

“I’ve heard that we’re the best kept secret, and we don’t want that,” she said.

The school hosted an open house for students and parents to learn about the different programs the BTEC offers, and it’s holding another one on Oct. 21, she said. The school will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. and teachers will be there to talk about their programs, she said. The school also installed a National Technical Honor Society chapter, which can earn scholarships for students, added courses like technical math.

BTEC Administrative Assistant Cathy Gochenour collected nominating letters from BTEC instructors, students and parents after Risner’s former boss and mentor, Columbia Public School Chief Operations Officer Randy Gooch, suggested nominating her for the award.

Nominating letters highlighted how Risner has been active communicating to students, parents, and the community, and how she encourages and respects students and teachers.

“Many students will come into the office on a daily basis just to say, ‘Hi,’ to her,” Gochenour wrote. “She always gives them a warm, genuine smile, solid advice, and every once in a while, a piece of chocolate.”