Freda Deskin, Ph. D, Superintendent and founder of ASTEC Charter Schools, will be honored by  University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) as a Distinguished Alumni Award on Nov. 4 at a special luncheon at the Nigh University Center on the UCO campus.

For more than 50 years, UCO has honored its most outstanding alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award.  These individuals truly are Central’s brightest shining stars. The award recognizes their outstanding accomplishments in education, arts and sciences, business/professions, community service or university service.

Deskin is the Chief Executive Officer/Founder

/Superintendent of Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) Schools in Oklahoma City. ASTEC was the first start-up charter school in the state and serves nearly 1,000 inner-city students in grades 6-12.

Deskin earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master’s degree in secondary education and a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma (OU), where she was a National Collegiate Scholastic All-American. She holds a certificate in strategic management from Harvard University and has completed additional coursework in finance at Oklahoma City University (OCU).

Deskin has been an education leader for over four decades. She taught for fifteen years at the pre-collegiate level and nine years at the University of Oklahoma. She served for six years as a university dean at Oklahoma City University until founding ASTEC Charter Schools in 2000. Deskin has been honored numerous times at every level for her teaching and leadership skills and for her community commitment.

Deskin has long been an innovator in education, impacting hundreds of thousands of learners. She established the “Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind,” the Oklahoma Aerospace Academy, the International Aerospace Academy, “Team Quest,” ropes and leadership programs at both OU and OCU and co-founded For Youth Initiatives (FYI), a high school dropout awareness and prevention program. In 1985, Deskin was selected as a finalist in NASA’s “Teacher in Space” project, becoming one of only 100 individuals in the world with the official title of “U.S. Space Ambassador.” Deskin has been honored by the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, the American Institute of Architects, Enterprising Women Magazine, The University of Oklahoma athletic department, the Journal Record, Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps and many other organizations. The University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s “Career Achievement Award” recognized her continued contribution to education. Deskin was inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame in 2012 and was a runner-up in the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education.

The Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter  (ASTEC) Schools are public schools of choice in Oklahoma City serving middle and high school students. Today the two inner-city schools have a combined enrollment of more than 900 students.

For more information, contact Jennifer Gehay at jgehay@asteccharterschools.com or visit the website at

asteccharterschools.com.