Annual Leadership Seminar
Issues and Solutions and CTE Fact Sheet
Virginia ACTE’s 2016–2017 Issues and Solutions for CTE in Virginia and the 2016–2017 CTE Fact Sheet are now both available for download.
Virginia ACTE Members Attend National Policy Seminar in Washington
All Virginia Congressional representatives received a visit from the group. Read more and see photos.
Virginia ACTE’s recruitment video:
Darla Miller, Virginia ACTE President
Greetings! Let me begin by introducing myself to you. My name is Darla Miller, and I am your current president of the Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education (Virginia ACTE). Career and Technical Education has been a part of my life since I enrolled in my first agriculture class in the eighth grade. I was active in agriculture and the FFA throughout my high school career and, upon graduating from high school, spent four years at Virginia Tech working on a bachelor of science degree from the College of Agriculture and earning a teaching certificate. Becoming a veterinarian was my career goal, but like many of the students that I work with on a daily basis, sometimes we have to look at other options as well—as I like to call it, a “Plan B.” So I opted for “Plan B” and spent a total of 15 years teaching agriscience to middle school students, with a stop along the way to earn a master’s in education.
When all was said and done, I finally landed my dream job as principal of a regional technical center. Why is it my dream job, you may wonder. Well, I have the opportunity to impact students’ lives daily. And you may now be saying, so what? All high school principals do that on a daily basis. I would agree with you, except for the fact that, unlike a comprehensive high school principal, I am able to make an immediate impact on workforce readiness training, whether that involves assisting students in seeking employment or furthering their education. And, because of what you do on a daily basis, either as a classroom teacher or as a program administrator, you also have the ability to impact the lives of so many young people.
Virginia ACTE’s mission states that we are dedicated to expanding relevant and rigorous Career and Technical Education programs, enhancing leadership among our members, and influencing public policy for the benefit of Career and Technical Education students and professionals and developing a competitive workforce in the Commonwealth. I encourage each of you to reflect on what you do in your career to help promote Virginia ACTE’s mission statement. Also, I encourage each of you to reflect on what you do on a daily basis to promote your own division’s mission statement.
When the students in the graduating class of 2022 receive their diplomas, they will have met the graduation requirements passed in 2016 that were designed to ensure they receive the knowledge, skills, competencies, and experiences to make them “life-ready” during their K-12 education. What that means has to yet to become finalized, but I know one thing for sure: Career and Technical Education has the opportunity to take the lead in helping students become “life-ready.” I know this because we are already providing that opportunity in the courses we offer, the career and technical student organization (CTSO) experiences provided, the work-based learning afforded, and the numerous other “life-ready” experiences we make available to our students. To make sure we take the lead, we must be able to work together as one, in our individual divisions and as a collective group. Power is in the numbers.
So, I close with this thought by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Join your division and Virginia ACTE today, and let’s work together for success.
For CTE Professional Development videos, webinars, and presentations, please visit the Virginia Department of Education web site.