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Virginia ACTE is an affiliate of the national Association for Career and Technical Education.

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President’s Message

George Bishop
2019–2020 Virginia ACTE President

July 1, 2019

The Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education’s mission is dedicated to expanding relevant and rigorous Career and Technical Education programs, enhancing leadership among its members and influencing public policy for the benefit of Career and Technical Education students and professionals and developing a competitive workforce in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

It is my honor to serve as President of Virginia ACTE for 2019-2020. We, as Virginia’s educators, must strengthen our position within our school divisions and professional associations. Over the past two decades I have seen membership in professional and civic associations decline, ours included. The reasons are many, varying from the greater availability of technology making actual participation irrelevant, to being overwhelmed with scheduling demands in both our personal and professional lives. However, I believe there is also a common thread running through the fabric of each association experiencing the disconnect between potential membership and actual membership: the lack of meaningful relationships. By that, I mean the personal interconnection that allows a young educator to grow personally and professionally through interaction with colleagues. The Information and Talent Age is a wonderful time to be alive. While technology contributes to our efficiency, saving valuable resources, it also takes away a very critical aspect of our humanity—our interpersonal relationships.

I am asking that, in the coming year, each Virginia ACTE member personally recruit two more educators and mentor them. Establish a personal relationship and take an interest in their professional development. Take time to get to know your colleagues. Let’s provide the leadership necessary to ensure the continued success of our professional associations both in Virginia and on a national level. New educators can definitely benefit from the resources provided in Virginia, and even veterans can sometimes use a guiding hand in finding the correct destination. If they aren’t already members of Virginia ACTE, you can show them the path and assist them on their journey to strengthening the bonds of Career and Technical Education.

I hope you will also engage this year by attending the various conferences and seminars provided by both the Virginia ACTE and ACTE. Make your plans now to attend the Virginia ACTE Leadership Seminar scheduled for January 9–10, 2020, in Richmond. The seminar provides valuable training on how members can interact with their elected representatives at the General Assembly. In addition, the seminar provides updates on education policy at the local, state, and national levels. This seminar is a showcase that brings educators from school divisions and professional associations together to understand how Virginia ACTE promotes and supports every CTE educator in the Commonwealth at the General Assembly. Please make plans now to attend.

ACTE maintians that the Association’s success is reliant on the success of its divisions, state associations and educators. Strengthening and supporting leadership and alignment throughout this infrastructure will increase both capacity and member value. ACTE is employing the following strategies:

  1. Build ACTE’s organizational capacity through a state, regional, and divisional support framework
  2. Develop a comprehensive system for identifying and onboarding potential members (all types)
  3. Retain members by communicating value, engaging current members, and delivering an easy, intuitive renewal process (all types)

We need to ensure we grow our membership as well. Let’s put Virginia on the front line of Career and Technical Education by promoting all our programs and projecting strength through networking with our fellow CTE educators across the state and nation. Being an active member of Virginia ACTE and ACTE provides you with instant professional credibility. In this day of social media, we all look to see where our physicians, attorneys, and elected officials matriculated and to which associations they belong, so why should it be any different for educators? When it comes to professional credentials, display yours proudly and deliver a message at the local, state, and national level that your professional association membership is paramount and must be supported. By doing so, your community will realize that your students are being taught by a professional.

If you have not already done so, please subscribe to the Virginia Department of Education’s TeacherDirect as soon as possible—or at least as soon as you have finished reading my message! TeacherDirect is designed to establish a direct line of communication with classroom teachers and educators. It provides a conduit for sharing new instructional resources and for making teachers aware of professional development and grant opportunities and other information of special interest to teachers and their students. This is a great way to keep current on issues relevant to all teachers and administrators.

In addition, we have one of the most comprehensive resource repositories in the nation. Under the leadership of Administrative Coordinator Kevin P. Reilly, the CTE Resource Center provides a multitude of services for educators, including curriculum development, research services, inservices, CanDo support, and more.

Let’s work together to make a big impact on developing a competitive workforce for Virginia.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. I look forward to serving as your Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education President for 2019–2020.

—George Bishop