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

Virginia Lottery
Thanks to Virginia Lottery for supporting Career and Technical Education in Virginia.


2019 Virginia ACTE’s Annual Professional Development Leadership Seminar for Virginia Educators

The 2019 Seminar was well attended this year, and for the first time in three years, the weather was very cooperative!

The Seminar kicked off with a celebration of advocacy since Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education was organized and the changes in the Seminar format to strengthen advocacy efforts.  The Seminar was led by Dr. Jessica Jones, Virginia ACTE President.

Dr. Megan Healy, Chief Workforce Development Advisor, kicked off the Seminar with information on Career and Technical Education and how the CTE programs fit into developing a qualified and competitive workforce.

A distinguished panel made up educators and business and industry folks discussed the Connection of K-12 Education to the Workforce.  The panel included Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education; Zuzana Steen, University and Academic Relations Manager, Micron Technology; Seth Black, Director of Career and Technical Education, Hampton City Public Schools; and  Pam McClellan, School Counseling Services, Arlington Public Schools.

Participants had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions addressing the Career Academies of Hampton presented by Seth Black; Developing and Sustaining Education and Business Partnerships presented by Zuzana Steen; and Career Connections:  Middle School Lab presented by Angela Rigney, Director of Career and Technical Education, Pittsylvania County Schools.

The afternoon sessions addressed the advocacy activities, bills filed, and generating support for the funding initiatives of the CTE Resource Center, CTE equipment and credentialing.  Participants received updates and information on meeting with policymakers. 

An update on Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) was presented with three perspectives.  Michael Connet with national ACTE discussed the federal update, George Willcox, Director of Accountability and Operations, VDOE, discussed the impact of Perkins V to the local school divisions, and Dr. David Eshelman, Director of Workforce and Education Initiatives, VDOE, discussed the relationship to workforce development.

The Virginia ACTE Awards Banquet recognized outstanding CTE educators.  Julia Henderson was named the Outstanding New Career and Technical Education Teacher, Kimberly Wilson was named the Outstanding Career and Technical Education Teacher, Barbara Comer was received the Carl Perkins Community Service Award, and Janet Clark received the Virginia ACTE Career Guidance Award.  These awardees’ applications will be forward to ACTE Region II as nominees from Virginia ACTE.

Student leaders from the Career Technical Student Organizations were introduced and during the two day event assisted the Governor in signing the proclamation for CTE Month and students were introduced during the General Assembly Session.

Delegate Matthew James, 80th District, Virginia House of Delegates, was recognized as the Virginia ACTE 2019 Policymaker of the Year.  Delegate James provides great support and advocacy for CTE.

Participants heard from Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, during breakfast on Friday morning.  Secretary Qarni highlighted the many CTE programs he visited this year and the need to expand CTE across the commonwealth.

Visits to policymakers are a highlight of the Virginia ACTE Seminar and provides a great opportunity to share success stories of students and the expanding opportunities of CTE.