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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Please Welcome Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju, New State CTE Director for Iowa

January 24th, 2014

We are pleased to announce Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju has accepted the position of Chief of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Division of Community Colleges, Iowa Department of Education.

He most recently served as the deputy director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the University of Louisville.  His extensive prior experience includes serving as the Minnesota CTE/Perkins system director and in various other positions within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security (now Employment and Economic Development).  In Minnesota, he provided leadership for the development of secondary and postsecondary Perkins consortia and grant activities supporting adult education career pathway development. 

Before entering the public sector, Dr. Kotamraju taught at several higher education institutions.  Pradeep is a prolific writer and researcher with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois and degrees from George Washington University and the University of Delhi.  Among other work, he has served as a senior consultant for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant evaluations, president of the Association for CTE Research, and on the National Council on Workforce Education Board.Pradeep_Kotamraju_72ppi

As chief of the CTE bureau, Pradeep will be responsible for the direction of statewide efforts related to secondary and postsecondary CTE and veterans’ education. This includes connecting research, policy, and practice to advance secondary CTE modernization and representing Iowa nationally as the state director for CTE.

When asked about his new role, Pradeep said “I am excited to become Iowa’s State CTE Director and join a team at the Iowa Department of Education that is already undertaking many wide-ranging projects involving secondary CTE, community colleges, adult education, and workforce development, all working together to rethink Iowa’s CTE programs, administration, policy, and accountability systems. The overarching goal of these endeavors is to ensure that all Iowans are able to access a fully vibrant 21st century CTE.”

Please welcome Pradeep, who can be reached at [email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Welcomes State Director Russell Weikle of California

September 12th, 2013

Russell Weikle, a key veteran of state and national Career Technical Education efforts, is the new director of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Career and College Transition Division.

Russ WeikleAs director of the Career and College Transition Division, Russ provides leadership and guidance to five education units covering the 15 CTE industry sectors; Regional Occupational Centers and Programs; more than 400 California Partnership Academies; linked learning research and development; 21st Century skills research and development; California Career Technical Student Organizations; high school innovation and initiatives; post-secondary program relations; Perkins federal program management; and several other career and college initiatives.

Russell joined the California Department of Education in 2001, and has served as a consultant, administrator, and State Director for SkillsUSA. He has been the Administrator for the Carl D. Perkins grant office since 2005 and was the catalyst in the development and implementation of the 2008 State Plan for CTE. Most recently, he led the effort to revise the CTE Model Curriculum Standards, which were approved by the California State Board of Education in January 2013.

In 2011, the Association of California School Administrators recognized Mr. Weikle as the California CTE Administrator of the Year in recognition for his long time dedication to the improvement of CTE in California.

Prior to his assignment at the California Department of Education, Russell served as a middle school principal, a high school counselor and CTE instructor.

Russell earned an MA in Industrial Technology and a BA in Industrial Arts from California State University, Fresno. He holds credentials in School Administration, Counseling, Industrial Arts education, and a Designated Subjects credential in Carpentry.

Russell has been serving as the interim State CTE Director since Dr. Patrick Ainsworth’s November 2012 retirement.

NASDCTEc welcomes Russell Weikle, a true CTE advocate. He can be reached at [email protected].

For additional information please visit the California Career and College Transition Division web page.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New Indiana State Director Dr. Peggy Wild

May 6th, 2013

NASDCTEc welcomes Dr. Peggy Wild, CFCS, State Director of Career & Technical Education and Assistant Director of College & Career Readiness Curriculum for STEM & CTE in Indiana, after serving as Interim in these same positions.  Until this appointment, Dr. Wild was the State Program Leader for Family & Consumer Sciences (F&CS).  She has served as the project director for Indiana’s College & Career Pathways Development & Implementation Project and liaison to Indiana’s consortium for alternate licensure of CTE teachers.  Participation in leader roles in Indiana’s esteemed CTE community provides Peggy with many opportunities to collaborate with state agencies, education entities and professional associations for the advancement of CTE.Wild 2013 at IN FCCLA

Prior to joining the Indiana Department of Education, Peggy was national marketing manager for CTE at Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Director of Education & Publications at the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), State Supervisor for F&CS at the New Hampshire Department of Education, and Assistant Professor and F&CS Teacher Education Coordinator at the University of Arizona.  Her early career consisted of classroom teaching in F&CS, language arts, and elementary special education and management positions in the hospitality industry.

Dr. Wild’s professional activities include serving as national president for AAFCS, F&CS Education Association (FCSEA) and the National Association for State Administrators of F&CS.  She participated on the management team to develop national standards for F&CS and coordinated the last review and revision of those standards.  She has presented at multiple national and state conferences on topics such as pathway assessments and industry recognized certifications, work based learning, integrating common core standards in CTE curriculum, best practices in F&CS, increasing dual credit opportunities, and alternate routes to CTE teacher licensure.

Peggy earned bachelor’s degrees in F&CS and elementary education, a master’s degree in F&CS Education, and a PhD in curriculum, instruction and assessment from the University of Arizona. She holds the national CFCS (Certified in Family & Consumer Sciences) credential.  She was awarded the Honorary Doctorate by Purdue University’s College of Education and Consumer and Family Sciences for outstanding service and leadership in F&CS innovation and improvement.  Other honors include AAFCS’s Distinguished Service and National Leader awards, ACTE’s Award of Merit and Region Three Outstanding Teacher Educator, FCSEA’s Outstanding Educator and FCCLA’s Distinguished Service Award.  

Peggy says that service to CTE and F&CS has brought rich rewards and she looks forward to active participation in NASDCTEc’s organization and activities.

We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Wild. She can be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome Todd Schwarz, State Director for Idaho

March 14th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome new State Director Dr. Todd Schwarz, Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education. The value of Career Technical Education was found early in his career when he found relevance and success at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). He first discovered the Drafting Technology Program, then found employment in the industry, and then returned to CSI to teach the program from which he’d graduated. As he continued to pursue his education part time, new opportunities arose and he entered into program coordination, department chairmanship, and was eventually promoted to Instructional Dean for technical programs at CSI. While working at CSI, Dr. Schwarz completed a Bachelor’s degree in Trade and Industrial Education from the University of Idaho, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University, a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho, and the Idaho PTE Leadership Institute.

ToddAbout the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education

The Division of Professional-Technical Education is responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult professional-technical programs that are delivered throughout all Idaho public school districts and to the six technical colleges at the College of Western Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and North Idaho College. Professional-technical education programs start at the 9th grade and provide the foundation for portable, stackable credentials that can be pursued after high school at the postsecondary level up to, and including, an Associate of Applied Science degree. Tech Prep provides an Advanced Learning Opportunity for high school students seeking postsecondary credit. PTE provides a valuable relevance and application to many traditional subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Division of Professional-Technical Education provides technical assistance to both teachers and administrators in school districts and the technical colleges. In addition, the Division provides resources and facilitates industry input in the development of statewide curricula to meet industry standards. The Division also works in collaboration with other agencies to address the changing needs of the workforce and supports this collaboration with apprenticeship and short term training through the Workforce Training Network (WTN).

In his new role as Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education, Dr. Schwarz continues to improve, advocate for, and promote Career Technical Education in Idaho.
Please join NASDCTEc in a warm welcome to Dr. Schwarz. He may be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome Ms. Kathleen Cullen, Wisconsin State Director

January 30th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome Ms. Kathleen Cullen, new State Director of Wisconsin.

Ms. Cullen was named Vice President of Teaching and Learning for the Wisconsin Technical College System in 2005. Prior to that role she served first, as an Education Director for Family and Consumer Education and then, as the Associate Vice President for Instruction. Recently, with the appointment of a new President for the System, her title changed to Provost and Vice President of Student Success to reflect the importance of acknowledging the integration of instruction and student services. In her current position Kathy provides leadership and administrative oversight for the development and delivery of the WTCS technical college educational programs, student services and assessment, economic development and adult basic education.

Kathy’s responsibilities to provide administrative oversight for activities and plans related to Wisconsin’s post-secondary programs and services, including both AEFL and Perkins creates opportunities to partner with many entities in the state and nationally. For example, her work with Perkins is dependent upon successful collaboration with Wisconsin’s K-12 community and the Department of Public Instruction. She is currently a member of Wisconsin’s Career Readiness Partnership with a focus on implementation of the Common Core. Wisconsin is a leader in the development of Career Pathways, both for youth and adults and in that work she and her staff have reached out to numerous partners to include Wisconsin’s workforce development entities, community based organizations and both the private and public four year systems.

Ms. Cullen began her career in education as a Family and Consumer Education teacher but it was during the time she worked for the University of Wisconsin Extension that she fully realized her desire to work with adult education. Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Education and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin Madison, with an emphasis on Adult Education. She has over 35 years of leadership experience in secondary and post-secondary education and looks forward to working with the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education and it prestigious membership.

We offer a warm welcome to Ms. Cullen, who can be reached at [email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Oklahoma State Director Phil Berkenbile to Retire

January 10th, 2013

Dr. Phil Berkenbile, State Director of Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, will be retiring effective February 7, 2013. Dr. Berkenbile has served as a NASDCTEc officer in several capacities, including all executive positions leading up to President 2010-2011, and Regional VI Representative.

Berkenbile began his career in Oklahoma as an agricultural education instructor for Morrison Public Schools. He joined the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech in 1988 as the agricultural education northwest district supervisor and curriculum specialist. In 1994 he became the agricultural education assistant state supervisor. A year later Berkenbile left the agency to become the superintendent of schools in Morrison. He returned to the agency in 1999 as the associate state director of educational services. In April 2003, he was selected as chief of staff, and in May 2003 he began serving as interim state director, and was named State Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in 2004, by its State Board.

Like every dedicated State Director, Berkenbile serves as Chairman of the Governor’s Taskforce on Healthcare, and is a Board member on the Governor’s Taskforce on Aerospace and Information Security, the Oklahoma Manufacturers Alliance Board, the State Insurance Advisory Council, and the State Workforce Development Board. He is President of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTE), past-chair of the Oklahoma Education Technology Trust (OETT) Foundation, Board member of the Oklahoma Community Institute, member of the Oklahoma College Savings Taskforce, member of the Academy of State Goals, and a 2001-02 graduate of Leadership Oklahoma – Class XIV. He is a member of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Program and a 2001-02 graduate of Educators Leadership Academy. He serves on the CareerTech Administrative Council (CTAC) and is a member of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE).

According to a press release, Dr. Berkenbile has seen sweeping changes in education and the economic climate.

“Our mission at CareerTech is to prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life,” said Berkenbile. “We are working with young people who are digital natives and adults who need to transition into new career fields. This has occurred at a time when several Oklahoma industries are demanding a highly skilled workforce.”

Several major initiatives have been implemented during his term as State Director. The system embraced the National Career Clusters™ initiative to help students create a strong pathway to careers. The system also created several Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics academies, including those for Pre-Engineering and Biomedical as well as offerings in biotechnology. Online opportunities for students and staff also have grown, resulting in a more efficient and technologically advanced system.

Dr. Berkenbile’s leadrship strength during his term of service as NASDCTE’s President for 2010-2011 was of particular significance as NASDCTEc adopted a progressive agenda to transform career technical education (CTE) into an education system that prepares all students to be college and career ready. The agenda and actions steps are driven by the vision outlined in Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, a document NASDCTEc adopted to chart a new course for CTE. During this moment in history, all the officer team members assumed their roles at a pivotal time as the nation’s leaders implemented a range of strategies to prepare students to compete in the global economy.

Dr. Berkenbile is currently serving on the NASDCTEc Board as Region VI Representative, serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green shared that “Phil Berkenbile has demonstrated longstanding commitment to the advancement of Career Technical Education and the overall well being of our nation’s students. The way in which he exercised his genuine passion for education certainly has been an inspiration to all who he has worked with and touched throughout the years. The changes that have taken place through his leadership have made a significant imprint on CTE and the community.”

NASDCTEc President and New Jersey State Director Marie Barry had high praise for Berkenbile: “Phil has been dedicated to the mission of CTE for decades, having positively impacted the lives of so many individuals during his career. It has been an honor and privilege to work with him in his various leadership roles in this association over the past several years. During his service on the Board of Directors and as President, his commitment, tireless efforts to advocate for CTE, and support of his colleagues were ever-present. We wish him the best of health and happiness as he embarks on his new journey of retirement.”

We wish Phil the best of luck as he surely will make an impact with any of his future endeavors.

Ms. Sharon Schonthaler, Assistant to the State Director, shared that a reception will be hosted in Dr. Berkenbile’s honor on February 7, and if anyone wanted to send a note of best wishes, she will be accepting them now, at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome Eric Spencer, New Mexico State Director

December 7th, 2012

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome Mr. Eric Spencer, new State Director of New Mexico.

Mr. Spencer was named director of the New Mexico Public Education Department’s (PED) College and Career Readiness Bureau in October 2012. Prior to assuming his new role, he served the PED for 12 ½ years in multiple roles to include Staff Manger for Career-Technical and Workforce Education, and most recently as the Budget Director for the Administrative Services Division.

Mr. Spencer began his career in education as a business teacher where he worked in one of New Mexico’s smaller high schools and in one of the largest high schools. His district level experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels, working as an assistant to a principal at an elementary school, and as an assistant to a district superintendent. For the last 6 years, he has served as adjunct faculty member in the School of Business and Professional Studies at Luna Community College where he teaches accounting, finance and economics.

His bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration, and all the coursework required for his teaching and administrative licenses, were earned at New Mexico Highlands University. After completing these credentials he studied insurance and risk management at California State University – San Francisco. He continues to be a lifelong learner as he is currently studying architectural design and art at the Santa Fe Community College.

As a recipient of numerous educational awards, he has been recognized at the state and national levels for his many contributions to the education system. When asked for a goal he said “Nothing is more important to me than to ensure we provide the opportunity for all New Mexico students to engage in a meaningful and purposeful education to achieve their college and employment goals, and to support all those in the system that make it happen.”

Please extend a warm welcome to Eric Spencer, who can be reached at [email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Meet Mike Raponi, NASDCTEc Region IX Representative

October 25th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Mike Raponi, Region IX Representative, and State Director of Nevada. Region IX encompasses Arizona, California and Nevada.

Mike Raponi has worked in technical education for over twenty-seven years as a teacher and program administrator, including his current position as director for the Office of Career Technical Education (CTE) at the Nevada Department of Education. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and a master’s degree in adult education and from Oregon State University. Mike also holds a school administration endorsement.

At the Department of Education, Mike is responsible for staff supervision, grants administration, and program development for CTE and adult education. His primary focus for CTE has been the development of common state standards, common course names and sequences, end-of-program assessments, curriculum frameworks and programs of study for all of CTE. This work is to provide the infrastructure to support state-level priorities for economic and workforce development.

Mike’s background includes time spent in the grocery and construction industries, and service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.
Mike Raponi
Mr. Raponi said his states’ work in developing a common set of standards for employability skills based on the twenty-one Workplace Readiness Standards established by the Commonwealth of Virginia, was recently adopted by the Nevada State Board of Education.

When asked for his goals as NASDCTEc Region IX representative, Mr. Raponi said he was excited to move forward on initiatives to help CTE nationwide, and to assist states in achieving goals of the new vision for CTE.

Mr. Raponi brings a rich history of CTE knowledge to the table and can be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Wisconsin State Director Dan Clancy Retires

September 18th, 2012

Dan Clancy has retired as State Director, effective September 14, 2012. Clancy’s service follows a 16-year tenure at the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), including the past 8 years as system President. NASDCTEc thanks Clancy for his contributions toward WTCS initiatives that are helping to move Wisconsin forward including work on Wisconsin Career Pathways, and for his leadership as a State Director.

Serving as Interim State Director is Kathleen Cullen, Vice President of Teaching and Learning, also at the Wisconsin Technical College System. NASDCTEc welcomes Kathleen. She can be reached at [email protected].

More information:

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Meet June Sanford, NASDCTEc Region I Representative

August 30th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring June Sanford, Region I Representative, and State Director of Connecticut. Region I encompasses Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

June Sanford joined the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in 1999 as an education consultant for school-based School-to-Career and Cooperative Work Education programs. She serves as State Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) and Perkins Program Manager responsible for grant administration, performance accountability data, state-wide program monitoring, and implementation of the Connecticut Career Clusters/Pathway Initiative. June is a state representative for the five-state New England Secondary School Consortium, League of Innovative Schools Committee, dedicated to student success. In addition, June co-leads the CSDE initiative for the Student Success Plan legislated for all students grades 6-12 under the Connecticut Plan for Secondary School Reform.

On the national level, as Connecticut State Director of CTE since 2003, June is a former President of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and has recently rejoined the Association Board of Directors. During her tenure as President, a new Vision for Career Technical Education was established, “Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education”, focused on the preparedness of students for college- and career-readiness.

Before joining the State Department of Education, June was a secondary education teacher for business, marketing, cooperative work education, and social studies, an advisor for DECA and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and grant administrator. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Post University and a M.S. degree in Business Education from Central Connecticut State University. Prior to becoming a secondary education teacher, she was employed in Corporate Human Resources for Timex Corporation as a Compensation Analyst and Benefits Accountant…June has learned how to “take a licking and keep on ticking”.

When asked her goal as NASDCTEc Region I representative, Ms. Sanford said “To share the tremendous importance of Career Technical Education as preparation for all students to be successful in life and in the global economy.”

June brings a wealth of experience and insight into the Region I leadership role. We thank Ms. Sanford for sharing her personal insight and goal for our organization. She can be reached at [email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

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