Welcome to Chad Maclin, DC’s new State CTE Director!

August 15th, 2017

Chad Maclin grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, in a family full of educators. He knew from a young age that he also wanted to become a teacher, but it wasn’t until a high school drafting class that he realized he wanted to teach Career Technical Education (CTE).

“CTE is where I felt most comfortable in school. It was my favorite class,” Maclin said.

Maclin also recognized that it wasn’t just the drafting class that made an impact, it was the teacher.

“He made geometry make sense to me through drafting,” he said. “This course was offering me more than content. It was the through-lines to understand how these other classes mattered.”

Maclin went on to receive his CTE teaching degree from Old Dominion University, and began his teaching career in Tampa, Florida.  A few years later, he returned to his hometown of Fairfax to teach technology education courses.

“I wanted to make my class the favorite class where students could go to make sense of their core academics,” he said.

Over the next two decades, Maclin served as a CTE teacher and administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools. He earned his Master’s Degree from George Mason University and he also served as president for the Virginia Association of Career and Technical Education.

In July, he moved into a new role when he was chosen to be the State CTE Director for the District of Columbia. Maclin said he was excited about this incredible opportunity, and is looking to increase CTE dual enrollment participation, engage with local and regional business leaders to determine which industry certifications that are meaningful and recognized, and bolster student engagement and learning through Career Technical Student Organizations.

Maclin said he also wants to make sure CTE programs are promoted far and wide so students and parents can make the most informed choices.

“So many times we hear, ‘I didn’t know schools offered that,’” Maclin said. “I’ve heard it for 20 years. I want to help students and parents know those options are out there.”

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Welcome to Chris Deaton, Indiana’s New State CTE Director!

August 9th, 2017

Nearly 17 years ago, Chris Deaton’s first real job out of college was with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, where he expected to do accounting and operations work for a federal grant he knew little about at the time – the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

About two weeks in, his supervisor asked him to take over the office’s data collection and accountability responsibilities. Though he didn’t have much experience doing data and accountability work, he set out to teach himself whatever was necessary to do the job.

Soon after, Deaton realized Career Technical Education (CTE) had its hooks in him.

“It didn’t take me very long, but I fell in love with it. I could have left several times but I just can’t,” Deaton said. “I became very passionate about CTE and the students, what we can do for them, and how we can benefit the economy [through CTE].”

In July, Deaton was named as the State CTE Director at the Indiana Department of Education. While there is always some learning curve to any new job, Deaton feels at home in his new office, because in some ways, what’s new is actually old. That’s because for several years, Deaton’s former office at the Department of Workforce Development was the eligible state agency for the state’s Perkins grant. Now that the Department of Education serves as the Perkins eligible agency, Deaton said he is settling back into the familiar work.

Deaton said he is excited about the work ahead, which includes a major initiative to overhaul the state’s career pathways. The effort will require engaging key stakeholders across the state to reimagine how these should look to ensure every high school student has access to a true career pathway.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Welcome to Harold Mackin, Connecticut’s New State CTE Director!

June 26th, 2017

If someone had told Harold Mackin 10 years ago that he would one day be the State CTE Director of Connecticut, he would have thought the person was crazy.

That’s because Mackin was firmly settled as a district-level director for Career Technical Education (CTE) in Washington state, where he had been born and raised and taught CTE for nearly 24 years. Yet as his youngest of five daughters was entering third grade, Mackin began to ponder his own future, and that set him on a course that eventually led him to interview and apply for an agricultural education position in the state CTE office in Connecticut.

The day of his interview was the first day he had set foot in New England. That was seven years ago, and now Mackin has been tapped as the State CTE Director. Moving from the local to state level was certainly a shift, Mackin said.

“When I first arrived, the learning curve wasn’t a curve at all,” he said. “The line was 180 degrees that went straight up.”

In those seven years, the state CTE office, which had seven staff members when he arrived, has changed significantly with retirements and budget shortfalls, and now has two staff members.

Despite those changes, Mackin said he sees opportunities to raise the profile of CTE in Connecticut, where the Ivy League schools dominate students’ post-high school plans. He hopes to bridge the divide between academic and technical courses through the state’s mastery-based learning initiatives. He said this work could bring more contextualized instruction into academic teaching and more academic recognition to technical courses.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate for Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Welcome to Arizona’s New State CTE Director, Cathie Raymond

May 1st, 2017

Cathie Raymond had her mind made up at 14 years old while sitting in her home economics class – she was going to teach Career Technical Education (CTE) when she grew up. And for 43 years, she did exactly that, first in Missouri and then in Arizona.

Now she’s ready for a new challenge. In April, she became the State CTE Director for Arizona, and said she’s excited to leverage her years of experience in the field to help more teachers.

“My whole goal is make everyone’s job easier,” Raymond said. “Just because it’s always been done that way – is it the best way? [I want to do] anything I can to help the local directors to make sure they aren’t so overwhelmed and they don’t have to put things on their teachers, who are overwhelmed. I want to help them free up more time for teachers to teach and focus on their students.”

Raymond said she hopes to find more ways to tell the story of CTE in Arizona by better leveraging the data of student’s successes including and beyond graduation rates.

For the past decade, Raymond has served as the CTE director for Marana Unified School District, which is located near Tucson, Arizona. The district has the largest land mass of any in the state – 550 square miles.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate for Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Welcome to Alaska’s New State CTE Director, Deborah Riddle!

March 28th, 2017

Deborah Riddle was born in Glennallen, Alaska, and raised near Bristol Bay, on the western coast of the state. When she made her way many years later to southern Utah to be a teacher, there was one problem – it was just too hot.

So Riddle and her husband began looking for jobs back home in Alaska, and as a back-up plan, “as close to the Canadian border as possible,” she said.

That led her to Simms, Montana, to teach middle school math and science. When the school district also needed someone to teach Career Technical Education (CTE), Riddle stepped up. What first began with teaching traditional home economics classes then grew into robotics classes and even helping start and support related Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) at the local high school.

After 15 years in Montana, home was still calling, so Riddle took a position with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. She started at the State department five years ago doing school improvement focusing on mathematics. For the past year, Riddle has managed the state’s federal funding under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The state department recently reorganized, and with those changes, Riddle’s responsibilities expanded, including the title of State CTE Director and responsibilities of managing another source of federal funding through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

Riddle said she is excited by the prospects of making connections across the federal education laws to maximize funding and other opportunities for Alaska’s students. Since being named the State Director in February, she has been learning all that she can about CTE in Alaska, and said she has been so impressed by the depth and diversity of the stakeholder support she sees for CTE at the local level, especially the connections to employers, community colleges and workforce development.

“I knew there were partnerships, but I didn’t realize how many and how varied there were and what (stakeholder engagement) can really add to a program,” she said.

Riddle said she is also looking to bolster CTSOs in Alaska and continuing to strengthen and overcome the unique challenges to offering CTE for the state’s most rural schools.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Getting to Know… Missouri

March 7th, 2017

Note: This is part of Advance CTE’s blog series, “Getting to Know…” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, partners and more.

State Name: Missouri

State CTE Director: Dr. Blaine Henningsen, Assistant Commissioner, Office of College and Career Readiness, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

About Missouri: The issue keeping state leaders in Missouri’s Office of College and Career Readiness up at night is figuring out how to ensure quality in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the state. Missouri is home to 57 area career centers, 450 comprehensive high schools, 12 community college districts and one state technical college that provide CTE courses to more than 244,000 students combined. As in other states, quality varies from district to district. That’s why, in 2013, Missouri worked to identify the menu of indicators that best reflect high-quality CTE programs. Eventually, the Office of College and Career Readiness settled on six criteria to guide and promote quality, called the “Common Criteria and Quality Indicators,” which were launched publicly in 2015. The indicators describe necessary components related to curriculum, instruction, assessment and more.

At the moment, the Quality Indicators carry no weight in the state’s accountability or funding structure, though Missouri is redesigning its CTE funding formula to better integrate and promote the six criteria. The plan is to roll out an updated formula in the 2018-19 school year to ensure state funds go to support quality programs. In the meantime, the Quality Indicators framework is available as a self-evaluation tool for local programs.

Programs of Study: Missouri’s programs of study follow the national Career Clusters framework and are further organized into six content areas:

  • Agricultural Education;
  • Business, Marketing and Informational Technology Education;
  • Family Consumer Sciences and Human Services Education;
  • Health Sciences;
  • Skilled Technical Sciences; and
  • Technology and Engineering Education.

Agricultural education and business are two of the most popular programs in the state, though manufacturing has enjoyed increased popularity as the sector has grown in the decade since the economic crisis.

Students enrolled in CTE programs are also encouraged to participate in work-based learning opportunities and take industry credentialing examinations. Schools earn additional points toward their “college and career readiness” score for these students. Additionally, the state has an Apprenticeship USA grant to support Registered Apprenticeships. To encourage vertical alignment between secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, Missouri offers dual enrollment opportunities for students to begin earning credit toward a postsecondary degree while they are still enrolled in high school. There is also a representative from the postsecondary system on the state’s CTE Advisory Council (more on that below).

Noteworthy in Missouri: The state legislature recently made two significant changes to the Missouri CTE system. First, it established a CTE Advisory Council, which includes four members from the general assembly and 11 other individuals appointed by the Commissioner of Education. The Council meets four times annually and provides guidance and recommendations on strengthening Missouri’s CTE programs. The Council was convened for the first time in January, 2017.

Another new and notable policy in Missouri is the adoption of a Career Education Certificate that students can earn in addition to their high school diploma. The policy was adopted by the state legislature in 2016, and the Office of College and Career Readiness, with support from the CTE Advisory Council, is in the process of defining the certificate requirements. Under the current proposal, the certificate will be available to CTE concentrators who pass a technical skill assessment or earn an industry-recognized credential, complete work-based learning experiences, and meet certain GPA and attendance requirements. The Office aims to implement the certificate beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

Welcome Emily Passias, Ohio’s new State CTE Director!

July 5th, 2016

Passias_Emily (1)Before being tapped to serve as the Ohio State CTE Director in March 2016, Emily Passias spent about three years working in the state Department of Education’s data and accountability unit. It was there that she had her first “aha moment” in CTE. Prior to her stint in the state accountability office, Passias admits that much of her exposure to CTE had come from her eighth grade field trip to her local Career Center.

Passias said she believes strongly in using data to drive decision making, so it makes sense that her “aha moment” would come while looking at student outcomes data, where she saw how CTE improves graduation rates, keeps students in school and provides a pathway to further education as well as employment. From there, she learned about the state’s career counseling efforts and multitude of initiatives to advance high-quality CTE.

This caused her to reflect on her time spent teaching sociology at the Ohio State University, about how many of her students still felt directionless by their junior or senior year of college, and how so many of them would have benefited from being having more robust career exploration at a much earlier age. While finishing her doctorate at Ohio State, Passias joined the Department of Education, where she worked on several notable initiatives including the K-12 value-added accountability system to measure college and career readiness, the state’s CTE report cards and implementation around the newly passed legislation that created a CTE pathway to graduation.

While working in the data office, Passias increasingly found herself working on CTE initiatives, which helped ease her transition to State Director. Passias said she plans to continue using data to drive decision making as well as using that data to communicate the value of CTE and its many initiatives, including the ongoing implementation of the new graduation requirements. Though her new position is sure to keep her very busy, Passias also serves as a Strategic Data Project Fellow with the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

Introducing Dwight Johnson, State Director of Idaho

October 9th, 2014

Photo of DwightWe are pleased to welcome Idaho’s new State Director of Career Technical Education Dwight Johnson!

Officially the Administrator of Idaho’s Division of Professional-Technical Education, State Director Johnson has worked for decades in the Idaho Departments of Labor and Commerce on workforce development, and also spent 18 months as the interim executive director of the Idaho State Board of Education.

State Director Johnson emphasizes the cross-cutting nature of his experience, bridging the worlds of work and education among labor, industry and education. He sees collaboration between all three as vital to making CTE learning that works for Idaho.

“It’s crucial to connect systems and create more seamless transitions between education providers,” he said in an interview with NASDCTEc last month.

During the same conversation, State Director Johnson repeatedly cited the need to integrate CTE with workforce development priorities and workforce data to ensure that at every level – secondary, postsecondary and beyond – CTE serves students and stakeholders reliably and adaptively.

Learn more about Idaho CTE here, and welcome State Director Johnson at the 2014 Fall Meeting!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

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 pradeep.kotamraju@iowa.gov.

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 RWeikle@cde.ca.gov.

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

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

Series

Archives

1