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

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 Clustersâ„¢ 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

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

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

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

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

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Meet Eleni Papadakis, NASDCTEc Region X Representative

August 27th, 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 Eleni Papadakis, Region X Representative, and State Director of Washington. Region X encompasses Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Eleni Papadakis was appointed by Washington’s Governor Christine Gregoire in 2007 as the Executive Director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, more commonly known as the Workforce Board. Business, labor and government stakeholders are equally represented on this tri-partite board, which oversees 18 different state and federal funding streams in the state’s comprehensive workforce development system.

Eleni came to Washington with more than 25 years of experience in the workforce development arena–from service delivery through state and federal policy work. Eleni came to Washington from Commonwealth Corporation, a Massachusetts quasi-public corporation, where she established the Center for Workforce Innovation, a research and demonstration arm of the state’s workforce development system, and a national consulting organization on economic and workforce development strategies Leading up to that role, Eleni oversaw the development and implementation of numerous state-wide and regional initiatives, for special population groups and for targeted industry sectors, including biotechnology, fiber optics, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, telecommunications and software. She also helped facilitate Massachusetts’ transition to WIA and the development of a state plan to eradicate healthcare workforce shortages.

Eleni has also worked in business–including operating her own small business, a bistro-entertainment venue–and lead a multi-service community-based organization for 9 years. Eleni holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and Bachelors in Psychology from Clark University, both in Worcester, Massachusetts.

When asked for her goals as a Board Member, Eleni said “My interests are in making certain that high quality Career Technical Education is accessible to all students, that we have clear and accessible pathways from secondary to post-secondary education, and that career success for all students is our ultimate mission.”

NASDCTEc appreciates Eleni’s willingness to serve as a Board member. She can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Dr. Bob Couch Honored by South Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education

August 14th, 2012

Dr. Bob Couch, director of Career Technical Education for the Lexington-Richland Five school district, was recently awarded the Carl D. Perkins Outstanding Achievement Award by the South Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education. The award was presented in recognition of the outstanding and visionary leadership provided by Dr. Couch for more than 14 years as the Director of Career and Technical Education for the South Carolina Department of Education.

Dr. Couch’s efforts resulted in South Carolina being a leader in the implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 and in innovation in career and technology education. Dr. Couch was a NASDCTEc member during his tenure as a former State Director for South Carolina.

According to the Lexington-Richland Five Web site, Superintendent Stephen Hefner said, “Dr. Couch is a valued member of the Lexington-Richland Five team and is truly deserving of this award. We are excited about the future of our Center for Advanced Technical Studies that will open this fall under his leadership.”

More about the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (the Center)

Scheduled to open this month, the Center is a new stand-alone Career Technical Education facility. Among the programs to be offered are: media technology, culinary arts, health science, graphic arts/communication, information technology, supply chain distribution, pre-engineering, auto technology, machine tool technology, electricity, building construction, HVAC and welding.

Lexington-Richland Five encompasses Lexington and Richland Counties in South Carolina.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

New NASDCTEc Officers Take Lead as CTE Adopts Common Standards, Prepare for Reauthorization

July 27th, 2012

NASDCTEc officers this month commenced their one-year term. The officers take the reins at a time when the Career Technical Education (CTE) community moves forward with implementing rigorous and common standards for CTE, advocating for fiscal support, building increased visibility, awareness and support and preparing for the reauthorization of the federal legislation that governs CTE.

“This is such an exciting time to be part of the Career Technical Education (CTE) community in this nation. Quality secondary and postsecondary CTE programs provide individuals with options and pathways to success in our global economy.  I am honored to serve members of this association that is committed to enhancing access and opportunities to quality CTE programs,” said Marie Barry, NASDCTEc President and State Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education at the New Jersey Department of Education.

NASDCTEc officers include:

  • President, Marie Barry, New Jersey Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education
  • Vice President, John Fischer, Vermont Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Department of Education
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Scott Stump, Colorado’s Associate Provost for Career & Technical Education.
  • Past President, Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, Ed. D., California Assistant Superintendent and Director; Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division; Department of Education.

In June, NASDCTEc unveiled the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a state-led initiative to establish a set of rigorous, high-quality standards for CTE that states can adopt voluntarily. Forty-two states, Washington, DC, and Palau declared support for the development of the CCTC, which were informed by state and industry standards and developed by a diverse group of teachers, business and industry experts, administrators and researchers.

NASDCTEc’s advocacy work will focus on preparing for the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and ensure that the legislation will support states in advancing high-quality CTE amid tough fiscal conditions, as well as continuing to build visibility and support for the CTE: Learning That Works for America campaign.

Learn more about the NASDCTEc officers by reading their biographies.

NASDCTEc Welcomes Dr. Philip Cleveland, New State Director for Alabama

April 20th, 2012

Dr. Philip C. Cleveland has been named the new Alabama Director of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development for the Alabama Department of Education. This is a newly created position, which will include an expanded role to work with the Work Force and Economic Development Councils.

Dr. Cleveland’s past experiences include serving as a teacher, Career Technical Education Director, Principal, and interim community college President.

Dr. Cleveland is currently the Principal at J.B. Pennington High School. He returned this position in 2011 following his tenure as Vice President for Learning/Dean of Applied Technologies at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville where, he oversaw the process of earning accreditation for the technical programs, was instrumental in developing the Tech-Prep program statewide, and increased enrollment in Wallace State’s technical programs by 30 percent.

His career has included serving as the Blount County Career and Technical Education Director, and service at J.B. Pennington High School as an Agriscience Education Instructor, Assistant Principal, and finally as Principal.

Dr. Cleveland holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Agriculture Business and Economics, a master’s degree from Auburn in Agriculture Education, an A.A. from Alabama A&M in Agribusiness Education, and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Cleveland will begin this position on June 1, 2012. During this transition, Dr. Cleveland will spend time in Montgomery getting acclimated to his new role.

Please welcome Dr. Cleveland. His contact information is:

Dr. Philip C. Cleveland
State Director of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development
Alabama State Department of Education
P.O. Box 302101
Montgomery, AL 36130-2101
His e-mail is

NASDCTEc offers best wishes to retiring State Director Sherry Key, an active CTE advocate for many years.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager