NASDCTEc Welcomes Arizona State Director Mark Hamilton

March 1st, 2012

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Mark Hamilton, Deputy Associate Superintendent, Career & Technical Education, Arizona Department of Education, to the State Director group.

Mark Hamilton is a 25 year veteran in Career Technical Education (CTE). He has served as both a classroom secondary and post-secondary faculty member, a CTSO advisor, a local district CTE administrator, a State Program Specialist, a State CTSO Director and now serves as the Arizona Department of Education, Deputy Associate Superintendent for Career and Technical Education. Mr. Hamilton also has at least 12 years’ experience in industry, during some of which he served as a local, state or national CTSO competitive event judge. Mark has served in professional organization leadership roles at the local, state and national levels for many years.

Hamilton has been recognized many times in Arizona; select awards include:

• The Arizona Association for Career and Technical Education’s 2010 Outstanding Post-Secondary Educator of the Year Award;
• The Arizona Agriculture Teachers’ Association‘s 2010 CTE Administrator of the Year Award;
• The Distinguished Service Award to an Administrator, 2002 from the Arizona Business Education Association;
• Arizona FFA Association’s FFA Administrator of the Year, 2001;
• Arizona FACS Ed’s Administrator of the Year, 2000;
• National Association of Trade and Industrial Education’s Ethel M. Smith Award, 1999;
• 1997 Vocational Administrator of the Year from the Arizona Vocational Education Association; and
• Arizona Policy Fellow, 1988 from the Arizona Vocational Education Association.

Hamilton had the opportunity to grow local CTE programs in a fast growing local district expanding from one to five comprehensive high schools and two to six junior high schools between 1994 and 2011. Notable CTE program components remain vital parts of those schools. Partnerships with local community colleges were built and programs of study including dual enrollment opportunities are offered to secondary students. Active CTSO programs are available among all of the programs at the high schools and opportunities are provided for the junior high school students. CTE Programs include a diversity of programs to meet student interests from Agriculture Education, Business and Marketing, Culinary Arts, Design and Merchandising, Engineering Sciences, Bio-Medical Sciences, Early Childhood and Teacher Preparation Programs, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy, to Manufacturing, Cabinetmaking, Computer Repair, Graphic Arts, Theater Technology, Computer Programming, TV Production and Game Design, for examples.

Funding structures were developed to continue to support the local CTE programs and supplement the CTE opportunities for students. School based enterprises, work- based learning programs, industry partnerships and contextual learning engaged students where they used the CTE environment to learn both the technical and embedded academic skills to meet industry standards through their CTE program content. Active district advisory committees are essential to sustaining each of the twenty five various CTE programs offered within and across the district, out of the 71 programs and options offered statewide.

Mark remains passionate about workforce preparation, from its initiation to the resulting economic development in Arizona and each of the communities across the state.

When asked what he wishes to achieve in his role, Hamilton said he wants to “Create a service based state CTE educational leadership environment that will open opportunities for our students of every age to be as productive as they can become, to improve our GDP and our communities.”

Please wish Mark Hamilton a warm welcome. He can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Welcomes Melissa Rekeweg, New Indiana State Director

February 3rd, 2012

Please welcome Melissa Rekeweg, the new State Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) and Assistant Director of College & Career Readiness at the Indiana Department of Education.

Ms. Rekeweg graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education. She taught in Morgan County where she was recognized as an outstanding teacher in the local school system and awarded as a Local Program of Success. She left the classroom to serve as the Indiana FFA Executive Director, at the Indiana Department of Education from 1998-2000.

To spend more time with her family she made a career shift and entered the banking industry. Ms. Rekeweg was involved in many roles while in banking for eight years, six of those years in the role of Vice President of Operations & Compliance. While in that role she handled all contracts, federal & state compliance and the bank’s data system.

Background as Perkins Specialist
In 2011 Melissa’s family moved back to Indianapolis where she rejoined the Indiana Department of Education as the Perkins Specialist. The combination of her CTE background and finance training, have served as an asset to the state’s CTE work.

In addition to Melissa’s professional experience she has served on numerous boards & served as the President, Vice President & Campaign Director for the United Way of Wabash County. She was awarded the Indiana Honorary State FFA Degree in 2009.

NASDCTEc wishes a warm welcome to Melissa Rekeweg. She can be reached at

Indiana’s CTE Mission: Our mission is to ensure that the academic achievement and career preparation of all Indiana students will be the best in the United States and on par with the most competitive countries in the world.

Indiana College & Career Pathways Web site

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Introducing Dr. Danielle Mezera, New State Director for Tennessee

January 11th, 2012

We would like to introduce a new State Director for Tennessee, Dr. Danielle Mezera. In January 2012, Danielle assumed the position of Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education for the Tennessee Department of Education. As Assistant Commissioner, she serves as the state director for CTE and directs the vision and curriculum of CTE throughout the state’s numerous school districts.
Prior to assuming this role, Danielle served as director of the Nashville & Davidson County Government’s Mayor’s Office of Children & Youth. In that role, she served as Mayor Dean’s chief education policy advisor and oversaw related matters pertaining to the health and well-being of Davidson County’s children (0-21 years of age).

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Danielle served as Coordinator for Children & Youth Services for Metro Nashville’s Social Services. Before entering public service, Danielle was Director of the Vanderbilt University Community Outreach Partnership Center at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.

In addition to her professional work, Danielle has served as an adjunct professor with Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, as well as a guest lecturer at Vanderbilt University. She has also presented nationally on education reform. Locally, Danielle serves on various boards related to education and community enhancement.

Danielle holds a B.A. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in higher education administration, and a Ph.D. in education and human development.

NASDCTEc wishes to offer a warm welcome to Dr. Mezera, who can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New Interim State Director for Georgia David Turner

December 23rd, 2011

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome David Turner, currently the Interim State Director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education at the Georgia Department of Education.

David has lived in Georgia his entire life and currently resides in Commerce, Georgia with his wife Jill and their daughter, Brooke. He graduated from the University of Georgia where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. He has also completed a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Rich Agricultural Background

As Turner shared his background information, we found that he taught agriculture in Carroll County, Georgia for eight years. He was selected as the system’s Teacher of the Year in 2000, and was a semi-finalist for the Georgia Teacher of the Year that same year. David also taught agriculture in Towns County, Georgia for three years where he was also selected as the Teacher of the Year in 2008.

From 2008 until this past July, Turner served as the State Curriculum Coordinator for Agricultural Education, and he was also responsible for the annual Agricultural Education budget from 2002 through 2011. Turner served as the Executive Secretary and Treasurer for the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association for five years (1995-2000) and as President for 2001-2002.
In addition to his teaching experiences, Turner served as an extension agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service for three years, and served his community as a County Commissioner in Carroll County, Georgia from 1996-2000. He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Authority. Additionally he has served on the Red Cross Board of Directors, the Lion’s Club and the Rotary Club.

NASDCTEC wants to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Turner. He can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New Hawaii State Director Bernadette Howard

December 16th, 2011

NASDCTEc would like to announce Bernadette Howard, the new State Director for Hawaii. Howard has a rich history at the postsecondary level – as faculty, administrator, and Dean of Career Technical Education in locations ranging from Hawaii, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia, with a combined 33 years of community college experience.

Other experience Howard brings to her position is that of grant writer, having have written and administered UHCC campus-level Perkins grants for 11 years; administered Honolulu Community College’s Construction Academy grant, and the Alu Like and USDA grants at Leeward Community College; wrote a successful Title VIII grant for Guam Community College, then served as project director and developed and administered Guam Community College’s postsecondary cooperative education program.

Howard has an amazing resume of achievements: finalist in the national Teacher-in-Space program, ’85 representing Guam; received a Fulbright scholarship to the People’s Republic of China, summer of ’87; received the Distinguished Service to Education award from Phi Delta Kappa, ’87; received the “Our Lady of Peace” award for volunteer service from the Catholic diocese of Honolulu, ’98.

Howard is also the NASDCTEc Region XI representative, which encompasses Hawaii, the Republic of Palau, and Guam.

NASDCTEc extends a warm welcome to Ms. Howard. She is based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, and can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome new State Director for Washington, DC Tony D. Johnson

December 5th, 2011

NASDCTEc would like to announce the new State Director for Washington, DC Tony D. Johnson, Ph.D.c who lives in Washington, D.C., and is a native of the Ft. Lauderdale metro area. He has worked in a wide range of schools, education programs, and services for over 10 years and in diverse leadership positions. He holds dual baccalaureate degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice, a Master’s degree in Public Administration/Public Policy with an emphasis in Educational Leadership, and he is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Educational Policy, Planning, & Analysis at Florida State University.

He has served as a Director of Alternative Education & Community-Based Programs, Coordinator of Teacher In-Service, Associate Dean, and Executive Director, among other roles. He has had a variety of classroom-based experiences and statewide CTE experiences in FL. Additionally, he has taught in the Colleges of Education and School of Arts & Sciences at Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Barry University, and George Washington University. When we asked Tony what his 3 goals will be for CTE for the District of Columbia he said,”I will (1) develop comprehensive career pathways for CTE; (2) develop robust state leadership technical and program assistance offerings; and (3) develop strong industry Career Clustersâ„¢.”
NASDCTEc extends a warm welcome to Mr. Johnson, who can be reached at the Postsecondary Education and Workforce Readiness Division, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE); his e-mail is

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New State Director for South Carolina Page McCraw

November 17th, 2011

NASDCTEc is pleased to announce new State Director for South Carolina, Dr. Page McCraw.

Dr. Page B. McCraw joined the Office of Career and Technology Education as State Director on November 2, 2011. Dr. McCraw is a graduate of Gaffney High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Clemson University and her Master’s and Educational Specialist degrees in educational administration from the University of South Carolina. Dr. McCraw earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in 2010.

Dr. McCraw’s career experiences have prepared her for her new role as the State Director for Career and Technology Education. Included among her experiences are mathematics instructor at Cherokee Technology Center, director of Cherokee Technology Center, and district-level positions as director of educational programs, director of secondary education, and, most recently, director of human resources for Cherokee County Schools.

Dr. McCraw brings experience, educational training expertise, knowledge of career-technical education, energy, and excitement to her new position.

NASDCTEc offers a warm welcome to Dr. McCraw, who can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New Kentucky State Director Dale Winkler

August 11th, 2011

NASDCTEc is pleased to announce new State Director for Kentucky, Dale Winkler.
Before joining the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet earlier this month, Winkler earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting (1994), Certification in Business Education (1996), and Master of Arts in Education (1999) from Cumberland College. In 2002, he completed a Rank I in Educational Leadership and Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. In May 2010, Winkler graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership Studies.

Dr. Winkler is a product of career and technical education. He started as a high school student in the business and office program at KY-Tech Madison County. He was involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and eventually became the Phi Beta Lambda State President while attending college. Over the course of his career, Winkler gained valuable experiences by serving as a classroom teacher in a local high school and area technology center, state academic consultant for business and marketing education, state service coordinator for federal programs, and KY Tech principal.

When asked for his top goals in his new position, Winkler said “my first goal is to facilitate a steering committee charged with the task of developing a statewide plan to implement a new model of secondary career and technical with an emphasis on innovation, integration of core academics, 21st-century skills, project-based learning, and the establishment of full-time CTE programs. Another goal is to help administrators and CTE teachers better understand the college and career readiness measures recently adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education.”

NASDCTEc offers a warm welcome to Dr. Winkler, who can be reached at

2011-2012 NASDCTEc Officers Take Helm Amid Budget Cuts, Challenges, New Initiatives

July 8th, 2011

Officers of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) commenced their one-year term this month. The officers take the helm at a significant time as tough economic circumstances threaten career technical education (CTE) funding, the U.S. Secretary of Education challenges the CTE community to provide proof of positive outcomes in its programs, and NASDCTEc launches a national initiative to re-brand CTE.

“The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium faces great challenges, yet great opportunities as well,” said Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, NASDCTEc President and Assistant Superintendent and Director; Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division; California Department of Education.

“Our nation is clamoring for aid in improving the outcomes of our students, the competitiveness of workforce and the overall health of our national economy. While funding constraints will certainly offer challenges, I am confident that we can demonstrate how CTE can be a significant resource in helping our nation recover and succeed. NASDCTEc officers will help spearhead that effort to showcase the incredible value of CTE and advocate for investment in what works.”

In the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act – the primary federal source of funding for CTE — was cut by $140.2 million (11 percent), bringing the total appropriations to $1.1 billion. For FY 2012, the President proposed cuts to Perkins that would bring the total FY12 appropriations to $1 billion.

The funding cuts have fanned the flames behind NASDCTEc’s recently-launched CTE: Learning that Works for America ™ campaign. The campaign puts in a clear voice a unified message about the success CTE programs across the nation have demonstrated through low high school dropout rates, above-average college-going rates and evidence of return on investment, and more. NASDCTEc aims to help mobilize and strengthen the CTE community with this campaign to address funding threats and the investment in quality CTE programs that align to the brand.

NASDCTEc officers include:
• President Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, Ed. D., Assistant Superintendent and Director; Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division; California Department of Education
• Vice President, Marie Barry, New Jersey Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education
• Secretary/Treasurer, Division Administrator, Career Development and Preparation, Illinois State Board of Education, Mark Williams
• Immediate President Dr. Phil Berkenbile, State Director of Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

President: Dr. Patrick Ainsworth –Dr. Ainsworth oversees secondary education, adult education, college preparation and postsecondary relations, career and technical education, and workforce preparation programs. He also serves as the Superintendent’s Designee on the California Workforce Investment Board, Joint Boards Advisory Committee, Community College Economic Development Policy Advisory Council, and other groups.

Secretary-Treasurer Mark Williams: Mr. Williams is a former high school teacher and administrator who has served for six years as Illinois State Director of Career and Technical Education. During his tenure, he has been a founding member of the Coalition for Illinois High Schools, a member of several Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Taskforces devoted to addressing the critical skills shortages of Illinois. Most recently, he has focused on the Illinois Curriculum Revitalization Project as well as the development of STEM Learning Exchanges in Illinois.

Vice President Marie Barry: Ms. Barry administers all activities and plans related to Perkins serves as the state director for career and technical education for secondary and postsecondary CTE programs. She is also a member of the department’s cross-divisional team addressing secondary education transformation, and, specifically, provides leadership for the pilot program on the development of personalized student learning plans.

Immediate Past President Dr. Phil Berkenbile: Dr. Berkenbile is a former agricultural education instructor, Mr. Berkenbile serves on the Governor’s Taskforce on Aerospace and Information Security, the Governor’s Taskforce on Healthcare, the Oklahoma Manufacturers Alliance Board, the State Insurance Advisory Council, and the State Workforce Development Board. Mr. Berkenbile also serves on the CareerTech Administrative Council and is a member of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education.

Meet Mark Williams, Upcoming New NASDCTEc Secretary-Treasurer

May 27th, 2011

At the Joint National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education/Office of Vocational and Adult Education (NASDCTEc/OVAE) Spring leadership meeting, the members elected Mark Williams to the post of Secretary-Treasurer, adding his talents to the Executive Officer Board, which includes Ms. Marie Barry, New Jersey, as upcoming Vice President, and Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, California, upcoming President. These new appointments will be effective July 1st.  At the meeting, the attendees offered a special thanks to Dr. Phil Berkenbile for his wonderful devoted service during this past year toward our organization and to career technical education (CTE). Dr. Berkenbile will continue in the role of Past President, continuing the momentum along with Marie and Pat, of excellent leadership for our organization. Our current Past President, June Sanford of Connecticut, will be off the Board; we congratulate June on her service and dedication on the Board these past several years.

Mark is a former high school teacher and administrator who has served for six years as Illinois State Director of Career and Technical Education.  During his tenure, he has been a founding member of the Coalition for Illinois High Schools, a member of several Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Taskforces devoted to addressing the critical skills shortages of Illinois.  Most recently, he has focused on the Illinois Curriculum Revitalization Project as well as the development of STEM Learning Exchanges in Illinois.

Mark is a native of Illinois and lives with his family in the farm town of Delavan. He holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and advanced degrees from the Angelicum University. He has taught at the secondary and post-graduate level.  Mark’s philosophy of education is that true learning is hard work, fun, and never ceases.

When asked for his goals for NASDCTEc, Mark responded:

-Partner with membership and leadership to advance the implementation of the new CTE vision.

-Strengthen collaboration with OVAE, education stakeholders, and industry

-Bring more resources to implementation of rigorous programs of study

-Promote innovation in CTE

-Assist in the important work of the National Research Center for Career Technical Education (NRCCTE)

-Build our national network of stakeholders and other who share our vision

-Strengthen role of CTE in the implementation and assessment of the Common Core Standards

-Advance the significance of measured competencies rather than Carnegie units as measure of High School student progress

We welcome Mark to the Board! He can be reached at

In other Board news, Dr. Frances Beauman will be the new Associate Member Representative for the NASDCTEc Board of Directors, filling this position after term ends June 30 for Ms. Kathy Wilkins of Montana. We want to thank Kathy for her dedicated service to the Board.

Additional new NASDCTEc Board Representatives include Dr. James (Bob) Couch, South Carolina, representing Region IV, and Mr. Eric Suhr, New York, new Region II representative. We want to thank Ms. Jean C. Stevens and Mr. Ralph Barnett all the best in their retirements.