I’m Kathryn Zekus and I am excited to be on board at Advance CTE as the new Senior Associate for Federal Policy! I’ll be overseeing Advance CTE’s federal policy strategy, leading efforts to ensure Advance CTE’s priorities are represented in federal policies and ensuring all members are informed and supported through any policy changes.
My interest in federal policy began in Fall 2008, when I interned in the US Senate. From there, I went on to study political science and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and discovered my passion for education policy through a government relations internship at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Based on that experience, I decided that I wanted to learn more about education policy and dive into education research. This led me to Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, where I obtained my Master’s in Public Policy. Before joining Advance CTE, I worked at Achieve on science education and state-based advocacy efforts.
I became interested in CTE upon learning about the “skills gap” facing US businesses. As I began to learn more about business-education partnerships and how these collaborations benefited both students and businesses, I saw the potential for how high-quality CTE programs could not only help to close the skills gap, but lead to better outcomes for students, including improved engagement, graduation rates and more. I am excited to advocate for CTE because I view it as a key component to ensuring that all students are ready for their next steps after high school.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy