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2018 Officer Candidates:

President Elect Candidates:

Ashley Canuteson

See Ashley's resume' by CLICKING HERE

In what ways can CTAT contribute to the future of CTE? 

Through unified efforts between educators and business/industry leaders, CTE programs are valued among our state and national public more than ever before. Students nation-wide are benefitting from an educational infrastructure that affords them relevant experiences rooted in personalized postsecondary goals.  CTAT is the leading advocate advancing career and technical education and enabling educators to prepare students for college and careers.  The recent action taken by CTAT to join with other Texas CTE teacher organizations exemplifies our commitment to building a solid advocacy base that represents all students, educators, and career fields.  CTAT embodies the knowledge and perspective needed to keep CTE at the forefront of all educational efforts.  Through professional development, increased visibility, and collaboration, CTAT can continue to build confidence in its constituents so that our message is loud and clear – we are committed to building a sustainable workforce for future generations; and we will do it together. 

How will you support the efforts of CTAT to achieve this? 

My commitment to CTAT members and the students and educators of Texas is to remain active in my learning, to share my knowledge and passion with others, to be involved in unified political measures that impact CTE, to build relationships across academic and community lines, and to serve others in their efforts to make a difference.  Prior to becoming a CTE Director seven years ago, I confess that I had very little knowledge about career and technical education programs.  A “blank slate” of sorts, I began to quickly absorb and adopt the fundamental values that define CTE.   Education suddenly had a whole new purpose and meaning for me… and I immediately changed the way I worked with students, teachers, counselors, parents, and community partners!  The personal and professional growth I have experienced since joining CTAT in 2009 has been fostered through professional development, networking with fellow educators, and a renewed desire to serve young people in their efforts toward success.  During my time serving on the CTAT Board of Directors, I have continued to learn about how CTE can help ensure our students are ready to meet their lifelong goals.  If selected as your President-Elect, I will work collectively with CTAT leadership to draw on the passion and expertise of our members as we continue building a state and national network dedicated to serving students through relevant, rigorous career and technical education experiences. 

Laura Mann

See Laura's resume' by CLICKING HERE

As a proud product of Career & Technical Education (CTE) I believe each program is life changing for our students.  I have had the privilege of working with many talented CTE educators and administrators across Texas throughout my 28 years of service in CTE.  During my career, students have secured internships in industry, which broke the cycle of poverty for their family, and risen from entry level to administrative positions in their chosen career within a few years after high school graduation. One of the key elements of CTAT is for the advancement of CTE, enabling educators to prepare students for life after high school. 

Ways CTAT can contribute to the future of CTE 

CTAT can contribute to the future of CTE by helping districts collaborate with their CTE peers across the state in regards to innovative courses, program offerings, certifications, and instructional methods.  A collaboration could take place at both the existing mid-winter and summer conference as an added workshop and be continued throughout the year on an online communication platform. During the initial conference workshops, administrators new to CTE would be able to gain insight in regards to how they might strategically plan to enhance their existing program as well as, how to measure its growth.   

Seasoned administrators would have the opportunity to share their course and program offerings, innovative certification areas, and instructional methods with their peers across the state.  These workshops might focus on specific areas dictated by an online survey of participants.  For example, the survey might reveal several CTE administrators are interested in offering additional certifications to students.  Districts offering an innovative drone certification might share the process they went through to implement this offering to students.   

The pulse of every program is its Career & Technical Student Organization (CTSO).  It would be beneficial to create a graphic organizer for teachers and administrators to serve as a structural model for how to create and sustain a successful CTSO.  A separate workshop or conference session designed to drill down to the inner workings of a CTSO would strengthen the quality of each cluster as well as, provide vital data to CTE administrators in regards to data and strategic planning for continuous improvement.  

How I can aid CTAT in supporting CTE programs 

I currently serve on panels and committees involving politicians and industry decision-makers where I have assisted in garnering support for CTE programs.  I believe working hand in hand with legislators to cultivate policies which further support CTAT’s vison and mission is one of the most beneficial ways to promote CTAT’s efforts in advancing CTE programs state wide. 

 In order to direct policy, I would continue to build relationships with key policy makers so I could advocate year round for our organization.  These relationships would serve as a platform to communicate to legislators how vital it is to listen to business and industry’s needs and wants when developing policies that would affect school districts.  Attending industry led conferences and gaining insight from their leaders would supply our group with data to drive worthwhile policies to continue the growth of CTE.  

In addition to building relationships with legislators and business and industry leaders to develop policies which promote CTAT’s vision, it is vital we include our members at every level of the decision making process.  An open line of communication with CTE teachers and administrative staff at the area level will encourage members to actively participate at the state level through joining the CTAT organization. Our organization should unite at the federal level (ACTE) and local areas (CTAT) to address current and potential future roadblocks career and technical education programs are facing.  I would reiterate issues affecting one area might not affect all areas in Texas at the same time, but if we join together on issues as they arise, we will become policy change agents for the betterment of CTE.   

Lastly, I would like to pursue the idea of creating state-wide business partnerships for all CTE programs to use.  Strong business partnerships create opportunities for students to hear guest speakers, tour facilities, shadow employees, participate in hands on demonstrations, and apply for paid and unpaid internships in their chosen career field.  Business partnerships are often difficult to cultivate due to time restraints and the layers of management that have to be penetrated before gaining approval by the entity’s decision makers.  If we could develop a state-wide business partnership for each career cluster, it would establish a set of norms of what is expected from the business world and what they expect from districts.   The set of norms might include the opportunities suggested above along with the time and monetary commitment each activity might take.  Once these partnerships were adopted at a state level, CTE administrators would meet with a designated representative to set the initiative into action.  These statewide partnerships might then serve as a framework for replicating partnerships at a local level to create additional career experiences for students. The key to any organization’s success is aligning goals with its vision.  Sharing best CTE practices, including all stakeholders in policy development, and creating state-wide partnerships ensures students across the state will have every opportunity to be successful in their chosen career pathway in a thriving Texas economy.  

P.T. Walters

See P.T.'s resume by CLICKING HERE.

1) In what ways can CTAT contribute to the future of CTE? 

I feel that our technological world is changing at an exponential pace, and we must have students that are prepared for the future workforce. What will it look like? Where will we be in ten, twenty, or thirty years down the line? What jobs are needed? What certifications do students need? What skills do students need? What level of schooling must students obtain? CTAT must be an integral partner that will link students, educators, and future employers to help answer some of these questions. 

2) How will you support the efforts of CTAT to achieve this?  

I want to help our organization grow by listening to the needs of our stakeholders, sharing those needs with others, and coming up with beneficial solutions. I would like to see partnerships with other organizations continue to grow as a whole. I have been to workshops where the aerospace, energy, and health industries came together to share ideas to help one another. CTAT can be that catalyst for Texas. I am willing to help make contacts and put forth the effort to help continue to make our organization be the leader that others will want to follow. 

Finance Chair Candidate:

Rachel Behnke 

See Rachel's resume by CLICKING HERE

#1 In what ways can CTAT contribute to the future of CTE? 

CTAT can contribute to the future of CTE in many ways, but there are three in particular that stand out to me. First, it provides an avenue for networking. This has been the greatest advantage of membership for me. Networking with other CTE professionals across the state allows us all to stay current with best and innovative practices. This ultimately contributes to the future of CTE because it inspires and motivates us all to accomplish as much as we can in our own districts. Secondly, CTAT is a vital source for training related to our field. In order for CTE to flourish, it needs to have administrators (and future administrators) who are confident and competent in everything related to CTE. CTAT provides opportunities for educators to obtain new information as well as share lessons learned. Finally, CTAT contributes to the future of CTE by serving as our voice in advocacy efforts. Having a unified presence that is grounded in input from CTE professionals is our best chance at being heard at the state level. 

#2  How will you support the efforts of CTAT to achieve this?  

I will support the efforts of CTAT to continue to achieve all of this and more by staying involved and doing my best to “pay it forward.” I believe that those of us who have benefitted from mentors and friends formed through CTAT can work towards helping new CTE Administrators. CTE cannot be an island – we must all work together towards our common goal of enabling educators to prepare students for college and careers. 

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