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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

A Fellow, an Advocate

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April 12, 2013

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Four years ago, out of curiosity and the need to broaden my horizons, I asked my administrator if I could attend the National Policy Seminar in Washington DC with ACTE. My assistant administrator, Brian Funk, had attended the previous year and filled me in on the experiences and duties of a participant. It sounded like fun to me and gave me a chance to see my nation’s capital for the first time.

It was a bit intimidating at first, but the fellow delegates I attended with were seasoned Hill warriors and broke me in properly. I did enjoy it and returned to the Hill to spread the good news of CTE each year after. Since then, I have taken a colleague with me each year to help them learn about Perkins, federal budgets and what the “atmosphere on the Hill” is all about.

This year, I was able to venture out on my own with my new delegate under my wing to visit the aide of one of our legislators. It turned out, they were just as green as my colleague, as the congressman was a freshman and his aide had never heard of CTE and knew very little about Perkins. He was aware of sequestration and the impact it would have across the board, but we were able to educate him concerning the success and impact of CTE.

Even though this year the weather was not very cooperative, I found my time on the hill to be as invigorating as it had been the previous visits. I enjoyed being on my own and helping a new delegate to learn how to advocate for CTE. I am looking forward to meeting with my state representatives in Indiana. Maybe I can meet with the governor—who knows? Stay tuned!

Kandy Smitha is an ACTE Fellow from Region II.

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