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ACTE Announces Texas Special Education Coordinator as National Award Finalist


September 13, 2016

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka 
jnagurka@acteonline.org, 703-683-9312 

ACTE Announces Texas Special Education Coordinator as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announces Amy Kuhns, special education coordinator for Crowley ISD in Crowley, Texas, as the 2016 Region IV Career Guidance Award winner. This award recognizes guidance counselors and career development professionals who have made significant contributions to advocate, educate and communicate the value of CTE as a viable career option to a variety of audiences in their communities. The Career Guidance Award is sponsored by the US Army.

Amy Kuhns has been in the education field for 21 years, beginning her career as a special education teacher and currently serving as a Special Education Coordinator in Crowley ISD.  For the previous four years, she has been the CTE counselor for Crowley ISD in Crowley, Texas. After new legislation in Texas required the adoption of personal graduation plans (PGPs) in middle schools in 2014, Kuhns led preparations for this massive transition. She collaborated with the CTE Director to create individual documents for each and every available Program of Study in Crowley ISD totaling 37 unique and comprehensive documents for the district (including non-CTE areas) and spearheaded the training of all district counselors on the new requirements. As part of a team that planned the implementation of the PGP development, Kuhns planned and executed the development of over 1,200 PGPs for the district’s eighth graders in 2014. Last year, the district launched “Endorsement Signing Nights” at each of the middle schools, which successfully saw 70% of the eighth graders and their parents sign onto their PGPs by the winter break.

From the beginning, Kuhns saw the value of PGPs in encouraging middle school students to commit to their goals early and to view CTE holistically, not simply as a handful of elective classes. With the data generated from that endeavor, the district is better equipped to plan for staffing, facilities and materials for the next few years with better knowledge of the students’ course preferences. Kuhns’ contributions are making the district’s students and parents better informed, better prepared, and enthusiastic for their future learning, creating a blossoming culture of college and career aspirations. “Although her credentials as a counselor are indisputably reputable, it is the nature of Amy’s character that deems her a woman beyond worthy of recognition.” says former student Sandy Pham.

Kuhns is one of five finalists for the 2017 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, November 30, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Certiport, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.


About ACTE 
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities. 


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