There is much value to having and being a mentor. Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, Jobs had Bill Campbell, the infamous late “Coach” of Silicon Valley (Rashid. 2017). We learn from mentors and our mentees, becoming better versions of ourselves, molded by the views and experiences of those we come to trust. We may be guides, cheerleaders, or much needed critics on the journey. Sometimes these individuals have braved the journey we are embarking or may provide insight on a path not traveled. On the ACTE Fellowship journey, I am privileged to be accompanied by ACTE’s Administrative Division VP-Elect and ACTE Fellowship Alum (2012), Patrick Biggerstaff.
Patrick and I share similar passions in our CTE administrative leadership roles: Career & Technical Education, Career Readiness, student choice in their career pathway journey, and the value of networking. However, Patrick’s journey has taken a different path than the one ahead for me. Patrick began a second career as an educator, having first worked in banking and sales before teaching students with emotional and behavior needs critical life and workforce development skills. I have been in education the majority of my career, save a few experiences in summer and for internships. Patrick taught at both middle and high school levels, something I can resonate with, and served as a Career Pathway Specialist, becoming an expert in Dual (Secondary/Post-Secondary) Credits and Coop workplace learning programming, leading to his role as administrator of a CTE Career Center for eleven school districts in Indiana. My journey to CTE administration has been comparable, while I serve for a single school district with five high schools in Wisconsin.
Our professional reading habits are comparable, with professional information coming from ACTE’s Techniques, AdvanceCTE, The National Research Center for CTE (NRCCTE), and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) guiding our leadership practices and CTE programming. Along with ACTE, Patrick has encouraged me to join NCLA and Career and Technical Education Equity Council (CTEEC), as all three organizations provide knowledge, networking, and support to CTE Administrators.
My journey through leadership has provided multiple mentors along the way, as many of you will experience as well. I am elated to be mentored by an ACTE up and coming leader in Patrick. Our passions parallel, experiences and situations differ, and we will both learn from one another in this journey.
Rashid, B. (2017). 3 great reasons all great leaders have mentors (and mentees). Retrieved February 20, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/05/02/3-reasons-all-great-leaders-have-mentors-and-mentees/#38c98c4913f9