ACTE NRS Division Awards

2023 New and Related Services Division Administrator of the Year – Career Academy

Dr. Tiffany Barney is the Director for Cobb County’s Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA. She was instrumental in opening the college and career academy in the 2nd largest County in Georgia, managing an education program of approximately $30M. Her nominator wrote, “Just as CTE inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs, researchers and informed citizens, Tiffany encourages the next generation of healthcare heroes, the next innovator of the “Tesla but better”, and the next general contractor that safely builds the tallest tower in the state of Georgia. Tiffany inspires her students and staff to reach for the stars.”

Tiffany’s support of ACTE is strong. She has been 2021 NRS Administrator of the Year, 2023 ACTE Experienced Fellow, Administrative Division of ACTE Policy Committee Member. ACTE Vision Presenter, and the ACTE Voting Delegate for Georgia.

She has received many distinguished professional and personal recognitions. In 2019, Dr. Barney was recognized as an African American with the most degrees from UGA. And this doesn’t include the degrees from other institutions. She was recently named UGA’s 40 Under 40, Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40, and Cobb Chamber’s 2023 Rising Star.

It is our honor to award Tiffany Barney as the 2023 New and Related Services Division Administrator of the Year – Career Academy.

2023 New and Related Services Division Support Member of the Year

Melyssa Lynch is joined Kiamichi Tech in 2018. She and currently serves the District as the Executive Assistant to the Board of Education and Superintendent. She provides high-level, dedicated support to District leadership and Board members to ensure that all projects, policies and District business is carried out professionally, ethically and efficiently.

She is committed to the Kiamichi Tech mission of “Preparing People for Success” and loves helping students in Southeast Oklahoma.  Melyssa is currently the OkACTE Support Staff Secretary and represents the division as a Political Action Committee board member, and serves on the Bylaws Subcommittee.

Melyssa has been on the ACTE NRS President-Elect Nomination Committee, and she currently serves on the ACTE Support Staff Policy Committee as the secretary.

She is passionate about leadership development and service and it is our honor to congratulate Melyssa Lynch as a 2023 New and Related Services Division Support Member of the Year.

2023 New and Related Services Division Administrator the Year -JROTC

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Richard Crossley Jr. is the Director of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps -JROTC Department at the Fort Worth Independent School District in Fort , Texas. In this role he directs the instructional programs for all branches of the military services represented in the School District, and he is the single point of contact for all JROTC related matters with representatives of the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force.

He serves as advisor for military/JROTC activities and maintains a close working relationship with community officials in the planning and conduct of JROTC community support activities and experiential learning opportunities.

He has been a staunch advocate for CTE over the past several years.  He has also served as the Chairman of the Program Advisory Committee that reports to the Director of JROTC for US Army Cadet Command.  In that capacity, he stresses the need for JROTC to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by ACTE and the need for JROTC instructors to be closely related to workforce development in their respective communities. He currently serves as the ACTE New and Related Services JROTC Section Lead.

It is my honor to present the 2023 New and Related Services Division Administrator the Year -JROTC to Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Richard Crossley Jr.

2023 New and Related Services Division Partner of the Year

Joe Belsterling currently serves as the CEO of  MajorClarity, Inc which is an academic planning and career exploration platform that serves over 1,500  schools nationwide.  Joe is an amazing leader who started with the initial goal of helping students learn about and figure out a career pathway for themselves. His nominator states that “One of the best things about his leadership is that he challenged his team to work with partners to always improve the product.  I have never worked with any company that was SO RESPONSIVE to suggestions!” His leadership is about helping students.

His team also developed the K-12 College and Career Readiness District Self-Assessment which is a free resource designed for professionals to assess how they/their district is doing with CCR. The CCR Benchmark Initiative is a collaboration between multiple K-12 education organizations with expertise in career and college readiness.

Joe and the Major Clarity team have been huge advocates of ACTE and we are thankful for their support.

Please join me in congratulating Joe Belsterling as the 2023 New and Related Services Division Partner of the Year.

2023 New and Related Services Division Support Staff Member of the Year

Jessica Simpson, a dynamic and accomplished individual whose journey in career and technical education (CTE) began when she was a high school culinary arts student. When she was a student, Jessica quickly discovered her innate talent for organization and systemization. As the president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter, she effortlessly assumed the responsibility of creating efficient systems to enhance productivity.

Currently, Jessica is the Senior Administrative Secretary at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey Pennsylvania. She Provides Administrative Support for the CTE Director, Assistant CTE Director, Authentic Work Experiences Manager, 24 CTE Teachers, and close to 900 students.

In her spare time Jessica has created t-shirt designs for a CTE conference, organized the swag for the ACTE Region 1 event and the give away bags for the  Mississippi ACTE summer conference.

She has exceptional organizational abilities, dedication to excellence, and ann unwavering support for the CTE community.  It is our pleasure to congratulate Jessica Simpson as a 2023 New and Related Services Division Support Staff Member of the Year.

2023 New and Related Services Division Teacher of the Year – Career Academy

Jeff Samaneigo is an outstanding marketing teacher. He has been the DECA Advisor at Millennium High School in the Agua Fria Union High School District. He is currently a marketing teacher, a DECA advisor and a teacher within the Academy of Entrepreneurship at Mountain Ridge.  Mr Samaniego is also the Department chair for CTE at the school and he serves on the Arizona Marketing Educators board and the Arizona DECA board.

Teaching is his passion and he brings his love of marketing come alive with his innovative us of technology.  Students love his class and are highly engaged with the content.

Jeff helps organize the many community service events.  The list includes Dig PINK, a national breast cancer awareness project that works with volleyball teams nationwide; Ridge Gives Day, a giant day of community service in which his marketing students plan, organize, solicit donations and get sponsorships for the 200+volunteers for over 12 sites throughout the city; The Ridge Run, a health and fitness event for the community and Ridge Got Talent, a talent show that raises money for a specific charity each year. All of these opportunities allow students to apply different aspects of business and entrepreneurship skills in meaningful ways to enrich their learning.

We proudly present the 2023 New and Related Services Division Teacher of the Year – Career Academy award to Jeff Samaniego.