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ACTE Excellence Awards

2011-2012 Award Winners



Teacher of the Year

Cindy Adams
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center
Ardmore, Oklahoma

Cindy Adams of Sulphur, Oklahoma, always knew she wanted to teach and demonstrates a deep passion for helping others develop skills that will lead to successful employment opportunities.

Adams has served the last six years as a campus adviser and coordinator for the National Technical Honor Society, working annually with over 100 students in 18 different programs. To ensure the success of all students, she incorporates unique hands-on projects to reinforce learning and simulate real-world scenarios that engage students in a fun classroom setting. Adams exemplifies her classroom motto, ”Learn It, Love It, Live It,” as she motivates her students to develop a love for learning and serving so they, too, can live their lives loving what they do.

Outside the classroom, she is busy creating partnerships for her medical office administration program with Murray State College and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Under her instruction, students have earned over 1,570 hours of college credit.

A colleague appreciates Adams’s dedication: “Cynthia recognizes there’s no education like real life. Her students walk away with experience of policy and procedure, office technology, professionalism and ethics to succeed.”

Watch Cindy's video testimony to CTE at the 2011 ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo!


Outstanding Career and Technical Educator

Richard Joerger
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
St. Paul, Minnesota

Richard Joerger has made significant contributions to CTE through his extensive research and work in teacher professional development. With more than 30 years of experience, including experiences in agricultural education, secondary education, consulting and higher education, Joerger has been a leader in developing programs that improve teacher induction and professional development. He has been prolific in authoring and disseminating materials on CTE research and teaching models, many of which have been included in academic peer-reviewed journals. Joerger’s research and work has also provided a model on how research in CTE should be conducted, which has become a widely used model.

In addition to serving as the system director for farm and small business management and agriculture, food and natural resource programs for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Joerger serves the profession on a national level with his leadership roles on the ACTE Data and Research Task Force  and several other professional organizations.

Joerger said, “Career and technical education is important for every citizen if the USA is to have a sound infrastructure, economy and social environment,” and he has supported this vision by creating and supporting strong professional development programs for teachers who spread the word about CTE to students.

Watch Richard's video testimony to CTE at the 2011 ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo!


Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher

Mindi Clark
Fairview Public Schools
Fairview, Oklahoma

Mindi Clark prepares leaders for the 21st century. As an agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Fairview High School, she is surrounded by a community of values and integrity that are a direct reflection of its students. Since she started teaching, Clark has offered a challenging curriculum in the lay of the land in agriculture and finds a way for her students to attend leadership conferences despite financial setbacks. The struggle is worth the success, with students having gone on to serve as state FFA officers, state FFA Foundation leadership positions, and active leaders in organizations at the postsecondary level.

Clark is always looking for ways to better herself and her students. Each year, she plans a variety of activities for her students to participate in, such as the local labor auction, fundraising for the FFA chapter, Hospice Circle of Love Christmas project and more. A fellow FFA adviser mentions, “Rather than simply participate, Mindi has trained her students to a level where they compete in every contest.”

Clark’s motivation for agricultural education is a commitment to seeing first-hand the positive difference agricultural education can have in the life of a student.

Watch Mindi's video testimony to CTE at the 2011 ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo!


Outstanding Teacher in Community Service

Deb Moore
Peoria Unified School District
Glendale, Arizona

Deb Moore has brought a decade of marketing experience to her career as a CTE professional. As a marketing instructor at Raymond S. Kellis High School, Moore believes that serving others and a need to give back to the community are not genetic traits, but learned skills that teachers need to model more often. The efforts of her students have raised more than $100,000 to the local community. The greatest gift Moore believes she can present to her students is to understand that building a community starts with caring, and caring starts with their knowing the power of one person to make a difference.

Moore’s students have succeeded in both service and skills due to her phenomenal instructional techniques and complete application of the Total CTE Program model. The students have earned regional, state and national awards in DECA as a result.

A fellow colleague commented on her extraordinary service, “After 30 years in education, I can assure you that I have never seen a teacher who so effectively integrates community service into her program and who has had a bigger impact on the quality of life in her community as Deb Moore.”

Watch Deb's video testimony to CTE at the 2011 ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo!


Image Award

Mike Rowe
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation
Santa Monica, California

The Association for Career and Technical Education is proud to present the 2012 ACTE Image Award to Mike Rowe. When told about this award, Rowe said, “Who knew that inseminating cows, babysitting exotic animals, installing lightning rods and working as a hydroelectric dam mechanic would lead to such an honor?” 

The truth is, Rowe has been a staunch advocate for CTE for much of his life. In fact, he attributes the idea leading to the creation of his Discovery Channel show, Dirty Jobs, to his father and grandfather. “They taught me the value of a hard day’s work and the dedication workers put into even the most difficult, dangerous and disgusting jobs.” 

Since the show’s inception in 2005, Rowe has served as an apprentice on more than 300 jobs in all 50 states, jobs that most people would go out of their way to avoid. And over the past seven years, Rowe’s main objective has been to celebrate the hard-working men and women who make civilized life possible for the rest of us. 

To put that objective into more concrete terms, in 2008, Rowe launched mikeroweWORKS, a website focused on promoting the skilled trades and providing information about trade careers, education and training. At the same time, he formed The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity to provide scholarships, tools and aid to  further advance the skilled trades. In addition, Rowe has been involved in a number of activities highlighting the importance and value of our skilled workforce and shortage of people entering the trades by launching the Association of Equipment Manufacturers grassroots campaign “I Make America”, providing scholarships through organizations such as the AED Foundation and SkillsUSA, as well as speaking to organizations, such as the FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America), American Farm Bureau Federation and others. 

The most high-profile example of Rowe’s efforts to call attention to the growing skills gap and lack of skilled workers came in May 2011, when he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. That testimony has been viewed thousands of times on his website and on YouTube. 

Watch the video of Mike Rowe accepting the ACTE Image Award!

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ACTE Excellence Awards

2011-2012 Award Winners

The 2011-2012 ACTE National Award Winners.

ACTE Excellence Awards

The ACTE Excellence Awards seek to promote excellence in career and technical education by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field, programs that exemplify the highest standards, and organizations that have conducted activities to promote and expand career and technical education programs.


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