ACTE Announces Iowa Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development as 2024 National Award Winner

December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023
Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Iowa Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development as 2024 National Award Winner

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Ashlee E Spannagel, Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa as the 2024 National ACTE Postsecondary Professional of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the postsecondary level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities. The Postsecondary Professional of the Year Award is sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox. 

Dr. Ashlee Spannagel serves as the Dean of Career & Technical Education and Workforce Development at Southeastern Community College, where she oversees 51 CTE certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Dr. Spannagel has over 13 years of experience in secondary and postsecondary education. She began her career in education as a high school agriculture teacher, then went on to serve in multiple capacities at the community college where she completed her associate degree; these positions included recruitment, retention, compliance, and grant writing/management. From there, Dr. Spannagel transitioned into a role where she managed the CTE grant funding for eight K-12 school districts. Dr. Spannagel has extensive experience in project management, program development and implementation, and CTE. Most notably, Dr. Spannagel recently led the effort to secure a partnership with Toyota to develop and launch a training program, making SCC the first institution to have this type of program in the United States. Dr. Spannagel holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Plant, Soil Science, and Agricultural Systems with a specialization in Agricultural Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Spannagel has been blessed with an incredible husband, Brian, to whom she has been married for 12 years, and together they reside on a farm in southeast Iowa. 

“Thank you to the Postsecondary Teacher of the Year winners and finalists for your dedication to Career and Technical Education. Your passion for CTE makes a difference in the lives of many, from the students who are learning new skills for their careers to the workplaces that need qualified employees” said Maureen Brennan, Director of Marketing for G-W Publisher, sponsor of the ACTE Excellence Awards. “Your commitment to education and the dedication of industry partners such as ACTE help us in our mission to help students build careers.” 

Spannagel was one of five finalists for the 2024 national title. The national winner was announced at the Awards Gala, recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event took place on November 29, at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2023. The Awards Gala was sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, CareerSafe, Goodheart-Willcox, The U.S. Army, and Stratasys. 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, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals 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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