ACTE Announces Iowa Program Coordinator and Assistant Teaching Professor as the 2024 National Winner

December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023
Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Iowa Program Coordinator and Assistant Teaching Professor as the 2024 National Winner

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Laura Van Waardhuizen, Family and Consumer Science Education & Studies Program Coordinator and Assistant Teaching Professor at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa,as the 2024 ACTE Teacher Educator of the Year. This award recognizes teacher educators who have demonstrated innovation in teacher education, leadership in improving CTE, and commitment to preparing teachers to deliver high quality CTE programs. 

Van Waardhuizen graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her bachelor’s degree in textiles and apparel. She went on to intern in the quality assurance department at Lands’ End, Inc. She felt like something was missing and transitioned to technical design and later, creative design. An invitation to serve on a national “future search” committee for the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) discipline ignited a passion for teaching. She returned to school and earned her teaching license with endorsements in FCS and health. Laura then spent a decade teaching at Waukee High School, one of Iowa’s fastest-growing school districts.

Laura’s purpose is to share others with the necessary skills to make conscientious choices about their lives and careers. While teaching, she earned her master’s degree in teacher effectiveness and professional development. In 2018, she became the Program Coordinator/Assistant Teaching Professor for the FCS Education & Studies Program at Iowa State University where she works with undergraduates. As the only FCS post-secondary faculty in the state, she also engages with professionals entering teaching through an alternative licensure pathway and teachers from other content areas transitioning into CTE.

Van Waardhuizen serves on boards at both the state and national levels including the Iowa Governor’s CTE Advisory Committee and as the state president for Iowa ACTE. She has recently finished a fellowship with ACTE, focusing her work on removing barriers and attracting diverse candidates to “Say YES to FCS” and CTE. She believes that CTE is the best forum for all students to engage in authentic learning and find success. 

Van Waardhuizen 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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