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ACTE Announces Minnesota Professor Emeritus as National Award Finalist


September 25, 2017 

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka 
jnagurka@acteonline.org, 703-683-9312 

ACTE Announces Minnesota Professor Emeritus as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Jeanette A. Karjala, Professor Emeritus of Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, as the recipient of the 2017 ACTE Region III Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes CTE professionals for their leadership on behalf of ACTE, their innovations in CTE and their contributions to the field over an extended period of time.

Jeanette Karjala has served the field of business education for 46 years. Beginning her career as a high school business education teacher in Washington in the 1960’s until 1980, Karjala developed a reputation for innovation as she established new programs and teaching techniques. She successfully pitched the school board to award English credits to business communications students and introduced several creative practices and business partnerships with her Future Business Leaders of American Chapter. Karjala went on to serve on a state Department of Education initiative to plan and write the “State Business Education Guidelines” for the State of Washington.

For the last 18 years of her teaching career, Karjala has taught at Winona State University (WSU) in Minnesota, where she has made great strides to improve equity and access to business education programs. Working with her colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Education, she helped develop seamless transfer-articulation program agreements connecting business programs at two-year community and technical colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin with the WSU business education program. Students holding non-business degrees or those who have relevant work experiences in business are now welcome to enroll in the program. Furthermore, in 2003 Karjala initiated an online business education program at WSU, which was the first of its kind at the university. Thanks to Karjala’s efforts, WSU’s business education teaching degree program has remained and flourished, at a time when other four-year, postsecondary institutions in the state have seen these programs lapse. 

Karjala has been an active member and leader of professional organizations throughout her career, including serving as President of Minnesota ACTE from 2008-2010, and she has delivered countless presentations on business education topics and been awarded numerous honors. “Jeanette is organized, dedicated, and unafraid to accept challenges that would intimidate, if not totally overwhelm, other people,” says Jean G. Bently-Jones, former graduate student and colleague. “She truly is what career and technical education is about.”

Karjala is one of five finalists for the 2018 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. 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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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.



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