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ACTE Announces Arizona School Counselor as National Award Finalist


September 25, 2017 

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

ACTE Announces Arizona School Counselor as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Jan Fellow, School Counselor of Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Arizona, as the recipient of the 2017 ACTE Region V Career Guidance Award. This award recognizes school counselors and career development professionals who have demonstrated commitment to connecting students with opportunities for success, shown innovation in career exploration and development, and have advocated for CTE as a viable option for all students. The Career Guidance Award is sponsored by the U.S. Army.

With a background as a social worker and resettlement coordinator for refugees, Jan Fellow found a passion for counseling and relocated to Arizona where she currently serves as school counselor at Shadow Ridge High School (SRHS). In this position, she individually counsels a caseload of over 440 students each year, teaches career development curriculum to students at all grade levels each semester, and provides instruction in resume preparation and job interviewing. She led a team effort to raise retention and graduation rates by implementing intervention strategies that included promoting student participation in career programs and leadership development through CTSOs and peer mentoring of 9th grade students. 

Fellow has focused significant attention on expanding CTE program participation and, through classroom visits and parent info nights, successfully recruited 171 students to a brand new Business & Marketing program and doubled enrollment for the SRHS Medical Program from 178 to 323 students over a one-year period. Fellow collaborates with staff to bring parents on campus for Freshmen Family Night emphasizing opportunities in career pathway programs. This event led to nearly triple the enrollment in SRHS CTE programs from 213 in 2013 to 925 in 2017. Fellow has been instrumental in bringing new CTE courses and programs to SRHS and worked with the Arizona Association of University Women (AAUW) to develop a mentoring program for young women encouraging them to enter non-traditional career paths such as Engineering and Architecture. Her efforts to partner with postsecondary institutions have helped increase student participation in dual-enrollment opportunities by 50 percent over the last three years. Fellow participated in the ACTE-Arizona Fellowship Program from 2013-2015, is a member of the ACTEAZ board representing counselors around the state, and has presented at several professional development conferences and workshops. Michael G. Hawkins, Principal at Shadow Ridge High School, says, “I know that my school would not look the same if it were not for Ms. Fellow’s assistance.

Fellow is one of four 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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