IAED Mentors & Mentees of the Month
ACTE is delighted to feature positive IAED mentor and mentee stories each month. This February, we are thrilled to recognize two amazing individuals from the IAED Mentorship Program: 2021 mentee Cori Gray and 2021 mentor Dr. Kevin Johnson. Gray and Johnson were nominated by Dominique Footes, a former mentee from the 2021 IAED Mentorship Program.
One of Footes’ goals in the program was to become more knowledgeable of Perkins V, and Johnson and Gray helped her identify resources and obstacles in and outside of the classroom. Their insights played a pivotal role in her own work, and Footes has become a stronger and more confident advocate in education thanks to their keen guidance.
Gray is a deputy state director for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and works in several occupational program areas to prepare students for success in work, education and life. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Langston University, a Master of Science in Management from Southern Nazarene University, and ABD at the University of Oklahoma. She is the proud mother of Alex and J.R.
Johnson is a senior advisor for equity and oversees the Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and the Opportunity Gap Analysis Technical Assistance work within states. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State University, a Master of Education in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Doctor of Education P-12 Concentration from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.
For more information about ACTE’s IAED Mentorship Program, contact Lauren Fillebrown, ACTE’s Senior Manager of Leadership Development.
Congratulations Mentor of the Month: Melanie Allen
ACTE is highlighting positive IAED stories for Mentor/Mentee of the Month. This September, we are thrilled to recognize our IAED Mentor of the Month: Melanie Allen. Melanie was nominated by her mentor Shelly Thome.
Melanie has been a special education teacher for many years, and during what many would agree was the most challenging time in educational history, transitioned into the role of Davis School District’s CTE Transition Specialist. Not only was she developing a new program, she did so while maintaining her teaching role for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
Melanie’s passion for access and equity is apparent to all who meet her. She has been an essential member of her district team as they prepare to open the Catalyst Center in January of 2022. The Catalyst Center is CTE magnet school which brings together their district students, local business, and industry mentors. She has also been a key figure in staff meetings and development to help ensure access and equity to the diverse population in her community. Melanie has also applied to be a Mentor in the upcoming cycle of the IAED Mentorship program so that she may continue to learn while supporting the IAED journey of others.
Congratulations Mentor of the Month: Rana McVay
ACTE is highlighting positive IAED stories for Mentor/Mentee of the Month. This August, we are thrilled to recognize our IAED Mentor of the Month: Rana McVay. Rana McVay was nominated by her mentee Tina Kay Miller for providing an excellence mentor example for the inaugural IAED mentorship program year. Rana is mentoring two mentees during this inaugural year of the program.
Tina continues to explain why Rana is an exceptional example of an IAED mentor, “Rana is there for me whenever I have a question. There is not an IAED topic that is off limits. I can ask anything, and I know I am going to get an honest answer. However, the best part of our discussions is that Rana teaches techniques to help me ask appropriate questions to have a discussion rather than an argument. We also talk about how IAED is not just a discussion of race, and we explore those other areas. Through the IAED program I have found a friend for life and someone who is not afraid to answer the hard questions and I ask a lot.”
Rana is very involved with ACTE, as well as many other commitments in which she volunteers her time and expertise. Rana is being recognized for her commitment to the IAED Mentorship Program and for all she continues to do to help the mentorship program grow professionally as an IAED advocate. Congratulations Rana on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!
This July, we are thrilled to recognize our IAED Mentee of the Month: Anna Hall.
Anna was nominated by ACTE for providing an excellent mentor/mentee example for the IAED mentorship group and is an asset to the IAED mentorship program through her continued leadership in the program: she is hosting one of ACTE’s IAED webinars in September on LBGTQ+; she is continuing to facilitate the new monthly mentee discussion hours; she is helping plan the next mentee discussion on developing missions/definitions; she helped facilitate the IAED promotional video for the mentorship program applications. Anna is being recognized for her commitment to the IAED Mentorship Program and for all she continues to do to help mentees collaborate and grow professionally as an IAED leader and advocate. Congratulations Anna on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!
This June, we are thrilled to recognize our IAED Mentee of the Month: Candice Mott. Candice is the CTE Performance Accountability Coordinator for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). She serves as President for DC ACTE and is chair of the awards committee for ACTE. In her role as DC ACTE President, she led the Stronger Together: Inclusion, Access, Equity & Diversity Professional Development Series. The series was met with resounding success. It provided participants with recommendations, expertise, and outreach to support IAED efforts at all levels. Thank you, Candice, for your wonderful service to CTE and IAED. Congratulations Candice on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!
This May, we are thrilled to recognize our IAED Mentor of the Month: Snehal Bhakta. Snehal was nominated by a mentee for providing an excellence mentor/mentee example for the IAED mentorship group. In Snehal’s role as a mentor, he has challenged his mentees to think about many facets of diversity and has encouraged mentee’s to reach outside of their comfort zone and apply for leadership positions. Snehal truly has his mentee’s professional growth in mind during all conversations, continuously asking thoughtful questions. He is a great example of what it means to have a successful and fulfilling career while reaching back to help others along the way. Snehal is being recognized for his commitment to the IAED Mentorship Program and for all he has done (and will continue to do) to help his mentor’s grow professionally as a CTE educator and an IAED advocate. Congratulations Snehal on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!
ACTE is highlighting positive IAED stories for Mentor/Mentee of the Month. We are thrilled to recognize our second IAED Mentor of the Month: Elina Martinez Medina. In Elina’s role is a Specialist on CTE Team really focusing on equity initiatives. In her previous work as a CTE Director, she saw that students in her district encountered challenges to CTE pathways if they were English language learners. Through Elina’s passion for CTE she was able to overcome these challenges and create relationships with the Multilingual Department, proving powerful resources to CTE teachers. For more information around Integrated Content Language Development for English Language Learners, look here. Congratulations Elina on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!
ACTE is highlighting positive IAED stories for Mentor/Mentee of the Month. With February being CTE month, we are thrilled to recognize our first IAED Mentor of the Month: Sara Cobb. In Sara’s role with the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education, CASE, she developed and implemented Thrive: Cultivating Digital Teachers. Thrive Conference was a professional development opportunity for agricultural educators focusing on how to effectively implement CTE programs in a virtual format. ACTE would like to highlight Thrive as a best practice for CTE professionals, more information about Thrive can be found: https://thriveconference.org/ Congratulations Sara on your outstanding contributions and leadership to CTE!