ACTE Announces Ohio Cosmetology Instructor as National Award Finalist


September 15, 2021

Contact: Megan Kmiotek


ACTE Announces Ohio Cosmetology Instructor as National Award Finalist


ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Sara Plozay, Cosmetology Instructor at Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua, Ohio, as the recipient of the 2021 ACTE Region I Carl Perkins Community Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have used career and technical education (CTE) to make a significant impact on their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service.


Plozay has dedicated her life to inspiring students to discover a purpose for their lives through Career and Technical Education. As a graduate of a career center, she embraced the opportunity to learn about the Cosmetology industry. It was this opportunity that changed her life and led her to a career she loved. After working a few years in the industry, Plozay wanted to do more and share her passion with others. She began teaching in 2004 at a beauty college. This experience taught her the value in career and technical education. She decided to journey back into CTE in 2012 when she started teaching Cosmetology at Upper Valley Career Center.


Plozay has served as a mentor to teacher education programs. Her vision is to help new teachers learn how to bring their classrooms to life. Plozay also serves as a SkillsUSA State and Chapter Advisor and National Certified Trainer. She has mentored over fifty officers from the local to the national level. Some of her students have competed at the national level in both CT and leadership related contests. Plozay’s chapter has been recognized as a National Model of Excellence five times. She started the barbering and esthetics competitions in Ohio and secured partnerships with business and industry to support and run these contests as well as others. In addition, she has conducted over thirty training sessions for teachers and students and leads a career exploration conference at the SkillsUSA Ohio State Championships. Plozay serves as the secretary for the Ohio Career Cosmetology Teacher’s Association where she coordinates professional development opportunities for Cosmetology teachers in the state of Ohio.


Plozay is one of five finalists for the 2022 national title. The national winner will be announced at the virtual ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place virtually on Tuesday, November 30 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The virtual Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox 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.