ACTE Announces Arizona Educator as National Award Finalist


September 15, 2021

Contact: Megan Kmiotek


ACTE Announces Arizona Educator as National Award Finalist


ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Richard McPherson, Teacher at Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District 35 in Rio Rico, Arizona, as the recipient of the 2021 ACTE Region V Carl Perkins Community Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have used career and technical education (CTE) to make a significant impact in their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service.


Richard McPherson and Rio Rico FFA students have demonstrated leadership through community service projects incorporated into the CTE Program. Under Mr. McPherson’s guidance: Agriscience students taught “What’s on my Plate?” at Santa Cruz County Fair to elementary school children, created and maintained alliance with the Green Valley Gardeners to custom-produce 4,500 Texas White Onions for their fundraiser; K-5 Ag Science Plant-Pal Program, partnered with Rio Rico Golf Course and ReNature Inc. to conduct an Ag Science Project on soil health of course greens and tees; Partnered with Arizona Farm Bureau for Ag in the Classroom; Agricultural Literacy Program for elementary students in the school district; Rio Rico Agriscience students participated in a multi-state, multi-community project partnering with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation; Created and implemented New Programs at the Demonstration Farm est. 2012-Hydroponic House, traditional greenhouse, raised beds, and traditional row crops; WakWay Foundation, and Giumarra Produce, who were successful in providing 134 tons of fresh produce to families living in the food deserts of Dallas, Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa, Peoria, Chandler, and Luke AFB by the end of March 2019; Completed 1,372 volunteer hours, raising $5,998 in contributions, to successfully donate tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, zucchini squash, colored bell peppers, watermelons in the aforementioned communities. One hundred and thirty-four tons of produce equals roughly 1,000,000 servings of fruits and vegetables. These are just a few of the students’ accomplishments. Their mission is to improve the quality of life, through service programs and there is no question they do so.


McPherson 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 virtual event will take place on 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.