ACTE Announces Illinois Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education as National Award Finalist


September 20, 2022 

Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Illinois Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education as National Award Finalist 


ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Jay Solomonson, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, as the 2022 ACTE Region III Teacher Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) educators at the secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Dr. Solomonson grew up on a 1000-acre family farm in rural, Coal Valley, Illinois. After high school, he attended Western Illinois University where he received his B.S. degree in Agriculture- Teacher Certification. He began his teaching career at Orion High School (Orion, IL) where he served as the agriculture teacher, FFA advisor, and CTE Director for 17 years. During that time, he earned his M.S. degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University. In 2010, Dr. Solomonson began teaching college credit courses, including Introduction to Agricultural Education, through the local community college. In 2019, he accepted a position as the District 1 Program Advisor for the Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE)- a project of the Illinois State Board of Education. He was in that position for a year prior to joining the faculty as a teacher educator at Illinois State University in 2020. Dr. Solomonson has published (6) referred journal articles, (24) referred research papers, abstracts, or posters, and (7) non-referred magazine articles.  His research focus is on teacher recruitment and retention. Dr. Solomonson teaches courses in Agricultural Education, Agricultural Leadership & Communications, and Agricultural Mechanization. 

Solomonson is one of five finalists for the 2023 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on November 30, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. The 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.