ACTE Announces Indiana Teacher as National Award Finalist

September 15, 2020

Contact: Megan Kmiotek

ACTE Announces Indiana Teacher as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Kandy Smitha, Veterinary Science Teacher at J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, as the 2020 ACTE Region III Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) teachers at the middle/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.

Kandy Smitha began working in CTE in 1997, coming into the field as a licensed nurse and veterinary technician. She knew she always had passion for education. In 2001, her school counselor mentioned he could fill a program with students who wanted to learn how to become a veterinary assistant but there were no programs available. With her background in veterinary medicine, Smitha put together the foundation of a Veterinary Science program. The very first year it was offered, it was filled to capacity.  Smitha developed the curriculum and standards that are now required by the Indiana Department of Education.  Through her persistence and efforts, the Indiana DOE created a separate career pathway for Veterinary Careers and enabled her to create a second year to the program.  She is now the enlisted person for any career center in the state wanting to open a Veterinary Careers program.  There are now five programs open in Indiana that Smitha assisted in developing.  She has also assisted programs in Alaska and California, which contacted her through her membership in ACTE.  Smitha’s students number in the hundreds who have gone on to find careers in veterinary medicine with some achieving their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Smitha is one of five finalists for the 2021 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 Thursday, December 3, during ACTE’s Virtual CareerTech VISION 2020. The Virtual Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, CareerSafe, 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.