ACTE Announces Iowa Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development as National Award Finalist


September 25, 2023 

Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Iowa Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Ashlee Spannagel, Dean of Career and Technical Education & Workforce Development at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, as the 2023 ACTE Region III Postsecondary Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) educators at the postsecondary and postsecondary 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. Ashlee Spannagel serves as the Dean of Career & Technical Education and Workforce Development at Southeastern Community College, where she oversees 51 CTE certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Dr. Spannagel has over 13 years of experience in secondary and postsecondary education. She began her career in education as a high school agriculture teacher, then went on to serve in multiple capacities at the community college where she completed her associate degree; these positions included recruitment, retention, compliance, and grant writing/management. From there, Dr. Spannagel transitioned into a role where she managed the CTE grant funding for eight K-12 school districts. Dr. Spannagel has extensive experience in project management, program development and implementation, and CTE. Most notably, Dr. Spannagel recently led the effort to secure a partnership with Toyota to develop and launch a training program, making SCC the first institution to have this type of program in the United States. Dr. Spannagel holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Plant, Soil Science, and Agricultural Systems with a specialization in Agricultural Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Spannagel has been blessed with an incredible husband, Brian, to whom she has been married for 12 years, and together they reside on a farm in southeast Iowa. 

Spannagel is one of five finalists for the 2024 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 29, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, The Army, 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.