ACTE Announces New Mexico Retired Academic Division Dean as National Award Finalist


September 15, 2021

Contact: Megan Kmiotek


ACTE Announces New Mexico Retired Academic Division Dean as National Award Finalist


ALEXANDRIA, VA— Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Saundra Grimshaw-Castillo, Retired Academic Division Dean at NMSU Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as the recipient of the 2021 ACTE Region IV Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes career and technical education (CTE) professionals for their leadership on behalf of ACTE, their innovations in CTE and their contributions to the field over an extended period of time. ACTE will be inducting all five Lifetime Achievement national finalists into the ACTE Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors the leadership of CTE professionals who have made enduring contributions to CTE throughout their career.


Saundra Grimshaw-Castillo is a retired Academic Division Dean for the Advanced Technologies at Dona Ana Community College, New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM.  After graduating with her B.S. and M.A. from NMSU, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Science; Castillo spent thirteen years teaching at the secondary and postsecondary levels in CTE STEM content areas. She then transitioned into educational leadership and administration. Initially working as the Assistant State Supervisor for Agricultural Education and FFA Executive Secretary.   As an educational consultant for the College and Career Readiness Bureau of the New Mexico Public Education Department, she provided professional development and technical assistance to educators and administrators in curriculum development; leading the development and publication of the NM Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Content Standards and Benchmarks.  She also monitored the implementation of Perkins for sixteen local institutions. She served as State Advisor for Career Technical Student Organizations including FFA, FCCLA, HOSA, SkillsUSA and TSA.  Saundra served numerous years as a member of the NMACTE Board of Directors.


At DACC, Castillo oversaw seventeen CTE degree programs and served as the Institutional Coordinator for the Alliance for Minority Participation.  She led the redesign of dual credit, connecting secondary career pathways to the college’s certificate and degree programs.


Castillo 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 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.