ACTE Announces Virginia Department of Education State Specialist as National Award Finalist

October 5, 2019

Contact: Megan Kmiotek

ACTE Announces Virginia Department of Education State Specialist as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Judith Sams, State Specialist, Business and Information Technology and Related Clusters for the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond, Virginia, as the recipient of the 2020 ACTE Region II 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. For the second time at the virtual Awards Gala, 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.

Following a long and rewarding career teaching Business and Information Technology in Virginia public, independent, and community college classrooms, Judith Sams transitioned to the Virginia Department of Education where she has successfully served as the State Specialist for Business and Information Technology for the past 14 years.  During those years, she has been at the helm of the statewide Microsoft Imagine Academy initiative and the development of seven Cybersecurity Pathways, spearheaded the implementation and nominee selection as Coordinator for Virginia’s  U S Presidential Scholars for CTE, served as State Chairman of the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), and as a strong advocate for and active participant in professional organizations including the FBLA-PBL Foundation Board of Directors, Virginia ACTE, ACTE, Virginia Business Education Association, National Business Education Association, Southern Business Education Association, National Association for Supervisors of Business Education,  National Business Honor Society Governing Council, as well as a member of the Advisory Board for the Southern Regional Education Board, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Virginia JumpStart Coalition, and the Virginia CyberRange.  Continuously and enthusiastically supporting teacher and student success in CTE for over 50 years is her overall lifetime achievement; two of Sams’ unequivocal professional lifetime achievements as a result of her efforts have been the adoption of the statewide graduation requirement since 2011 for the one-credit Economics and Personal Finance course and the recent 100,000th student Microsoft industry credential in Virginia earned through the Microsoft Imagine Academy.

Sams 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 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