ACTE Announces Michigan Assistant Superintendent as National Award Finalist

September 23, 2019

Contact: Jarrod Nagurka, 703-683-9312

ACTE Announces Michigan Assistant Superintendent as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Debra Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Programming in Portage, Michigan, as the 2019 ACTE Region I Administrator of The Year. This award recognizes administrative career and technical education (CTE) professionals at the school, district, county, state or federal level who have demonstrated leadership in ensuring teacher and student success and have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical education programs.

Miller began her career as a high school teacher. She taught a wide variety of subject areas, culminating in her final years as an educator in CTE business and CTE Oracle programming courses. Miller had the opportunity to join with Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (Kalamazoo RESA) in 2003 as Student Services Administrator for CTE, and later became the CTE Director and then the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Programming.

Miller had oversight over some exceptional programs that serve Kalamazoo County youth, including Education for the Arts (offering K-12 experiential art opportunities for approximately 5000 students), Education for Employment (offering CTE for approximately 3,000 high school students); Youth Opportunities Unlimited (serving at-risk youth in four counties and over 500 students). Recently, working with post-secondary partners, Miller helped develop a county-wide Early Middle College Program, which currently serves 450 students and leads to certificates and associate degrees which include many CTE programs of study. This past year Miller has worked with local school district partners in an initiative for a systemic K-12 Career Readiness preparation system and STEM program leading to CTE opportunities. All of these programs help learners thrive, whether as job seekers finding employment or as students completing their education with intentional career focus. Miller is passionate about the opportunities offered to youth in Kalamazoo County.

Miller is one of five finalists for the 2020 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 4, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, CA. 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.