2014 ACTE Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary S. Wixom
Assistant Commissioner
Utah System of Higher Education
Salt Lake City, Utah

ACTE sat down with Gary after the ACTE Awards Banquet during CareerTech VISION.

As the assistant commissioner for the Utah System of Higher Learning from 1999-2011, Gary Wixom has given leadership to the Utah Electronic College, the development of Utah?s concurrent enrollment program and the engineering and computer science initiative, has co-chaired the Utah Education Network Steering Committee, and has promoted two community colleges to the university level. Throughout his illustrious 43-year career as a CTE teacher and administrator, Wixom has enhanced the quality and availability of CTE offerings across Utah.

Beginning his career as a business faculty member, Wixom overhauled the administration curriculum at his institution and acquired funds to bring state-of-the-art business education equipment to his students. Wixom brought computer programming to the department when these opportunities were generally available only at larger institutions. As a dean, he also lobbied for CTE funding at the Utah State Legislature. He was instrumental in designing technical and life skill training for individuals classified as minority and economically disadvantaged, successfully bringing together resources from community agencies to ensure success of these students. During the 1970s, Wixom led an effort that resulted in the first life skills program offered in Utah that was geared toward teaching underemployed and unemployable students skills to make them self-sufficient.

Wixom has strived to make CTE available to students in rural areas, teaching and offering some of the first online learning courses at his institutions and establishing four outreach centers to deliver CTE courses to rural locations. He has served as a representative on NASDCTEc and the National Community College State Directors Council, and has participated in many initiatives to move educational programs forward at the national level.

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