No average person can become an ACTE Region VP and Lisa Stange is no average person. Despite thinking she never wanted to become an educator Lisa was called to it thanks to her experiences in her high school FACS classes. After earning her FACS educator degree from Iowa State University, Lisa worked at a variety of high schools building and created top-tier FACS programs everywhere she went. For a period of time, she lived in France and used the knowledge she gained of their CTE programs and integrated it into the FACS programs she ran back in the US.
Eventually, Lisa had the opportunity to take a job opportunity that would change the course of her career and allow her to increase the impact she could have on CTE, leading Iowa State’s FACS Teacher Prep program. During her time leading the program, she rejuvenated the program and grew the program from 40 to 120 students. After successfully building up Iowa State’s program she took on the last role of her career in Iowa’s state CTE department where she felt she could continue to grow her impact on CTE. One thing that stood out to me during this point of the interview was her passion for growing and developing others. She is a leader who knows that to make a sustained difference you have to find the passion of others and foster that so they can become exemplary CTE professionals and advocates.
It was during Lisa’s time at Iowa State and Iowa’s Department of Education that she became involved with ACTE. First through her Iowa affiliate as a board member, then as president. Eventually, she would become the Region III representative on the ACTE policy committee which then lead her to become Region III VP. One thing that Lisa shared that was essential to her growth was having a mentor that could guide her and help her through the various roles she would take on. Lisa shared that the biggest benefit of being involved with ACTE is networking and connection with others. She shared that the ability to learn from other states and how they support CTE greatly increased her CTE knowledge base and allowed her to create relationships that she continues to benefit from to this day. After my first major ACTE event, NPS, I 100% agree. To be able to learn from other professionals across the country has expanded my point of reference when it comes to improving and advocating for CTE.
Having this conversation with Lisa made me think about the mentors I have had in my life that have gotten me to where I am, and the additional mentors I will need to continue my growth. Also, the need for me to become a mentor to others. Guiding and building others up is not only essential to leadership and maximizing the impact I can have, but will also help me grow in my profession. Talking with Lisa helped me recognize the strengths I have, but it also helped me identify the areas that I need to continue to develop if I want to grow as a leader and advocate for CTE.
Region III Experienced Fellow