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Virtual CTE Discussions


Virtual CTE Discussions

Brought to you by ACTE's Educators in Action, this online discussion series is designed to empower educators and reinforce their professional skills. Led by career and technical educators, these regular discussions provide a platform for peer-sharing with professionals across the country. Discussions explore hot topics in CTE and tools and tips for strengthening CTE programs. Join fellow ACTE members for these informative and engaging discussions and lend your voice, expertise and ideas to your peers on these important topics. 

The schedule of upcoming virtual discussions can be found below, as well as recordings of past discussions. 


Discussions are scheduled on a rolling basis. Check back later for more scheduled discussions. 

“Balancing Academic Integration in CTE” – Led by Robert Marraccino

When: Wednesday, January 25 @ 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/238894913

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How do you decide the degree of academic content in your specialized CTE curriculum? When we discuss academic integration into the CTE curriculum, what are the criteria we should satisfy? Are we motivated to include academic content to satisfy a mandated academic standard or is the academic curriculum necessary to conceptualize the next step of the student down their CTE pathway? For this discussion, Robert Marraccino will draw from his experiences in STEM “E” programs, specifically medicine and agriculture. Join us for this discussion and bring your questions and insights to this topic!

Bob Marraccino      About the Discussion Leader: Robert Marraccino is a tenured teacher for the New York City Department of Education and an adjunct, Assistant Professor of Biology at the City University of New York (CUNY). For students interested in health occupations, Marraccino developed the curricula for a CTE Medical Laboratory sequence of courses in biotechnology/microbiology. For fifteen years, he administered and advised on the approval process for the Perkins', Vocational Technical Education Act (VTEA), serving approximately nine-hundred students of 8 CTE programs in a New York City comprehensive high school. Prior to teaching, he attained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology and conducted original research for eighteen years related to DNA replication, cell cycle, and cancer biology.

"Promoting Your CTE Program" - Led by Chuck Gallagher

When: Monday, January 30 @ 10:00am ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/413979497

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Those of us in the career and technical education community know that the rigorous, hands-on learning provided through CTE has something for everyone. But how do you convince parents, administrators, and school counselors that your CTE program has value for a wide variety of students? Join us for this discussion and learn how promoting your program to new audiences can take it to new heights, and come prepared to share your tips with your peers!

gallagherc_framed    About the Discussion Leader: Chuck Gallagher is a retired trade & industrial education instructor of 32 years from Tucson, Arizona, and former Region V Vice President on the ACTE Board of Directors. When Chuck started undertaking new strategies to promote his CTE program, it took his program to new heights. He has presented on this topic at three Region V conferences.  

"Designing & Developing High-Quality Registered Apprenticeships in the U.S." - Led by Andy Wermes

When: Thursday, February 2 @ 6:00pm ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/929249522

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The effort to accelerate the development of registered apprenticeship programs is challenged by our capacity to preserve the foundational principals that this system was built on.  Join this discussion in order to identify foundational principals and best practices that need to be in place for high-quality registered apprenticeship programs.

Andrew Wermes       About the Discussion Leader: Andy Wermes is the Consultant for Skilled and Technical Sciences with the Iowa Department of Education.  His prior experience includes over 25 years of experience working and supervising construction projects, and teaching and administering apprenticeship programs at the local state and national levels.  His perspective on the future of apprenticeship issues has developed as a result of years of working in apprenticeship, studying how apprenticeship is structured in foreign countries, running training programs for 11 years at a community college, and working with secondary and postsecondary programs for almost 10 years to support CTE education and training with the Iowa Department of Education.

"Connecting with Social Media" - Led by Robin McLean

When: Thursday, February 9 @ 5:00pm ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/996229885

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Whether you're an avid and experienced user of social media or not, understanding this medium is essential for 21st century professionals and educators. This discussion will explore how to develop your own professional learning network through Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Additionally, we will address a few strategies for using social media to connect with your students. Join us for this discussion and bring your tips or questions to this topic!

Robin McLean       

About the Discussion Leader: Robin McLean is an active participant in #TeachAgChat, most recently helping to create the #TeachAg Slow chat at the 2016 National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention. She has also led workshops in her school district, New York, and Arkansas on using social media to expand teachers' professional learning networks. McLean is the 2013 ACTE Teacher of the Year and is a National Board Certified Teacher; she currently co-chairs the ACTE-NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) caucus. 

"Delivering Jaw-Dropping Presentations" - Led by Rachael Mann

When: Monday, February 13 @ 5:00pm ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/567666173

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How can educators use the techniques used on the TED stage to create and deliver jaw-dropping presentations that the audience will remember and act upon?  This session will provide you with the tools to transform your next speaking engagement, whether presenting to students, board members, educators, parents, or community members.

Rachael Mann    About the Discussion Leader: Rachael is a virtual TEDster who assists educators in applying the principles of TED Talks in the classroom for presentation delivery. She presents at a conferences across the country on how to transform the classroom through these principles, and how to transform the lives of students by teaching them how to share their ideas in a TED-style fashion. For more information, follow Rachael on Twitter @RLMann4 or visit her page at RachaelMann.me


"Promoting CTE Through the 3 C's" - Led by Cassandra Miller-Washington 

When: Tuesday, February 21 @ 10:00am ET
Where: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/583323602

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College, career and community are key areas of focus for delivering a high-impact CTE program. During this discussion, award-winning educator Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington will share how the three Cs have helped her shift mindsets, increase program enrollment, and expand the pipeline for growing student leaders through CTE. Join us for this discussion to learn about the keys to promoting your CTE program and contribute to this discussion!

Cassandra Miller-Washington   About the Discussion Leader: Currently, Dr. Cassandra Miller Washington serves as the CEO and executive director of career, technical and agricultural education (CTAE) for the College and Career Academy in Macon, Georgia.  During her teaching career, she was named Teacher of the Year for Northeast Health Science Magnet High School, and Georgia TAPP (Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy) Ambassador by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. She is a graduate of the Bibb County Teacher and Administrator Leadership Academy and most recently was named the 2016 ACTE Administrator of the Year.


"Tech Tools: The Best Things in Life Are Free!"- led by Dawn Lindsley 

If you want things to change, you first have to have an awareness of the issue. 21st century learning shifts our paradigm of education, working with educators, students, business & industry, and other community stakeholders to address a rapidly changing world filled with new challenges and new possibilities.  Learn some tips to help yourself be more efficient and effective through FREE Resources for Educator Excellence!

Resources Referenced: FREE Resources for Educator Excellence

Dawn Lindsley   About the Discussion Leader:  Dawn Lindsley has been a CTE professional for 14 years and currently works as the accreditation coordinator for Oklahoma CareerTech, where she has helped design and implement a new accreditation process for the technology centers across the state. She was a 2012 ACTE Fellow and has served on the National FCCLA Board of Directors and is currently completing a doctorate in educational leadership. Contact Dawn for questions on this discussion topic.

"Business & Industry Partnerships" - led by Rick Kalk 


Developing partnerships with business and industry leaders is not only an important piece for keeping your programs relevant, it's a powerful way to open up opportunities for your students and grow a network of CTE supporters in your community. Learn where to start and how to strengthen existing relationships with these groups!

Resources Referenced: Business & Industry Partnerships (PowerPoint)   |    ACTE Fact Sheets    |     ACTE Business & Industry Resources    |     ACTE Sector Sheets


Rick Kalk   About the Discussion Leader:  Dr. Rick Kalk taught technology education for 20 years and spent the last 13 years of his career as the Director of Career Education and Business Partnerships for Spartanburg School District Five in South Carolina.  During his time at the district level, he cultivated and expanded partnerships with Sealed Air, WABCO, BMW Manufacturing and several other businesses and industries in the region and also served as the Chair of the the Middle Tyger Area Chamber Council. Contact Rick for questions on this discussion topic.

"Using Your Data" - led by Coleen Keffeler 


Data is a powerful tool for highlighting successes in a CTE program. Learn how to use your data to pull together resources that help advocate for your program to a variety of stakeholders!

Resources Referenced:  South Dakota ACTE Data Sheet Examples: 2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010    |    CTE Fact Sheets    |     State Profiles      |      CTE Clearinghouse     |    Putting Your Data to Work: Improving Instruction in CTE


Coleen K   About the Discussion Leader: Coleen Keffeler has been a CTE teacher for 31 years and the Perkins Coordinator for the Meade School District since 2002. She is a past president of ACTE and has served as the South Dakota ACTE legislative committee chair for over 12 years. She has successfully utilized CTE data sheets and brochures to obtain nearly $150,000 in grants for upgrades to her school. Contact Coleen for questions on this discussion topic.

"CTE is for Everyone" - led by Jonathan Howard 

Despite growing interest in STEM and new skills for 21st century careers, CTE is still a hard sell for some audiences. What do parents and students need to know about your CTE program to make the decision to enroll? Learn how to make your program appeal to all types of students!

Resources Referenced: CTE is for Everyone PowerPoint |  ACTE Sector Sheets   |   ACTE Issue Briefs    |    ACTE MicroDocs 


JHoward        About the Discussion Leader: Jonathan Howard teaches Audio Production and Technical Theatre at Denver School of the Arts in Colorado.  He was a 2013 ACTE Fellow and has been active as a leader in developing CTE pathways for students in programs that support Colorado's Creative Industries. Contact Jonathan for questions on this discussion topic. 

Interested in hosting a Virtual CTE Discussion? Email us! You can learn more about how you can get involved with ACTE's efforts and volunteer initiatives by joining the Educators in Action.

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