Kentucky educators honored at national CTE event


Six career and technical education (CTE) professionals from Kentucky public schools were among those honored in the national awards program at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) Career Tech Vision professional development conference in December in Anaheim, Calif.

They were among seven individual honorees from Kentucky recognized through the national awards program. The winners chosen were chosen from among five national finalists in each category after first being honored at the state and regional levels.

The Kentucky Association for Career and Technical Education (KACTE), Kentucky’s ACTE affiliate, received Quality Association Standards (QAS) recognition for the 17th consecutive year. The criteria to earn the QAS designation defines provision of quality customer service provided to members of the nonprofit, professional association.

Here are the award winners from Kentucky public schools:

  • Laura Arnold, director of workforce development for the Nelson County schools, was named the national Administrator of the Year. The award recognizes significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective CTE programs. Arnold’s accomplishments included her work as associate commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition.
  • J.R. Drummond, an engineering and technology teacher at Doss High School (Jefferson County), received the national Engineering and Technology Outstanding Instructor Award from ACTE’s Engineering and Technology Education Division. Drummond serves on the KACTE board of directors as leadership committee and Carl D. Perkins Assistanceship Award chairman.
  • Jeff Jones, a trade and industrial teacher at Webster County Area Technology Center, received the national New Trade and Industrial Teacher of the Year Award from the ACTE Trade and Industrial Education Division. Jones represents trade and industry teachers as a service area vice president on the KACTE board.
  • Laura Spiegelhalter, a family and consumer sciences teacher at duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County), received two honors. The KACTE past-president was cited for Outstanding Contribution by the ACTE Family and Consumer Sciences Division. She also received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (NATFACS).
  • Anna Day Sullinger, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Beaumont Middle School (Fayette County), received the NATFACS Award of Merit. Sullinger was the 2020 Kentucky Farm Bureau New CTE Teacher of the Year.
  • Brian Welch, an agriculture teacher at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School (Hopkins County), was named a fellow in ACTE’s Emerging New Professional Leadership Development Program. At the 2019 CTE Summer Program, he received the Kentucky Farm Bureau New CTE Teacher of the Year Award. He will compete in the 2020 ACTE Award program.

In addition, Doris Sikora, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences at Western Kentucky University, was a finalist for Teacher Educator of the Year. The award is presented to those demonstrating innovation in teacher education, leadership in improving CTE and commitment to preparing teachers to deliver high-quality CTE programs. Among Sikora’s accomplishments while serving as KACTE president was establishing the TALENTS Leadership Academy for CTE classroom teachers.