A Headshot photo of a woman smiling.

Beth Hargis

Kentucky Commissioner of Education and Chief Learner Jason E. Glass announced Beth Hargis as the new associate commissioner in the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Hargis will replace David Horseman, who is retiring from the position on June 30 after a lengthy career in education.

As associate commissioner, Hargis will provide overall management and oversight of programs and staff of the Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement, Division of Student Transition and Career Readiness and the 51 area technology centers (ATCs) across the state.

“This is an exciting time for career and technical education in Kentucky from the historic support in the Kentucky legislature to our department’s efforts to bring the United We Learn vision to life,” said Glass.  “As we take these first steps toward a new future in education, I am excited for Beth to lead the Office of Career and Technical Education with expertise and a student-centered mindset.”

Throughout her 21 years in career and technical education (CTE), Hargis served as a teacher, principal, ATC academic consultant and division director. In her previous role as KDE’s Division Director of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement in OCTE, she provided direction for the 51 state operated ATCs along with supervising the Division of Technical Schools and Continuous Improvement, the Kentucky Tech Administrative Branch and Data & Investment Branch.

Prior to starting her education career, Hargis served as a staff accountant in a certified public accountant office and served as the operations manager of a 501(c)3.

Hargis said she is truly honored and humbled to take on the role as associate commissioner and is excited to see where CTE education in Kentucky will go in the years ahead.

“As a product of career and technical education, I understand the opportunities afforded to students through employability and leadership skills taught every day in the CTE classroom.  I also understand the importance of CTE and academic collaboration,” said Hargis. “It is critical for these opportunities to be accessible by all students and that our collaborative partnerships and instructional supports and pedagogies level the playing field for students. I firmly believe it is the job of educators to meet students where they are and help them move to where they need to be for success.”

Hargis is a Pulaski County native and a graduate of Pulaski County High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in accounting and master’s degrees in teaching and education-instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). She received her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from EKU in 2011.

Hargis lives in Somerset with her husband and has two sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.