As WACTE president, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the hard work and dedication our members and staff have shown over the last few years in support of CTE. Many of you know how much education has changed over the years, however, CTE has remained a staple in the Wyoming Educational System. Our mission and vision continue to serve as the foundation for our CTE efforts with the guiding principles that have been essential to the success of CTE. The people of Wyoming have spoken, and the need for CTE has never been greater. Every industry in the state, from mining to agriculture and everything in between, has voiced a need for a skilled workforce. As we collaborate with our business and industry partners, we will continue to retain the rigger and validity of CTE in Wyoming to produce an efficient skilled workforce.
New membership has become a focus of WACTE over the last few years as we have nearly 500 CTE teachers in the state. Unfortunately only about 25% of these teachers have become WACTE members. Our membership is extremely important for a number of reasons;
- The first is the benefit of building relationships with other educators in our field. Many CTE teachers in Wyoming are often the only CTE person in their building, and collaborating with others can be non-existent, but collaborating with CTE educators from around the state gives our members access to the best educational content and resources the state has to offer.
- Another benefit is our state conference which provides Professional Development (PD) that is targeted specifically for CTE teachers that need to stay current on industry trends. The PD and Conference also provide the necessary requirements to stay current with the PTSB and Perkins V Requirements in addition to enhancing education in the classroom. My personal favorite at the conference is talking to vendors to see what new tools or technology are available that I can incorporate into my programs.
- An additional membership benefit I would like to touch on is our public policy platform. WACTE and our members have been actively involved in supporting, promoting, and protecting CTE at the state level. Other individuals in the state have supported CTE at times, however, WACTE is the primary voice for CTE at the state legislature. We are making sure that we have a say in the issues that impact CTE in our schools and in our state. We also monitor and voice our concerns about current and future legislation that will impact our programs to ensure long-term CTE education in our schools.
I truly believe that CTE teachers have the best jobs in every school. We get to encourage students in ways other teachers cannot and build lasting relationships that students will cherish for years to come. For many we are the first exposure to CTE that will become a lifestyle for years to come. Others will be exposed to new and emerging areas of CTE as we continue to adapt to an ever changing industry.
As the school year unfolds, I would encourage you to be the best CTE teacher you can be, be the most requested class in your building, be the most enjoyable courses your students experience, and continue to encourage your students in the areas they are passionate about. Remember CTE is not simply a skill, it is the backbone of your society.
Again, I would like to say thank you to all of the CTE teachers who are there day in and day out, thank you to our dedicated members and the sacrifices they have made to ensure that CTE has a future in Wyoming. Thanks, also, to our dedicated advisory board, staff, and volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year. I hope you are having a fantastic year!
Your WACTE President,